Monday, August 9, 2010

Artist Interview: Amanda Abizaid

Given her cosmopolitan upbringing, experience as a runway model, actress, and back up singer as well as songwriter and band leader, one might ask whether there was any talent Amanda Abizaid didn't possess. Regardless, all are put to good effect on her new Cd "This Life" which the Los Angeles based artist will celebrate Wednesday, August 25. Having met Amanda at last year's IndieGrrl Music Conference in Nashville, I was curious to ask her about the Cd, what led her to LA, and what audiences can expect at the show.
You have a seriously cosmopolitan background? How do the various countries you've lived in inform your work? AA: I write from experiences, dreams, memories and certainly what I’m feeling or going through at the moment. My lyrics tell the story and the instrumentation is very visual to me. Currently, I’ve been influenced by my roots in Lebanon and really like to push the boundaries of my Americana style.

Q: Was it an easy or hard choice to move to LA?
AA: It was so easy. I was living in Miami, working as a runway model in a big couture show when I got to the end of the runway and just wanted to start singing to everyone. Of course, I didn’t, but I could no longer put off my dream of being a singer, so I made a plan and moved to LA.

Q: You've been singing since childhood and have been a back up singer for many other acts. What was it like to transition to leading your own project? AA: When I got to LA, I was really comfortable with being a back up singer as harmonies come very naturally to me. Working with other artists helped me meet new fans and gain experience on stage. This prepared me for when I started to sing lead on my own songs.

Q: How would you describe your upcoming release? Were the songs written all at once/as a project or have you collected them over time? AA: I have been writing these songs for the last 4 years. I write randomly all the time and never know where and if a song belongs on an album. Sometimes it will take one song to make me realize I have an album. For my new release, “This Life” that song was “My Friend.” Then it became clear which songs belonged together to form the new album.

Q: You've got national distribution and a sponsor? How did those things come about? AA: A few years ago, while I was looking for a manager online, I randomly found IDC (Independent Distribution Collective) based in San Fransisco. We hit it off on the phone and they were excited about all the songs I had sung for TV. They offered to distribute my last CD “The Great Plan Vol. II” and that is how it all began. Determination and persistence is how I have found other people to be involved in my music. This has not been an easy task and I work very hard at it everyday.

Q: What have you got planned for your record release party at Cafe Cordiale? AA: Lot’s of fun things. I’ll be performing with all of my band mates and I booked some really talented friends of mine to open for me. There will be CD’s for sale and other raffles that will be going on, too. It should be a great night of music all around.

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