Hi Amanda, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I’ve always loved country music and have been performing apparently since I was in the crib! At 18 months old, my caregiver told my mom she heard me singing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” by Patsy Cline and later that day, she realized it was on one of my nursery rhyme tapes.
In elementary school, I had a band with my friends, which was a lot of fun. I later auditioned for and was accepted into Canterbury High School, an arts school in Ottawa. This meant that I was travelling for about 4 hours a day but it was fun to do what I love. From there, I joined the music/singer songwriter stream at Carleton University, but was drawn to Nashville and moved there earlier this year. Since moving to Nashville, I’ve been working on my music career, but I also completed the last semester of my degree program online and graduated in June.
What was the first country album you bought?
Growing up, I was more likely to listen to individual songs more than any particular album. I grew up listening to Taylor Swift when she was getting started in country music and I remember listening to songs like “Teardrops on My Guitar” over and over when my twin brother and I were driving to music lessons in Ottawa on Saturdays.
What made you decide to become a country musician?
The country genre seemed to fit the stories and songs that I wanted to write best. You could also say that it runs in the family, so to speak. My parents and grandma always listened to Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, so country was a natural fit for me.
What is the background story behind your latest single “Driving in the Dark?”
The story comes from the first time I went to Nashville for songwriting. I was driving down with my twin brother, Thomas. He started talking about how he loved to drive on the open highway at night and into the sunrise. The song started from there. While writing it with Jason Matthews and Phil Barton, they helped turn it into a song about the excitement you feel when you start a new relationship. The demo tape then went to Jason Barry from Barrytone Studios back in Canada and he worked his magic to make it into the song it is today.
Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
“Driving in the Dark” was released to Canadian radio on September 30th. I was also part of the Wild West Songwriters Festival a few weeks ago in South Dakota, which was an incredible time.
Right now, I’m touring back in Canada before returning to Nashville. I’m really excited!
Where are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?
One of my favorite spots to play is back in Canada at a restaurant and bar near the Rideau Lakes in Ontario called CCs On The Rideau. It’s a cute little spot and I usually play outside on the patio as the boats go up and down the Rideau Canal. The crowd is always really welcoming. In September, I also played a Diamonds in the Rough showcase during Canadian Country Music Week in Calgary, which was also a blast.
In Nashville, I’ve played at The Bluebird Café, which I loved, and I also enjoy playing on the SongBird Tour Bus.
What is your recording process like when creating new music?
Jason Barry – my producer on “Driving in the Dark” – is one of my favorite people! He makes the recording process an positive experience and gets the best song out of me. He has a really good heart and always makes me feel comfortable and we have a lot of laughs. In the recording booth, I can undo any buckles or buttons to get the best sound. Jason always asks what I’m hearing already for the song and what instruments should be included. He takes it from there and when I get a song back from him, it feels like Christmas morning!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” Sometimes we need a reminder (myself included) that when we judge others, it’s because of our own insecurities and setbacks. If you’re going to look down on somebody, you better be helping them up. Life is short. We’re all struggling in our own way and we’re all getting older together and nobody deserves negative energy in their life. You’re not doing yourself any favors by bringing people down.