Bec Abbot began singing from the platform of the church where her father was the pastor. There she found her voice, singing every Amy Grant song she could. It was in that same church, standing beside her dad, that she learned the art of doing all the harmony parts while singing the beloved old hymns. During her growing-up years, Abbot was called on by many of the local churches to sing in their morning services, banquets and special events. She became a regular on the local church circuit.
While in school, Abbot sang in concert and jazz choirs. In late high school, she began her sometime career as "everybody's favourite wedding singer," as her friends and friends-of-friends began tying the knot. Even though she did study classically during her post-secondary schooling, Abbot had not yet found her calling.
Vocal coach Elaine Overholt (Susan Aglukark, Leahy, Global's "Popstars") recognized her versatility and solid musicianship. Overholt introduced Abbot to Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Blaise Pascal. This relationship saw Abbot singing back-up vocals and doing tambourine licks for Pascal over two years of club gigs, festivals, parties (show openers for Our Lady Peace and Tom Cochrane, BMG Toronto International Film Festival party 99/00), as well as radio and TV spots (CBC with Avril Benoit, 1999 Festival Schmooze - Star TV). It was during that time that she found a new freedom on stage.
Abbot gained proficiency by honing her skills supporting other Toronto musicians, doing back-ups on more TV appearances (Breakfast Television - City TV, Daytime - Rogers), and live shows, even traveling to Woodstock 1999 to perform on the Independent Artist stage.
It was not until moving out of Toronto, Canada's music mecca, in 2001 that Abbot began writing her own music. Away from the music scene and without work, she spent many hours contemplating her future as a musician. It became clear that solo music would only be meaningful for her if she could use her own words. Song after song began to flow during this window of opportunity. Believing in her ability, friends and family immediately rallied around her. In March 2002, a benefit concert with Abbot showcasing her new songs took place. The night confirmed for everyone present that she needed to put herself and her music out there and see what would come back. The evening raised enough money to record a three-song EP.
Roy Salmond was the instant choice to produce Abbot's first project. Having done numerous live shows together for Blaise Pascal, she felt confident in his ability to craft her sound. Also, his reputation in the Gospel music industry preceded him (Carolyn Arends - Reunion Records, Blaise Pascal - Little Planet/ Page). The result of their work together on this project showcases not only Abbot's mainstream potential with the catchy pop tune Thrive, but the honest lyrics of In Your Presence speak of her sincere desire to challenge and encourage the church community in which she grew up.
Returning home, the EP was well received and further financial support continued to come in, making it possible for Abbot to continue recording. After two more whirlwind trips to work with Salmond in November and April 2003, her debut album Shine Like Stars was completed in August of the same year. "Tasty and thoughtful, catchy and true, wildly creative pop music you can sink your teeth into," says Carolyn Arends about the album.
Truly, the album is a strong showing of Abbot's potential to write well-crafted pop songs that are honest, evocative and uplifting. In 2004, Shine Like Stars received a Juno nomination for Best Gospel/ Contemporary Christian Album of the Year and her radio single, Thrive, received a Covenant Award for Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year.
Although she is a fledgling songwriter, Bec Abbot is no novice musician. Instead, she is creating her own path on this journey of exploring life - and faith - through music. Her desire is to communicate authentically, share truth boldly and to promote well-being. Expressed best in the lyrics of her song, Abbot believes everything in her life has led to this moment - It's time to thrive.