Amy Shark’s backstory is well documented and much like any other hard-working musician’s: writing and recording songs in her bedroom and local studios, treading the boards in all kinds of pubs and bars and working a day-job to fund her creative endeavours.
Her ascension to global fame was swift, but the effort it took to get there was prolonged and consistent and you’d have to be living under a rock to not know of Amy’s recent accomplishments.
Her breakout single ‘Adore’ has been certified 3x Platinum and follow-up track ‘Weekends’ went Gold. She was nominated for six ARIA awards, taking out both Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist and she’s currently in the running for Song of the Year for ‘Weekends’ for the APRA Awards as well as Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian work for ‘Adore’. She’s undertaken two headline tours in both North America and Europe with cities like LA, Seattle, New York, London and Berlin selling out, sold out multiple Australian tours, hit some of the world’s biggest festivals (she’s just been announced for Lollapalooza for heaven’s sake) and showcases and has lent her voice to a tourism campaign with Destination Gold Coast.
When we speak to Amy she’s somewhere in North America and I’m curious to know whether this life on the road is everything she dreamed of. Does she crave the quiet life of old?
“Never, I wanted this for a long time and I’m going to grab every opportunity and work as hard as I can to spread my music,” she told Blank Gold Coast.
“I’m extremely grateful.”
While Amy’s been amassing fans in the USA, she’s also been kicking serious mainstream television goals as well. Amy Shark was the first ever Australian ‘Apple Up Next’ artist, performing on The Late Late Show with James Corden and just last month she was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
She says for her playing on American late night TV is a huge deal.
“It’s something that I used to watch all the time in awe of all the musicians and bands that got to play them,” Amy said, adding that there are plenty of other highlights from her time on the road.
When I look out and I’m playing in a random town like Victoria, Canada and it’s a jam-packed room with a crowd singing my songs louder than me… It’s an incredible feeling.
Amy returns to the Gold Coast to play Festival 2018’s Queensland Music Stage, presented by Bleach* Festival, performing a free, all-ages set that coincides with opening night of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. I guess it was a no-brainer for Amy to be on the lineup, but I’m curious as to the logistics and fitting it in amongst all the other touring commitments.
“I have a great team who knew that it was important for me to be home for this, so there was probably a little bit of shuffling but I stay out of that. I’m very excited for the Gold Coast and to be part of it all,” Amy said.
With such deep roots on the Gold Coast, it’s to be expected that there’s a twinge of home-sickness from time to time, but the tour announcements continue to come thick and fast. After Amy comes home for a very short while next month, she returns to North America – again – for her third headline tour.
“I miss my house, my local coffee shop and my niece and nephew a lot,” she said. “But to be honest I’m really enjoying seeing the world and playing my music every night.”
“I guess I keep going back [to the USA] because the demand is there and being an Aussie artist, it’s not easy to gain that demand in America.”
“I love touring America. My fave places are Chicago, NY, LA, Montréal, Toronto.”
With such a long list of accomplishments, there is something she hasn’t ticked off the list yet. Amy’s yet to release an album.
Her EP ‘Night Thinker’ which included those triple j Hottest 100 tracks ‘Adore’ and ‘Weekends’, went to #1 on iTunes and #2 on the ARIA charts. It also smashed Top 10 iTunes charts in 15 countries. I’m thinking with a new USA tour announcement there must be new music to come pretty soon. But Amy’s mum on the subject.
I have a lot of exciting things to share with my home country and trust me you will be the first to hear! Not long now.
We wrap up talking about those good old days playing The Loft, Envy and fluorescent-lit pub rooms across the Gold Coast. If Amy could go back to those earliest times and give herself one piece of advice, what would it be?
“I would say Amy go home and write ‘Adore’ … right now! Lol jokes,” she said.
“Honestly those shows strengthened my vocals, my stamina and helped with confidence. But there’s never going to be a big manager, or label sitting at those gigs. It’s 2018 – those guys are watching streaming charts, they watch for radio ads and online presence.”
“So go home and work on writing good music.”
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Amy Shark opens the Queensland Music Stage on Surf Parade for Festival 2018 on Wednesday 4 April at 7.00pm.