Someone to adore
Meet Amy Billings, also known as Amy Shark, from the Gold Coast. This Australian-born indie pop singer-songwriter and producer inspires with her beautiful, authentic sound. She has already reached 18 million streams on Spotify! The mistiness in her music is alluring and relatable as she croons the tunes we want to hear. Shark is best known for her hit 2016 single “Adore”, which was voted No. 2 on the Triple J Hottest 100. She released her first EP Night Thinker back in April of this year, which received great feedback from fans and listeners. Watch the riveting and well-choreographed music video for “Adore” below.
With dreamy and angelic intonations, Shark serenades any crowd. As if listening to the winds whistling through the trees, her voice echoes on and on into distances far beyond earthly scenes. Her ghostly vocals are both gorgeous and haunting, keeping you in a purgatory of dreams. Yet, within all of this is a voice of truth that most artists aren’t able to capture. A personal favorite of her tracks from the project is “Worst Girl” ft. AllDay.
The artistry of this songstress sounds like a cross between Lorde and Verité combined together. Similar to her sweet voice, her kindness illuminated from her voice as she spoke about her musical journey with me. “I’m from the Gold coast in Australia, a beach town. It’s kind of known to be an area of party animals and trouble makers, but I kind of kept clear of that.” She giggles to herself.
“When I was younger, it took me a while to realize that I could be a musician, it wasn’t something I thought I was going to do, which is bizarre. But I liked stuff like film and acting and I did theater and I liked being behind the camera as well. I was a film editor as well at my old job, but when I was young, my parents had some videos of live music… so I was always listening to lyric heavy stuff.”
She continues to tell how it all truly began, the start of her love for music and where it got her to this point. “I got told by my grandparents that I had to learn an instrument whether I liked it or not, so I chose guitar, and I just got obsessed with it. That’s all I ever did, was just play guitar. I went to high school with some really great singers…” The humble songwriter never saw herself as a front woman, and so continued to be in a couple of bands. But at one point, she did sing for her bandmates who let her know that she genuinely had a great voice to pursue in the music realms. Her heart would always remain in writing, but once she started getting the rush of things from booking shows and performing, she realized she would really be going for it!
However, unlike a easy story of luck, the roads were bumpy and difficulty caused her a lot of trouble at the start. At that point, she took a hiatus to “work with a really great producer, not to chase labels, just to have something for myself”. Unaware that any of this would happen, the artist stepped away from the initial idea of being a musician for a little bit.
“It was a journey man”, says Shark in exasperation and somewhat relieved disbelief. “It was a lot of tough decisions, getting nowhere, people saying stop making music. You go from not hearing from anyone and just getting nothing to then one day its just like my phone blows up with people trying to meet me. It’s for real.”
Though she messed with hardships during this time, Shark was lucky to have her boyfriend at the time as her biggest supporter whenever it got too rough. “I’m a pretty emotional person”, and whenever Shark felt that things were not going as planned, he would respond with “these songs are too good to stay in the bedroom or at the party”. He was her biggest fan that kept her going.
Her musical process is never a planned one, and a lot of time, it is as if her lyrics and tunes are living somewhere within the library of her subconscious just waiting to be used and checked out for another record. For example, for “Adore”, the process was a difficult one. She never wrote beforehand about lovey-dovey topics, and this was her one chance where she had the inspiration from a night before and about a person in particular that she went for it. At first it was frustrating, she grew impatient, and then play by play, the chord progression emulated that night she had in her mind and soon after verses, choruses, and bridges emerged from that.
The Aussie sweetheart admitted she would describe herself as someone who is “different”, someone who loves her music with all of her mind and heart, enjoys trashy, guilty pleasure shows like One Tree Hill, flips 25 coasters at a time, and loves the movie Jaws and the actress Julia Roberts.
What should we be expecting from Shark? She will be going home to record the album and then she will be back in the states with some exciting news about a tour to come with a couple of bands she can’t disclose now, but from her voice, I could tell she was thrilled about the opportunity!
“People in the states are just SUCH passionate music lovers here” Shark emphasizes with glee. She continues, “when people are trying to come to my shows multiple times…[it’s a] pretty amazing feeling.”
With confidence, the indie-pop musician told me the one thing she would want her fans to know:
“I want them to know that I write absolutely everything and I don’t co-write with anyone. And in the studio I have every last word. I’m actually a pain in the ass like that, my label might want to take stuff out and I’m obviously headstrong about that, and everything that I put out music wise is gonna be at the best possibly quality, and absolutely raw and honest and true and 100% my self.”
Currently, Amy Shark is preparing for her tour in Australia starting as of July 23rd in Eastwood and ending on December 2nd in Paddington.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak to this budding artist and I can’t wait to see where she goes next with her music!
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