Abigail Zsiga
No chocolates please - we’re British!

$28 .6 billion dollars. $28.6 BILLION dollars. No, I’m not misquoting Austin Powers.

That’s how much Valentine’s day spending is expected to DROP TO this year. $28.6 billion. Just think about that for a minute. Now think about it in relation to how much of that money is going to be spent on things that end up in the trash, gathering dust on a shelf or worse, plumping out your hips!

For many years now I have been actively involved in the fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation. I work with an amazing organization called Love146. Our mission is to end child sex slavery and exploitation. We will not accept anything less.

Human Trafficking now generates approximately $32 billion dollars per year. That’s only 4 billion dollars more than the people of the United States will spend this year on Valentine’s Day. Seriously? What part of that is okay? Now here’s something radical - what if we were to put all of that money into the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery. Think of the difference we could make if our fund for fighting this crime was as large as the amount generated by it.

I don’t know if those figures will make a difference to you but let’s put a few things in perspective. When you open that card, how long do you keep it before you throw it in the trash? When was the last time you really enjoyed the chocolates, or held meaningfully onto that stuffed animal? I’m not asking people to stop expressing their love for one another, I’m simply asking that you take a new look at what it means to truly show love for another human being.

I would love nothing more than to see all of that $28 billion become available to the many wonderful organizations who are struggling daily to make enough money to continue the work of rehabilitating children who have been liberated from brothels. Children who are now able to sleep again instead of being raped repeatedly for a few dollars. But what if everyone were to pledge to just halve their Valentine Day spending and donate the other half? That would still give us 14 billion dollars! Think about what we could do.

Some interesting statistics:

4 -  the age of the youngest girl I met in a Love146 safe home in Cambodia.

2 - that’s how many children are trafficked per minute worldwide.

13 – the average age that girls are prostituted in the United States.

27,000,000 – the amount of human beings currently enslaved around the world today.

For this Valentine’s Day, please consider an alternative the habitual offerings that we have been brainwashed by Hallmark into thinking we must give in order to prove our devotion. Here’s something simple you can do - Love146 has some incredible Valentine’s Day e-cards. Now I know you’re thinking I’ve gone mad – how are you going to show up at your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/partners’ door without the flowers? Let me just say this – if you are in a relationship with someone who would get mad at you for choosing to skip the fancy dinner and donate the money to a charity so that you can be a part of the fight against child sex slavery, you need to rethink your relationship.



Active Bottoms!

Every time I shop for new clothes I am amazed that somebody has yet to invent a decent dressing room light. You’d think that by now someone would have realized it’s a fast track to making a fortune! Think about it – how many more clothes would be sold if it wasn’t so painful to see yourself half naked under those fluorescent lights? Come on lighting designers – do us all a favour!

You probably already guessed that I had an interesting shopping trip today – I was looking for some leggings. Nothing fancy, just simple leggings to wear with boots and a sweater, so I picked up a bunch to try on. Most of them were marked as “One Size Fits All”. Looking at the waistband that measured about 6 inches across, I had to ask myself who (or what!) exactly was the “all” these tiny things were supposed to be fitting…. Pygmies? Barbie dolls? I thought they may stretch, but alas, no such luck. Now if I could just figure out what “One Size” is, I’d be really happy. And who coined the phrase “Jeggings”??????? Somebody please slap that person with a wet fish.

I did however have a good giggle walking through the section marked “Active Bottoms”.  One day I’ll grow up…but not quite yet.

"Be Still My Soul"

It’s been 5 years since I released my last album “Home…again”. 5 YEARS!!!!!!

“What the heck has been happening since then and where is the new music?????”. That’s a very good question. So here’s the scoop……

There is new music on the horizon! Actually, there’s a lot of new music. I started on a follow up album to “Home…again” about 4 years ago but half way through I was stricken by a terrible case of writers block, a very busy toddler and an empty bank account. In case you don’t know – it’s really hard to be creative when you can’t see a way for the fruits of your labor ever to see the light and you spend most of your day wiping someone’s bottom. Did you ever try and write a classic, timeless work of outstanding beauty whilst being interrupted every 5 minutes by “The Wheels On the Bus”???? It just doesn’t work.

And the guilt trip. I knew every day that I should be working on my music but the more I worried, the less I could achieve. Finally I reached a point where I just said screw it. I’m moving on, done, finished, no more music, that’s it. The end. For the first time in my life I was wondering what I would be when I grew up. Thankfully though, that phase didn’t last too long. Trying to quit something that is as much a part of you as your own skin? It’s not easy. And it made me really sad. Singing, to me, is like breathing. It’s who I am. I came out of the womb humming a tune, albeit disguised amongst the baby babble but my Mum would tell you I really sounded like Barbra Streisand on helium. I knew every commercial and theme song to all of my favorite shows by the time I was 3 and would drive my brothers crazy because I never ever shut up. A trait which I seem to have passed on to my children……

It was in remembering this that I suddenly realized what I should be doing for my next album. It was a HUGE revelation. Maybe I could just – SING!!! How radical. My mental block was coming from the misguided idea that I had to write, arrange produce and fund everything myself and make it so super smashing that people would be playing my music in 50 years. Being solely responsible for the “product” had stopped being a fun and joyous experience and had become a chore and a drain. I hadn’t just stopped singing I had even stopped listening to music in general. I just couldn’t bear it. I’ve even been known to cry when I heard someone whose music I really liked. It was pathetic and I really should have been beaten about the face and neck with a wet kipper.

But what should I sing? Standards, show tunes, ballads? They all have meaning to me and there are so many styles of music that had a hand in shaping me as a singer and musician but there was one idea which I just couldn’t shake, and when I thought about what I loved to sing the most I kept coming back around to the same thing. Hymns. There is something so incredibly calming and peaceful about hymns. And for me this is not so much a statement of my religious or spiritual beliefs, I’ll save that for a later date, but a step toward healing and breaking open that dam that was keeping me creatively walled in. Sometimes the only things that work to bring down the wall is feeling a connection to something greater than oneself.

With all of that said, here is my latest offering. My hope for this collection of songs is to reach right into the heart of the listener and connect you to whatever that greater power is in your life. I wish for it to bring great comfort, healing, joy and peace as it has done for me. 

“Be Still My Soul” will be released just in time for the holidays.  You can pre-order your copy today at www.abigailzsiga.com.