GUITAR slinging, indie beat-based pop is how local Australian legend Abbe May best describes her genre of song.
Her compelling music will boom throughout the White Star Hotel on October 1.
The singer was born in Subiaco and grew up in Bunbury, where her passion for music stemmed from sibling rivalry.
“My brother KT got a guitar when he was eight and I was about five, and I just wanted whatever he was getting,” May said.
“A few years later I got a guitar, and my brother and I have played music together for 15 years ever since.”
However, it wasn’t until her late teens that May decided to pursue music more seriously.
“When I was a kid growing up in Bunbury, I wanted to be a teacher like my parents,” she said.
“That was all I knew.
“I kind of just fell into music when I was at university.
“Rock and roll and study didn’t really mix, so I really wasted my uni years, but I did learn a lot by being in a rock and roll band and took those lessons into my own solo career.”
May learnt her skills on guitar from the great Kevin Brusachi when she was nine years old.
“Kevin was cool and could play amazing lead breaks,” she said.
“As I started playing in bands, my brother taught me a lot about playing electric guitar.
“When I was lucky enough to perform as guitarist in Peter Garrett’s band last year, I learnt a lot more about playing from Midnight Oil’s guitarist, Martin Rotsey.”
May’s career began in her brother’s band when she was 17.
When she was 23, she decided to go solo.
“By that point, I was beginning to write my own music and was wanting to sing more.
“I found I had to just belt out vocals with the really loud rock band I was in, I didn’t have a lot of creative input and I really wanted to sing with more dynamic.
“So, I left.”
May focuses on the music, and doesn’t let the thrill of flashing cameras and red carpets get in the way of producing her unique, hypnotic sound.
Some of May’s hits include Karmageddon, Kiss My Apocalypse, Cyberpunk Choir and No Sleep Tonight.
“I loved singing as a kid,” she said.
“But when I grew up, there weren’t really any shows like Australian Idol or whatever to corrupt young minds into thinking fame is important.
“So I never saw singing as a thing to do, for any reason other than because I liked it.”
However, her singing career came to a halt in 2013, when she had a seizure out of the blue.
“I was just really stressed and didn’t know my body was screaming at me to have a break and relinquish some control,” she said.
“My body just got pushed too far.
“It got pretty dark during that time.”
It was her brother’s efforts to get her back on stage which drove May to continue singing.
“My brother convinced me to play again by developing a solo set-up with an SPDSX and a guitar, about a year after the seizure,” she said.
“My good friend Andrew Ryan from Mojos gave me a month-long residency where I could develop my set and my comfort with performing again.
“I have always had such incredible support in the WA music industry and I am really grateful.”
The rising star encourages other aspiring musicians to pursue their dreams, no matter what.
“Stop when you need to, but always get back on the horse after you have rested,” she said.
“In other words, remember to rest, but never give up.”
Tickets for Abbe May’s White Star Hotel performance on October 1 can be purchased online via her website, abbemay.com.