Inspirational artist: ABBA

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We all have that one band or artist that pretty much defines us. For me, that band is ABBA.

I remember opening up presents on my 8th birthday and being overjoyed with receiving ABBA Gold on CD. I don’t really remember how I first came to fall in love with ABBA, but I do remember their CD was all I’d asked for that year.

I adored ‘Dancing Queen’. To 8 year old me it was the height of sophistication. Dancing in a club on a Friday night, playing the Tambourine – so mature. I remember thinking it was strange that seventeen was described as ‘young and sweet’, when seventeen seemed like a lifetime away. Like I’d have my life together by then, ya know?

Almost 20 years later I still don’t have my life together, but that’s another story. I feel like as I’ve aged, I understand and appreciate these songs in a whole new capacity with each passing phase of my life. Whenever I hear ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’, I literally can’t breathe. What used to be a sweet tune I’d hum to was now a rear view of my childhood.

ABBA inspire me in an unusual way, I suppose. They inspire me to reflect, to grow but not lose sight of my past. As a huge fan of musical theatre you can imagine my delight when ‘Mama Mia!’ was made into a stage show and film. I think there’s something so magical about musicals – they completely captivate and transport you to their universe for two and a half hours and the outside world ceases to exist. ABBA’s back catalogue was absolutely perfect for musical theatre, and went on to inspire a whole host of musicals based on existing artists’ repertoires.

As a wannabe singer in my teens, I related to ‘I have a dream’ so much. I would sing ABBA songs at the top of my lungs whenever I was home alone/ in the shower/ driving my car later in life- I even sang an ABBA song for my Grade 8 singing exam. While my dreams have changed quite dramatically over the past decade, ABBA’s music still inspires me to go for whatever I want. After all, the winner takes it aaaaaallll.

There’s just something about each and every one of their songs that makes you feel good- I’m not alone here, right? Even the melancholic ones have hopelessly optimistic melodies. Like ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ – “We just have to face it this time we’re through. Breaking up is never easy I know, but I have to go” *cue happy guitar riff*.

I think that’s the key for me. ABBA make me feel good, and that’s what inspires me. You can go through heartache, lust, ambition, hell, even adolescence, and know that the Super Trouper light at the end of the tunnel is waiting for you. They have a song for basically every human emotion, and that can be a saving grace when it seems you’re the only one feeling that way.

I think much like the cliché that you are what you eat, you feel what you hear. So thank you for the music, ABBA, I wouldn’t be the same without you.


Words by Shelby Storey

Edited by Maisie Green

Khushi is your entertainment editor

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