Based in Orange County, CA where she lives in a small equestrian community with her husband, baby daughter and their three horses, Amanda Kate somehow finds the time to immerse herself in the country music which she loves as both a songwriter and performer. Lead singer of two bands, The Country Club and the Carrie Underwood tribute band Blown Away, last year saw her release her own debut album ” Time” which has successfully put her on the radar as an artist in her own right. Classic country music with a contemporary twist, her strong vocals are a stand out feature throughout, and her her writing definitely reflects the storytelling and picture painting side of the genre while also being intelligent and thought provoking.
The album is dedicated to her mother, her regular co-writing partner as well as her best friend, whose diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer two years ago made Kate realise that there is nothing like the present and that every day needs to be lived to the maximum….hence the album title. Amanda Kate kindly agreed to answer a few questions for us, including the inspiration behind the most recent single to be lifted from this project, ” Healing When I Ride” , together with the making of the accompanying video, both of which are particularly special to her as you will find out.
Hi Amanda and thank you for your time!
Can I start off by asking how you got introduced to country music?
My mom was a musician all of my life and played in a country house band at Pappy and Harriets when I was born, so I remember hearing The Judds at a very young age and fell in love with country music. My mom always said, it didn’t matter what I sang, it sounded
LH When did you start playing and performing? And when did you realise it was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
I started professionally at 14 and I think once I was 16 I realized this was going to be my life. I loved being on stage more than anything.
LH Releasing your own album last year, to such great reactions too, must have been a special thrill. But was it also a bittersweet moment, as you were inspired to put the project together because of mother’s cancer diagnosis I understand?
Yes that album will always be my most cherished piece of music I’ve ever released. Every song was so personal and was such a blend of my mom and me. We recorded it so fast because I didn’t know how long my mom had. She ended up being able to hear the album,
play piano for me at the release party….it was perfect. I co-produced the album and had full creative control which was a first for me, I’ve always had other people steering the ship and for the first time I got to pick everything I wanted to do and tell
the stories that I wanted. Comp my own vocals, sit in when we were mixing, it was awesome.
LH The latest single to be taken from that album, “Healing When I Ride,” is a truly beautiful track. Can you tell me more about the inspiration behind it please?
“Healing When I Ride” was written for my mom about her bond she has with her horse named “Beaters.” He’s a retired champion cutting horse that truly helped my mom through her final few years with cancer. She sent me a poem one day that ended up being the lyrics
to that song. She rode everyday up until the final 6 weeks of her life. She found healing when she was in the saddle and so we wrote this song. It’s the hardest song for me to sing live but my favorite to sing because I believe every word.
LH And it’s accompanied by an equally gorgeous video. What more can you tell me about how that came together?
I worked with Blurred Pictures out of Denver, Colorado and came up with the concept. We shot the video in one day, and my dear friend and incredible horse trainer Clayton Price was the cowboy in the video. I was so happy that my mom was able to also be in
the video, my mom came up with the storyline with me before she passed away and now the video is forever a dedication to her and her story of how she found healing when she would ride.
LH. How hard has it been to have music to promote without being able to play live shows, and how have you risen to the challenge?
Promoting music hasn’t really changed much for me because I’ve always done it digitally first. The hard part is not being able to play live shows. I LIVE to be on stage, so it’s been really hard to keep myself motivated and remember that this too shall pass.
I can’t wait to get back on stage and play live.
LH. And has the current situation we are all living through inspired any new songs?
To be 100% honest I haven’t been super motivated with writing songs as much as I’ve been in the studio trying to finish out the next album. Before all of this happened I was in pre-production mode for the new album and now I’m just working at keeping that
ball rolling and getting that new music out.
. LH But I am sure you have plenty to keep you busy, your young daughter and your horses for starters, how hard is it to juggle your career and your family life in ” normal” times?
I grew up in an entertainment family so juggling horses, shows and babies is all I’ve known haha. My little girl loves to be in the studio, she loves to come to my shows so it felt 100% natural to have all these parts of my life collide.
Are you aware how popular country music is here in the UK, and do you have any plans to visit us when things permit?
I would LOVE to come play in the UK. I’ve only been to a Christian music festiva once before, l in Devon called “Creation Fest.” I played when I was 18 and I have such fond memories of being in the UK. I would jump at the opportunity!
LH Well let’s hope that opportunity arises in the
not-too-distant future! We will look forwards to hearing more news about your next album, too…..please keep us posted!
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