Discover Artists That Joined The 14th IMAs: Amanda Grace
Home Base: Minnesota
Genres: Children’s, Americana
Categories Entered: EP, Roots/Country (Folk/Singer-Songwriter/Americana/Bluegrass/Blues/Alt. Country/Country)
Title of Work Submitted: Keeping Hearts
Producer: Chad Wardwell
Artists Featured: Amanda Grace
Instruments Featured: piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
What’s the story behind your artist name?: It is my middle name. I thought it would be easier for kids to remember – as my first record was for children. I was so broke after that record I didn’t think I would ever release another CD – so I didn’t plan on using it again as an official “artist name.” .. but then I found myself back in the studio in the fall the following year with my alternative record Embrace.
Describe your sound: I release music in multiple genres – I started with children’s music to tell my nephew’s story about his brave battle against leukemia and then progressively moved to release Americana / folk / rock albums “Embrace” and “Keeping Hearts.”
Who’s sitting in your audience?: Depends on what genre I am playing for; it could be children’s music, so parents and grandparents and kids.. Or it could be 20-30 year olds; if I am playing my solo acoustic guitar/keys.. or it could be a total mix of people; with my women’s folk band Wildflower – I actively pursue gigs of all genres because it keeps me from getting bored with playing the same songs over and over again – plus and I also need to promote my records.
What’s your favorite press quote about your music?: (Citypages/Mid West Music Fest 2013) “Winona’s Wildflower were just finishing up their lovely, captivating set as we entered the newly redecorated Masonic Temple, which featured large Japanese lanterns and diaphanous silken drapes which gave the stage a much more regal look than last year’s rather spartan appearance. That subtle touch also added some poignancy to the music as well, with both Wildflower (comprised of Patti Darbo and Amanda Hardy, and Aleah Harvey) and the Ericksons (led by Jenny Kochsiek and Bethany Valentini) featuring resonant female vocalists that rang out true throughout the historic venue.”
The song or songs that changed your life and why: Dolores O’Riordan – The Cranberries – “War Child” – The song changed the way I looked at my life, my situation – in my youth, being so naturally self-absorbed. The song is beautiful, dark, and captivating in its descriptions; telling the story of what war really does to the world.
Describe the first time you walked onstage: My first vocal solo was when I was kindergarten.. and I was so nervous I forgot my lyrics.
Why did you submit to this year’s Independent Music Awards?: Because I believe in what I do. I believe my songs have a story to tell; a reason they exist. I have done all the work of saving, creating, recording and releasing this music on my own and that in itself makes it noteworthy. It is a tough business and takes a lot to be noticed, but I’d like to think my songs stand out because of the stories behind them.
If you win and/or get nominated, how will you use your IMA honor to further your career?: I have no idea…! I am hoping to take it all in – all the information, experiences, and resources -and learn from the artists and industry professionals I meet, so I can keep myself inspired to write and release more music in the years to come.
Who is your musical hero & what would you like to learn from them?: Alicia Keys; how to rock family balance as a touring musician.