interview: amy vee, from pozible project “fits and starts”
As you may have noticed on our website, Lip has recently become a Pozible partner and thus holds a page of our favourite Pozible projects – the ones we think Lipsters would love and consider supporting. This week, I spoke to Amy Vee, emerging musician and creator of the current project “Fits and Starts”.
1. So Amy, you’ve got a project on Pozible. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and about “Fits and Starts”.
I’m a singer, songwriter and musician based in Newcastle NSW. I’ve been described as folk, acoustic, indie, pop… but to me, it’s just music from my heart. I’ve been writing, recording and performing for the past decade, both on my own and with other established and emerging artists (I recently toured as keyboardist/guitarist/backing vocalist for Tim Freedman & The Idle and as a singer/multi-instrumentalist in The Rock Show with Jon English). I have played hundreds of gigs around Australia, Canada and the UK, released an EP, an album and two singles with my band “The Virtues” and two EPs as a soloist. I feel that I’ve worked really hard to build a connection with people who love music and that’s ultimately why I do what I do.
“Fits and Starts” is my sixth release, but it is my first ever full-length solo album. It’s special to me in that it represents me as an artist, reconnecting with my creativity after a year of touring and travelling and a hiatus from songwriting, and it captures the many ways in which I’ve grown during that time.
The title was a reaction to the waves and bursts in which the songs came to me, which was completely unexpected. This was the first time ever that I purposely took time out just to WRITE. It was something I felt I owed myself, because everything I do hinges on this process. The songs are what give you purpose and connection to your audience. So I gave up everything else I was doing (including a career in mental health promotion) to realise my dream. The songs came slowly at first, then the flood gates opened. All in all, I think the album carries a bit of my entire experience and ultimately, I think that’s what an album should represent – a snapshot of a moment in time that says ‘this is me, for all I am, here and now’.
All of the recording, mixing and mastering has been completed (courtesy of my extraordinarily talented friend and producer Gareth Hudson of Hazy Cosmic Jive Studios, some incredible musicians and acclaimed mastering engineer Don Bartley). I now need some help to cross the finish line – by completing the artwork, manufacture and promotion of my album. That’s where Pozible comes in.
2. Why should Lip readers support your project? What makes it so important?
I like to think that people are interested in supporting independent music at its source. We live in a generation where recorded music has become almost disposable. Whether it’s record companies looking for a quick buck, or exploitation of artists material through free digital downloads, no-one is suffering more than the artists themselves, especially those of us who are completely going it alone (and have been for a long time). I’ve never shopped for a record deal and I didn’t become a musician to make money – I do it because it’s the one thing that makes me truly happy. But it does come at a cost. Any money I do make goes directly back into ensuring that I can continue to be creative and produce music that moves people. By simply pre-purchasing the album, you’re helping me achieve my goal of being sustainable and prolific.
I also love the idea that supporters get to be part of something unique. People invest in music in many ways, but it’s not often you have the opportunity to feel like you’ve really contributed to the final product. I think it will give people an extra special relationship with the album.
And finally, if for no other reason, you can invest in this project to receive some great rewards. I’m offering goodies such as signed pre-release copies of the album, a free digital single, signed copies of my previous EP “Sleeping Dogs Lie”, merchandise such as t-shirts and bags and even a house concert for your family and friends.
3. How you have found the experience of being a young female in the music industry?
There’s no doubt that music industry is still dominated by the male gender. Look at any music chart and notice the proportion of female artists to male and you will see the disparity. For example, the recent Triple J Hottest 100 list contained only about 15% female artists and that includes those who simply performed guest vocals. There are no female artists in the Top 10. The female artists who do appear are often tokenistic, under 25 and highly sexualised to make them “sell” and sadly this is still the cultural norm. However, I like to think now that people have a bit more choice in the music they listen to (i.e. that it’s not necessarily dictated by media and advertising), this might shift the focus a bit.
4. What do you think about feminism? How does it affect your life?
There is so much we have to thank the feminist movement for and I feel blessed to live in an age where women are increasingly moving towards equality. I think if anything, sometimes we take it for granted. My grandmother was a career woman during the 60s and 70s and despite how difficult I imagine this would have been during that time, she instilled many great values in me, such as independence, self-respect and determination. She made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to (and she still reminds me of this occasionally).
5. What are your plans for the future, provided “Fits and Starts” becomes a reality?
We have many plans! I would tour the album nationally around April/May with a group of great musicians and friends who will bring it to life. I’ve been in discussions with a national distributor who has agreed to make the album available in stores and online. I’m also planning writing ventures later in the year including some collaborations and another tour of the UK next year, with a follow-up EP in 2014. Performance-wise I’m looking forward to introducing my latest instrument – the violin – into my solo performances. Ultimately, my goal is to have my music mean something to people and to hopefully move and inspire others to listen and create.
Like the idea of “Fits and Starts”? Donate to Amy’s campaign here.