INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA MAE
Amanda Mae has been singing her whole life and the moment she moved from Ottawa to Toronto, she hustled to launch her music career in the big city. Amanda will be performing at The Iscream's Whiskey Kisses IV showcase (which you can still grab tickets to). We sat down with her to discuss her new single Fool 4u, her future and her thoughts on the Toronto music scene.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s a mixture of R&B, jazz and pop.
Tell me about your new single Fool 4u.
So it was written a couple months ago and I’m really excited to release it. IT actually is featuring another artist Deono, so it’s very exciting. It’s personal as well—I like to write from the heart so anything that I write is actually true. So it’s about an experience in my life, but I won’t give too much away.
So you’re going to leave it up to us to interpret it?
How do you find the Toronto music community? Is it welcoming to new artists?
Yes, It’s been good. There are lots of opportunities in terms of showcases and things like that that you can find online all the time, so I definitely think there is a big community for it. Even in Kensington Market for example, there’s always something going on. Jazz/poetry cafe, like anywhere you gotta go there’s always an opportunity for someone to perform. You just have to get out there, use social media.
We were discussing earlier that the city is lacking in venue space—particularly for hip hop and R&B acts. Have you found this to be an issue?
Yeah. I don’t see a lot of media to support those concerts, unless it’s someone who is very well known—like, I don’t know...Drake let’s say is a big star, so obviously he’s going to get a big-ass concert hall, but other than that no, not really. Which is kind of unfortunate, but things need to change. Hip hop is fun! I collaborate with a lot of hip hop artists, so yeah it’s important. It’s important we see all types of music.
Have you always wanted to be a singer?
Oh my god, yes! I feel like I sang when I came out of the womb. I’ve been singing forever, since I was like five years old. I’ve been in choir, I’ve been in musicals—I was Dorothy at 10 years old, okay like I ran that shit! I love to perform always. At different coffee houses when I went to school and university and up until now, so I’m not going to stop.
What direction would you like to see your career go?
Right now I’m just working on building my fan base and getting booked for venues. I want to try modelling, I want to do as much as I can because I love fashion, I love makeup, I love beauty, I love to sing and I want to combine all of that together. So yeah, I mean of course I want to win a grammy, duh!
I grew up in Ottawa too, so I moved here a few years ago and it was like the best decision of my life, especially for music.
Did you move here because of the music opportunities?
Yes, for sure. I told myself that the second you get here, you got to get out and meet people.
Tell me something people might find surprising about you!
Hmm...I snort when I laugh! Especially when something is really funny. Other than that, I sing and song write, I have fun with my friends—like normal stuff, nothing crazy. Just snorting when I laugh!
By Robyn Bell