Born and raised in Dallas. Texas, GAYLE showed a flair for music from an early age. When she was 12 years old, her family, wishing to pursue her dream, moved to Nashville, where former American Idol judge and pop songwriter Kara DioGuardi discovered her at a singing competition. After dropping four singles independently, the teenage singer-songwriter signed a record deal with Atlantic. The label released "Abcdefu" as GAYLE's first single with them.
The song is an empowerment anthem where Gayle details the intense emotions a breakup aroused. Initially after the split, she tried hard to be considerate to her ex, but after learning he was saying nasty things about her, GAYLE's feelings towards him changed. "That song came from a place of trying so hard to be the nice, respectful ex-girlfriend, to the point where it was negatively affecting me," she explained. "It's about asking, 'Why am I being so nice to this person who completely took advantage of me?' and allowing myself to express my anger about that."
The kiss-off song finds GAYLE turning the alphabet into a middle finger. She not only tells her ex where to go, but everything in his life as well.
A-B-C-D-E, F you
And your mom and your sister and your job
GAYLE co-wrote the song with Sara Davis and David Pittenger, coming up with the alphabet concept early on. "'abcdefu' is a song I have been proud of since we wrote it," Davis told Songfacts. "I've always been inspired by songs, particularly from female artists, that convey anger and frustration without sugarcoating anything. I think one of the bravest things you can do as an artist is own your emotions, especially in a world where people are bound to call you 'dramatic' or chalk it up to teenagers 'just being angsty.' 'abcdefu' is a song we wrote 100% in the moment out of pure frustration and I am so grateful that GAYLE was willing to be so honest with herself and us that day. This song has changed my life by proving how many people share the same feelings and the fact that owning every emotion, no matter how painful, is therapeutic and incredibly powerful."
After detailing in the two verses why her former boyfriend needed to be blasted, GAYLE gives it to him with both barrels on the chorus. "You have to explain it and this was coming off my own personal experience of trying to be nice," she said, "but that didn't work, so here's what you're getting instead – a big 'eff you section of a song."
Pete Nappi , drummer for the American pop band Ocean Park Standoff, produced the song. He and GAYLE worked on it together when she visited LA. "I'm a control freak so I always like being in the room with the producer when it comes to my music," she told Vents magazine
. "Pete started the vibe out by himself and then I added in my production notes."
Nappi also produced Anne-Marie's collaboration with Little Mix, "Kiss My (Uh-Oh)
Released on August 13, 2021, the hook blew up on TikTok a few months later, causing "Abcdefu" to chart worldwide. GAYLE started dropping alternative versions, including "chill," "angrier," "nicer" (i.e. "forget you" rather than "f--- you") and a remix featuring new rhymes by Royal & the Serpent