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What is your name? 
Amanda Cunningham

What is your genre of music?
Pop-country with flavors of RnB but I’m still figuring it out mainly.

Give us a little bio about you.
I’ve always tended to overshare and be annoyingly, bluntly honest. While that’s sometimes weird and awkward in “real” life, in songwriting and music creation it’s actually a huge asset. If you’re unembarrassed to talk about things you’re not proud of or struggles you’re working through, it creates a more relatable story to tell. I used to say I was a pop/R&B singer but realized that wasn’t entirely true. I love pop and R&B but that didn’t feel “right” and I couldn’t figure out why.  I had an epiphany that I really loved the country music I grew up on and it’s what my voice naturally intonated to and what my storytelling lyrics lent itself best to. I’m currently working on new music now that will reflect this shift better. 

What made you go into music?
I’ve always loved music and how it made me feel but it wasn’t until I was out of college and at my first “real” desk job, thinking I had gotten what I worked so hard for with my daughter that I had a crushing feeling that this wasn’t what I should be doing with my life and I started feeling pangs to sing and give this “singing thing” a real try. That was back in 2016.

Who are your influences?
Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Maren Morris, Celine Dion, Julia Michaels, David Foster, Ariana Grande, Whitney Houston, Dixie Chicks, Jo Dee Messina, Keith Urban.

Are you signed?

You released your EP ‘From the Chair’, tell us more about the EP.
Creating “From the Chair” has taken years of therapy and self-improvement to be able to write, produce, record, and release into the world. Through Zoom calls with amazing producers in the UK, home recording studio mishaps, lots of co-writing fun, and working through mental health issues, the EP deals with my coming to terms with my past, being a young mom, and recovering from mental health issues like postpartum depression and anxiety. I hope you enjoy the songs. If you don’t I’m working on new stuff…. and if you don’t like that new stuff, that’s fine too, my cats think I’m cool 🙂 

What is the meaning behind the EP?
It’s about that time in my life when I was really struggling and all the things I worked through in therapy, hence the name “From the Chair”

What was the writing and recording process like?
writing it was a long process of getting enough courage to write and produce these songs since it was very personal and also my first real attempt at releasing stuff. Recording it was all in my home studio. I’m really self critical and take things too seriously so recording these songs was actually difficult because I tend not to give myself space to make mistakes and be creative and expect it to be perfect right away. So I’m working on fixing that moving forward to make recording vocals more fun. 

Describe each track in two words.
I Was Weak: Overcoming betrayal
Pattern: Realizing patterns
Running: Overcoming negativity
Once Upon a Time: Inner strength 

Who did you work with on the EP?
I worked with a producer named Chris Clarke in the UK for 3 out of 4 of the songs and Michael Tinker, another producer in the UK for the 4th. This was all over emails and Zoom calls during the pandemic basically. For wriitng I did most of the writing myself with input of Chris nudging me along with the exception of Pattern where I wrote that in a program with Cari Cole and got paired up with an amazing writer named Miranda Glory, who was featured on NBC’s “Songland” to pitch a song to Usher. 

You also recently did a fundraising event with proceeds going to Warrior Music Foundation. Tell us more about why you chose this foundation, what they do and where others can help if they want too.
Between ticket sales and a last minute event sponsor, my EP release event on October 17th raised more than $2,000 for the Warrior Music Foundation. I worked with this nonprofit before for a songwriting retreat where songwriters and musicians were paired with a veteran and the songwriter helped the vet write a song. I thought this was such a beautiful idea and really liked the people involved and so I choose this nonprofit knowing that the money would go towards helping other vets create something out of their struggles. Others can donate at warriormusicfoundation.org

What else can we expect in 2021?
I’m really doubling down on writing and learning to produce so that I can get songs out of my head and into the world quicker. I realized I really like the creation of music much more than the promotion and performance of it an want to also represent women on the backend to show other young girls that they don’t need to feel excluded and we can do this ourselves with other women and male allies

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
In 5 years I see myself fully able to produce my own stuff and working with other artists, hopefully lots of other women, to produce their stuff as well and help them learn production as well. I will have worked with a bunch of writers and artists that I have on my “to work with” list and I feel super motivated in my goals. I’ll also be the mother of a high schooler at that point, which is weird to think, so that’ll be a fun new adventure as a parent and I see myself with my husband living our best lives, supporting each others goals and helping each other grow.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I used to say it was either “What would Beyonce do” or “Do it anyways” but lately it’s been “Be a goldfish” from the show Ted Lasso I’ve recently been obsessed with. It’s silly but basically it’s beacuse goldfish have the shortest memory so they’re the happiest animal. Any mistakes I make I learn from it and move on like a goldfish, no need to beat myself up or ruminate. 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 
my water bottle, the setlist, microphone obviously, mascara, and the mindset to try my best and fall back on what I’ve practiced but also in the end nobody will die if I mess up so it doesn’t really matter so just try to have fun.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yup! I’m most active on Instagram 
 but here are a list of links 🙂

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