It’s not just the Gold Coast that adores Amy Shark. Yesterday she came in at number two in triple j’s Hottest 100. That’s big. She’d only uploaded her tracks to the Unearthed website a year ago and prior to that she’d not even been on the radar of the youth network.
She had been on the radar locally though. Amy was a finalist for the Queensland Music Awards for three years before taking out the Pop Song of the year for Golden Fleece and in 2016 she was a finalist for three categories in the Gold Coast Music Awards.
Before taking out the number two slot in the Hottest 100, Amy’s song Adore had clocked four million streams on Spotify, was shortlisted for APRA’s Song of the Year, and had also cracked the ARIA top 40 charts.
When she spoke to Blank Gold Coast from her home just 12 hours after hearing herself in the countdown, she was preparing for a flight to Melbourne.
“Um, I’m definitely dusty,” she said laughing, “I’ve got shit everywhere around my house and I’m still buzzing, I can’t really believe what’s happened.”
I tell Amy that when I was listening in and the countdown kept creeping closer and closer to number one that I had butterflies worrying whether she had made the top 100 at all. Amy said she had moments thinking the same.
“Oh, the whole day was like that,” she said. “I didn’t have a call or anything lined up with triple j so the whole day I was like ‘I could easily not be in this’.”
“There’s been many years I’ve listened and waited for an artist to come on and they didn’t make it. We hit the stage where they got to the top ten and Shane (husband) starting crying and he’s like ‘you’re actually in the top ten’.”
“I was getting emotional. I had a bottle of champagne ready to go. When they played Tash (Sultana), I just couldn’t believe it. There was still a part of me that was like ‘could this actually happen?’ and because the guitar in Adore had such a distinctive sound, as soon as it happened I just collapsed. I couldn’t even open the bottle.”
Amy’s rise would seem meteoric for those who haven’t followed her career locally. There’s tens of thousands of awesome tracks uploaded to the Unearthed website every year, so how does Amy’s track end up floating to the top of the playlists?
“It feels to me like it was a song that everyone was waiting to have in their life,” Amy told Blank Gold Coast. “That sounds weird, but the more people I’m talking to and the beautiful messages I get daily now – people are connecting to it on such a weird level.”
Amy attributes that connection, in part, to the fact that her songs are so autobiographical and personal. “That just stands out these days,” she said.
“The word adore doesn’t get used very often as well,” Amy said. “It’s a great word to describe what I wanted to do in this song.”
As well as signing to Sony, Amy has new management in Unified. She said her two managers, Rachel and Jadden, who also manage Vance Joy and Amity Affliction have been a big asset.
“I sent them the demos and they called me hour after I sent them and they were like ‘ this is crazy how many songs you’ve got’,” Amy said. “They were really confident even though I’m self deprecating the whole way through.”
“They thought I was going to do well (hottest 100) but kept saying it’s not the be-all or end-all, but I honestly have the best managers ever. They’re crushing stuff for me every day.”
Amy’s flying from Gold Coast to Melbourne as we speak to head back into the studio where’s she’s working with Dan Hume on two “cracking songs”.
“I don’t have tickets on myself, but they’re such good demos and I’m really excited to work with him on them.”
Her time with Dan comes on the back of sessions with a heap of other producers and she’s also back working with M-Phazes (AKA Mark Landon) as well.
“I actually got to hang out with him in the studio this time,” she said. “He’s kind of like a lone ranger and he doesn’t do that very often. It was pretty amazing sitting there, just watching him doing what he does – producing and making these amazing sounds and beats. I could sit there forever. He’s a super sweet guy and so insanely talented. I had the best couple of weeks of my life.”
As well as refining those two tracks, Amy is also preparing for her first ever national headlining tour. She said he’s learned so much supporting other bands that she was frothing to be the main event.
“It’s going to be so insane. I’ve learned a lot being on tour with these other bands and now I get to play for longer, work on my lighting, other things I’ve picked up on the way, I’m going to really nail it for myself.”
“I have a batch of new songs too. I’ll get to talk more, tell more stories because it’s my show. It’s going to be awesome,” Amy said.
Amy was always adamant she was going to play a hometown gig as part of her first headlining tour and she’s announced that elsewhere will host the local show on Friday 31 March. It’s not the first time Amy has played there – she’s previously supported The Delta Riggs in the Surfers Paradise venue.
There’s no question Amy adores her Gold Coast fanbase.
“I think that it’s been the biggest support network that I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s the main reason I wanted to be home for the Hottest 100 countdown even though I had heaps of offers to be in Melbourne or Sydney. I just really wanted to be home.”
“The Gold Coast has just been super, super supportive. All the snapchats, insta videos, tagging, it just went nuts yesterday. A lot of it was Gold Coast love.”
“Plus, all the magazines, all the press, the news, everyone has just been so good to me.”
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Amy hits elsewhere on Friday 31 March as part of her national tour. Tickets are on sale right now via oztix.com.au.
Full tour details:
Saturday 18 March | Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Saturday 25 March | Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday 31 March | elsewhere, Gold Coast. Get tickets
Sunday 2 April | Amplifier, Perth
Saturday 8 April | Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane