INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA MCCARTHY AS SHE RELEASES NEW ALBUM ‘Road Trip’
Q: Please introduce yourself to the readers and how you first got into this field of work ñand who were some of your influences growing up?
I’ve been into music since I was a very young kid, but I really dove into it as a teenager. My influences have since expanded, but I seriously need to thank Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato for being up and coming teen stars when I was a teenager. They were a huge inspiration for me. I dove into songwriting following some traumatic experience but quickly learned to apply that emotional outlet to anything and everything going on not just in my life but in the world around me and the lives of others.
Q: What kind of training have you had, if any?
I had some formal vocal training on and off for a few years, but most of my instrumental and songwriting ability has been self-taught.
Q: What has been your favourite project to work on so far?
Completing my recent album “Road Trip” has definitely been my favorite project so far. It was a long process but it allowed me to craft an album that shows every side of who I am.
Q: How did you get the gig?
I was performing at school/town events like any other teenager into music, but my aunt helped me to start booking my first real out of town performances. She got me some amazing opportunities and gave me strong building blocks for a career and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for that.
Q: What are some challenges you’ve faced?
I experienced sexual assault at a young age, and just in the past year managed to get away from another abusive relationship. Those were definitely anchoring keeping me down for sure, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Both were obviously huge inspirations into my songwriting and I’ve slowly gotten more comfortable with opening up and sharing music pertaining to both of those times in my life. I have really made it my mission to channel those experiences into being able to help others who have gone through similar things.
Q: What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
The acoustic versions of my songs “Elephant in the Room” and “Bad News” were included in the Nomination Ballot for the 59th Grammys in October 2016. The nomination ballot is the round that takes place right before the official nominees are released in December. Both were in the category of Best American Roots Performance.
Q: If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
I’d love to work on songwriting with Taylor Swift or Brandi Carlisle. Better yet, how about both of them? Think of the harmonies. I think both artists capture the spectrum of my influences and sounds.
Q: What projects do you have coming up?
My album Road Trip was just released this past June, so there is still a lot of life left in it and a lot of content to come in the promotion to the album. Touring plans as well. And you heard it here first, but…. I’ll be putting a new single out this fall. It’s a very personally-inspired and fueled single vs. a business decision, but I think both aspects will benefit from this release.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
My daughter Leah inspires me every day to keep going because I want her to grow up with a real-life reminder and role model of what following your dreams looks like.
Q: Do you have any advice for young music makers like yourself?
This is going to sound corny, but seriously, just be yourself. Be open-minded and explore different sounds, but ultimately, you know what genre and vibe feel right and is going to make you the happiest. I was miserable and going nowhere fast when I was trying to be what other people said I should be. Things started looking up when I found who I really wanted to be as an artist. Yes, marketability and industry trends do matter, but you will figure out how to find the marketability and your target audience within what you really want.
Q: What are your favorite venues to perform in?
It honestly depends on what formation I’m playing. For a full band show, there’s nothing like a super hype dancing crowd that cheers like crazy and makes me feel cool. (lol) But when I’m playing a solo acoustic show, there is nothing like a quiet listening room that is really attentive to my music and genuinely interested in hearing the stories behind them.