AS she has roots in Chile…
I ask Amber Donoso about her heritage and how she is acclimatising to the London lifestyle. She tells me about the new single, Get Off, and the inspiration behind it. I ask her about upcoming material and how self-sufficiency is a mantra of hers – and the musicians who have made an impact on her. I learn more about Amber Donoso’s fashion modelling and how she blends style and music; what the remainder of 2017 has in store; the albums that mean most to her – and where we can catch her perform in the coming weeks/months.
Hi, Amber. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m very well, thank you. How are you? My week has been fantastic so far, thank you.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Yes. My name is Amber Donoso. I’m a singer/songwriter.
Get Off is your new single. What can you reveal about its title and story?
Get Off is about my relationship with an ex-boyfriend. The theme of the song is being unable to move on from someone you are still in love with. It was important for me when writing the song that there was a clear storyline for people to follow. I wanted people to be able to understand my thought-process in and after the relationship - and how that left me feeling. The song is about love. I’m a big romantic.
There is also a sexual meaning behind the song - which I don’t think needs further explaining. Haha.
The video was shot in Margate. Did you film it yourself and what was it like to film?
It was amazing! So much fun.
It was a massive video to shoot as we had so many locations and shots to film. I had spent months and months planning for the two days shooting; so the morning of the first day, I took a very deep breath as I knew it would be a very long day. I felt really lucky to have such a wonderful team to work with as they made everything really smooth sailing. My dancers were lovely as was my love interest Keudy. Thankfully, I speak Spanish as Keudy spoke very little English - so that would have been a bit of a challenge trying to communicate on set.
Both Michele Du Verney (my Creative Director) and I directed the video - whilst Chas Appeti was head of D.o.P.
Is it quite nervous releasing a debut single? How have you been feeling about it?
It’s a wonderful feeling.
It feels surreal to work on something for a year-and-a-half and then release it into the world. It’s been amazing to see what a positive reached everyone had to both the track and video. It’s really humbling.
You are a model and have promoted fashion across the world. How, would you say, your love of fashion and music interweaves? Is there an inherent connection between style and music?
Modelling, for me, was short-term and my way of financing my music career: music has always been my first love and passion. I love fashion but in a way of using it to express myself. My style is definitely a clear representation of my personality and character. I like to experiment with what I wear and push boundaries of ‘the norm’.
Down the line, I’d definitely like to design my own collections and have my own makeup line.
You are Chilean-born. What compelled the decision to relocate? What was it like being raised in London?
My parents divorced when I was very young; my mother is English and my father was Chilean - so the move to London was for educational purposes. However, I’d once I moved to London, I’d spend my holidays in Chile with that side of my family. I feel very blessed as I’ve had the best of both worlds: living in London then growing up on a farm in Chile. Nevertheless, growing up here I have always felt London is my home….
I’m a London girl through and through.
It seems, already, you have confidence and star quality. Are there any artists you idolise and incorporate into your own music?
Thank you; I really appreciate it. For sure, my music has been massively inspired by many of my favourite artists. I absolutely love Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill due to their beautiful songwriting and storytelling - not to mention they’re incredible voices. Gwen Stefani and Madonna are other artists who have inspired me.
It appears you have been raised on a mantra of self-sufficiency. Do you think your success, so far, is a result of your hard work ethic and determination?
Yes. I think if you want something enough you’ll get it.
So far in my life, I would put my successes down to persistence. Sometimes, it may feel like pushing a brick wall but if you love and believe in what you’re doing, you’ll keep pushing until you’re on the other side. I’m a very driven person and I won’t stop until I get to where I am heading.
Tell me about your music and what sounds you were raised on…
I grew up listening to all genres of music: from Alternative-Rock, dreamy Pop; R&B, Hip-Hop; Reggaeton to Dancehall. So…a lot. My music has been inspired by all of these genres. I feel I get the best out of my music if I’m as well educated as much as I can be. For example, I sing in the style of R&B and Pop, yet I’ll put a hard Hip-Hop beat in my track (or dreamy Pop samples).
It, obviously, really depends on that track I’m making - but these are all things which go through my mind when I’m in the studio.
Can we see an E.P. or more music in the coming months?
All I can say right now is I’ll be releasing my next single early next year. I will say that this is gonna be a BIG track for me. I’m excited for everyone to hear it!
Do you have any tour dates approaching? Where can we see you play?
I’ve just been confirmed to perform at Cuckoo Club (in Mayfair) on 4th November. I’m also looking to perform in Glasgow in the next few weeks.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
So many people will probably be shocked by my variety of choices...
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
This is one of my favourite albums of all time. Lauryn Hill’s vocals, writing and performance on this album is mind-blowing.
SweetSexySavage – Kehlani
Man, she got a beautiful and sexy voice. I love this album as it has a song for everybody and for every mood you are in.
The 1975 – The 1975
I’ve been a massive fan of The 1975 for years. I think they’ve bought something fresh to the table. Their first album, The 1975, played a massive part in my teenage years. I’d listen to them ALL THE TIME...and I still do. I love every single track on that album as they range from beautiful, romantic love songs; to sex and heartbreak.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
PERSISTENCE. Keep pushing.
No one wants what you want more than yourself. Do as much as you can to make your dreams reality; it’s so possible…you just need to work hard and believe in yourself.
Christmas is approaching. Do you have plans already or will you be busy working?
I was hoping to head over to New York but I think I’ll be occupied working here in London. However, I’m not complaining as I love London around Christmas time…
Winter Wonderland is my jammmm.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Like a Prayer - Madonna (that’s one of my favourite songs of all time)
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