Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interview With Amanda Ply

In this episode of Road Trip we are Interviewing the multi-talented and beautiful Amanda Ply.

"Amanda Ply was born December 19, 1986 and raised in Oak Park, California. A blonde haired blue-eyed beauty, Amanda’s parents took notice early on of her ability to play piano after she would hear songs at church, then come home and play them. With ten years of classical piano instruction, she graduated Oak Park High School and pursued a college education at the University of Southern California, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Communication from the Annenberg School."


Read more to see the interview.



Tell us about Amanda Ply the musician/songwriter:
Writing songs and playing piano is pretty much the only way that I make sense of my reality/world. Whenever I feel anything- bad, good, devastating, exciting or even happy, it's easiest for me to let my feelings out through a three to four minute piece of art. I remember the first song I ever wrote when I was 8 years old was called "Arizona." I was SO excited to be going on vacation with my family, and the only way to get my energy out was writing small stanzas and phrases. Some of the lyrics were hilarious looking back, similiar to "I'm excited to be on boat/but we won't even get near a moat." I feel like I have come a long way with my themes and ability to write songs, but hey, we all have to start somewhere! I knew at that point that music would be a huge part of my life.


We read on your Tumblr blog, "Arrow Up", that you drink Green Tea before vocal warm ups, does this help the voice some how?

Yes! It relaxes and comforts my vocal chords, especially during my warm up. The voice is an amazing instrument in of itself, so it's very important to maintain it properly. I also drink a lot of lemon. It clears up any monkey business that may be going on in my throat.


What did you learn most importantly during your study of music?



Music theory is like another language. I'm more impressed, if anything, by how the analysis of sound is put onto paper. It's just nuts; almost unbelievable at times to comprehend! Another important point I've also learned is that being knowledgeable about anything on the theory side doesn't mean or guarantee that you'll be a great songwriter/artist. It's only helpful and a great skill set to have under your belt. But that is why I LOVE being my own writer so much. The journey I've gone on to really dig inside my soul, discover who I am lyrically and musically, take risks, create my own path, and sacrifice all that I have for my music is a special process that you can never be taught in a lecture or read in a book. It can be scary, unstable, uncertain, and risky, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's made me who I am today and I've never felt so in tune with myself as a human being, literally ;)


We noticed on Gary Lux's website a ticker with "GARY LUX PRODUCING NEW ARTIST AMANDA PLY"! Gary Lux has produced artists like 3 Days Grace, Janet Jackson, Shania Twain, Sting, Usher, Dionne Warwick, Micheal Jackson and MANY more! You must be honored to have Gary Lux producing your albums! Tell us a little about what that is like:



Saying that it's a "dream come true" is an understatement. The production value and knowledge that Gary brings to the table each and every day is such an incredible blessing. He knows SO much not only about the production process, but also the business side and what he has seen over the years. The most amazing part about this process with him, however, is the fact that he has worked with all of these incredible talents over the years and sees that kind of potential and quality in my voice, songwriting, and playing ability. Sometimes I pinch myself and go, "REALLY Amanda? You just sit in your room all day, at your piano, in your yellow robe drinking green tea... and Gary Lux wants to work with you? REALLY?" Yes. My wildest dreams have become a reality. It's a little crazy!

Which is your favorite song to perform?

Ah what a tough question! I feel like all of my songs are my children, and picking a favorite child would never go over well with everybody, right? I love performing all of them because each song has a unique story to tell.


We see you have tons of support from your family! Are your friends also as supportive?

Definitely! They are inspired that I'm chasing all of my dreams that I have talked about since I was a kid, and for also never letting my aspirations and goals pass me by. I think it's been fun for them to see how far I've come too. I used to play at recitals or in school auditoriums, and in 2 weeks I'll be playing on a stage in front of 1800 people! Whoa!

You started something new, “Manda Monday”, tell us about this.

I'll basically just post videos of anything and everything on a weekly basis. Whether it's a cover song I like, an acoustic version of one of my own songs, stories behind my tunes, a news update about something significant, or anything else I'm feeling that day, it's just an incentive to keep visiting my page and seeing what I'm up to! I think it will be a great way to interact with fans and get their feedback/requests for things they want to see and hear.


What makes Amanda Ply different?

I feel like what really sets me apart from other artists is my attempt in trying to restore a more classic sound. Popular music nowadays relies more on production elements and sounds that are manufactured on a computer versus an arrangement that just has an awesome band behind a great vocal. While that kind of music does have a place in the world of course, my vision is very different. I've always been inspired by artists such as Carole King, Karen Carpenter, Alison Krauss, Diana Krall, and Joni Mitchell. Their sounds are all unique in their own right, but they also meet on a common ground of being exposed and raw on their records. What you see and hear is what you get. There is no hiding behind anything on their songs, and I think that's beauty at its finest. I hope to delivery the same effect through my art form, but with my own style and personal touch. :)




Influences

Carol King
Karen Carpenter
Alicia Keys
Taylor Swift



LINKS
Video EPK #1
Video EPK #2
www.amandaply.com
www.twitter.com/amandaply