I realise, I have interviewed quite a few…
female artists this past week. Part of the reason (I have done this) is to redress the balance of male-heaviness that was appearing on my blog: the other, to recognise some incredible artists producing sensational work. Amy Lawton is one such artist who is worth serious passion and attention. She discusses her single, Undone, and whether there is going to be more material before the end of the year.
I ask Lawton about song inspiration and what it was like being featured on Deezer; what it was like touring with Jack Savoretti – and whether artists like Suzanne Vega, who she has been compared to, were crucial in her early years.
Hi, Amy. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, I’m good thanks.
My week has been good so far. I had a couple of gigs and in the studio - the rest of the week working on new material.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a twenty-year-old from Manchester - who’s been writing songs since I was eleven. I’ve been gigging and working on music in London for the past few years.
I’ve been lucky to meet and work with some great people in the industry so far.
Undone is your new single. What can you reveal about its beginnings and story?
I was inspired to write Undone when an ex showed up at one of my gigs, uninvited.
It was an unusual situation, so I wrote a song about it. In fact, I started writing the lyrics to the song that night at the show.
As a twenty-year-old making her first steps into music; how are you feeling about the song and the reaction it is getting thus far?
It’s been a great reaction so far...
It’s really encouraging and it’s been great to put some music out there.
Does it encourage you Deezer have featured it in their ‘Brand New UK’ section prominently?
Yes. It was really great to get the playlist.
Deezer has a great reach - so it’s nice that lots of people are hearing it. It’s always good to get some positive affirmation and know that the song is connecting with people.
Its Country-Pop sounds are sure to lift the spirits! There is pain and a sense of struggle alongside that energy. Is it hard writing something personal whilst keeping it light and accessible?
A lot of my songs have a bitter-sweet flavour to them.
I like to juxtapose a happy, upbeat sound with lyrics that are heartfelt, meaningful and personal. This isn’t difficult for me as it’s always felt like a natural way to express what I’m going through.
Will Undone have a video in the future do you know?
The video was shot about a month ago so it should be out in the next couple of weeks - it’s something else that I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone.
Listening to your voice and artists like Suzanne Vega come through. Who are the artists you were hooked on as a child and motivated you to get into music?
My dad used to play Suzanne Vega when I was younger - so she was definitely an inspiration. I was always into singer/songwriters who played guitar, like Tracy Chapman, but I also found inspiration from artists like PJ Harvey and Marina and the Diamonds.
Before Undone; you cut your teeth playing at venues like Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and The Bedford. How important were those London gigs – and what did you learn from those experiences?
I think all gigs are important and it’s always good to get experience and try out your music in a live environment.
Obviously, London is a great place to do that - especially in those legendary venues.
Your biggest show was supporting Jack Savoretti (last year) at London’s Cadogan Hall. What is he like to play alongside and how did that time affect your writing and ambition?
I enjoyed playing with Jack...
As an artist, I find him inspirational as he’s worked so hard to get where he is. Getting to play at Cadogan Hall gave me a taste of what it’s like to play to larger crowds – which, I guess, fuelled my dream even more. I was so excited when I came off stage after getting a good response to my own music.
I couldn’t wait to write more to play to people.
Will there be an E.P. later this year? What are your plans going forward?
I am planning on releasing another single - followed by an E.P. this year. I’ll be spending more in the studio, too.
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
IN THIS PHOTO: Zach Said
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would it be and why?
Marina and the Diamonds’ The Family Jewels; These Streets by Paolo Nutini and Red by Taylor Swift were all albums which I loved every song on.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
My advice would be to (just) stick with it and keep going - if you have a setback don’t let it prevent you from moving forwards again.
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).
Kacey Musgraves - Late to the Party
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