How Music has Impacted Amanda's Life

Describe your music in three words.

Our weekly sets are soulful, engaging, and even funny at times. I love being able to joke and laugh with the crowd!  The new EP, however, is different than anything I’ve done before. Rathbone and I are extremely excited about it…but you’ll have to wait and hear for yourself!

What song reminds you of home? Where is home?

Disney’s When you Wish Upon a Star because home is definitely where the heart is. I’m a Disney nerd, and everything about it is nostalgic for me. I still own the entire VHS set of Disney “Sing Along Songs” from where my love of music first began as a child. New Orleans native!

Who are some of your musical influences?

It’s no secret I’ve always been obsessed with big female voices. If you know me, then you know that I LOVE Mariah Carey.  (more so the old albums like Music Box)  Obviously Whitney Houston. (who is arguably the greatest vocalist of all time.) And of course our mothers of soul, Billie Holiday and Etta James.  There’re tons more, but I don’t want to bore you!

What is your artistic creative process like?

The creative process is always different and depends on what kind of mood I’m in. You cannot force art or creativity.  If you have a feeling, run with it! I’m a big advocate of letting the song tell ME what it wants to be about. It will tell you if you listen to it…not just hear it.

Why do you think music is so important to the people and culture of New Orleans?

In New Orleans, music is our past, our present and our future. It’s our families. It is involved in most all stories we tell through each generation.  It makes us feel happy and full in a way that unifies all the different cultures that make up our great city of New Orleans.

What is the greatest music moment you ever had that made you feel alive?

In 2005, I somehow wound up sitting in the 4th row of the American Music Awards.  There was a big prop clam shell on stage.  The lights went low, and the shell slowly turned as the music started…. There SHE WAS… all sprawled out in the shell…Mariah Carey!!! It’s the first and only time I have ever seen her sing live and it was a complete surprise/accident.  Then, naturally I cried : ) !
For my own: The first time I ever sang on the main stage of the House of Blues when I was 18yrs old.  When the crowd erupts and you can feel it under your feet, it is unlike any feeling I have ever experienced.

Allen Toussaint once stated, “Music is everything to me short of breathing. Music also has a role to lift you up-not to be escapist but to take you out of misery.”...With that being said, how has music gotten you through sorrowful/hard/low moments in your life?

Music has always been an outlet for me.  When I am singing, I am not thinking about anything else; it gives me peace.  Although I wouldn’t know how much music would reshape my life until I lost my dad in 2013 to cancer. My musical abilities come from him.  I struggled greatly with this loss and also fought my own battle of depression.  Christian radio, rock radio, anything I could listen to that would shake my insides and make me feel something more, something better.  I made up my mind and vowed to continue on with his legacy and share my gift with others, like he always begged me to.  (I was always too scared.) Today, music is my sole career and I have not been this happy in years…just the way he would have wanted it!

Do you have a favorite musical quote of all time?

Hakuna Matata?? Hahaha jk!..kind of.
I don’t really have a specific quote that I say.  Sam is way cooler than I am so he can get away with “Turn up!!!”
I’ll stick with someone safe like another one of my favorite ladies, Judy Garland:
“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.”

Pick Your Poison: CDs, Vinyls, MP3s?

I’d have to say 40’s Vinyl.  There’s nothing like setting the needle down to hear music from another era. The fuzziness and crackling takes you back to a more glamorous time. I love to close my eyes and imagine how beautiful and handsome our grandparents must have looked, twirling and dancing around the Blue Room together.

If you had to get up and sing karaoke for us, what would be the song of choice?

Gangsta's Paradise….  I know every word and I learned it in grammar school. Don’t ask why.  Look out Cat’s Meow, I’m coming for you!!