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Spotlight – Amanda Keeles

Today we Spotlight – Amanda Keeles. Making waves in the music scene, we got to catch up with Amanda to talk about what she has been up to and the release of His Perception. Check it out and show Amanda some love!

Spotlight – Amanda Keeles
What was the first song you ever wrote, and how does it compare to your music today?

The first song I ever wrote was on piano around the age of 14. I still remember it! It was called “I Just Can’t Love You Anymore” And as cheesy as it was, it was the beginning of creating songs from simple chords I knew. And this is the same way I write today.  My melodies begin on piano and grow from there. 

How do you balance staying true to your artistic vision while adapting to the changing trends in the music industry?

The songs on my album all sound so different. And that is because they are a collection of songs that I have written over several decades. Country music has evolved and depending on when I wrote the song, you will hear the influence from that point in time.  I have such a diverse love of Country music. Growing up with classic Country, going through the Country-Pop stage, and into a new Country. There is a song on the album that reflects each of those. Yet, it is still me. And it is okay not to sound like everyone else.  That is what makes an artist unique. 

How do you stay inspired and motivated to keep creating new music, especially during tough times?

I always say that writing is therapeutic. Expressing yourself on paper or through song is a way of processing things and discovering a view from a writer’s standpoint.  And remembering that every time you express yourself through music, you are growing. Tough times can often create the most passionate songs. 

How did your personal experiences shape the themes and messages in "His Perception"?

The idea of “His Perception” came from a gentleman who DM me and said, “there is never a female singing a song from a man’s perspective.”  I responded, “very interesting”, and that was the end of our conversation.  I began writing and telling the story of this poor guy who did not get the job and got the girl, but she turned out to be not who he thought she was. And that is the point I started thinking about his perception on what was happening. The story came together nicely and was a perfect example of why all things in life do not happen the way you plan for reason. 

How do you balance storytelling and musicality in a track like "His Perception"?

It came together as I played it on piano, which often happens when I write. The words often come to mind as the two flow together.  The main goal at the end of the day is ‘does the story make sense to the listener’ along with a melody that lures a listener. If you have both, you found success in balancing a good song. 

Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories or moments from the recording sessions of "His Perception"?

We usually all sit and listen to the song several times to get a feel of each musician’s input and feel of the song. We decided to speed up the song to more of an upbeat tempo to see how it sounded. It had a nice a vibe to it and once we started playing it really had an energy to it that we loved.  My producer, Johnny Gasparic, has an outstanding style of mixing. I always end up with album, radio, television, and instrumental versions of the songs. 

How do you feel "His Perception" contributes to the overall narrative or theme of your recent album?

Surprisingly, “His Perception” was a side B song on my album. When considering what song to release next, I got the opinions of radio tracker, promoter, my band, and others…and they all agreed on the same song without either knowing what the other had suggested.  So, I went with their suggestion.  It has been widely accepted at radio and very crowd receptive at our shows. It reflects the diversity in the songs you will find on the album. 

What role do your fans play in your creative process and career decisions?

Listeners and fans play a huge role in where we tour. Including, what songs are released and in what order. I pay close attention to all comments on socials surrounding releases, what is trending better than others and that assists me in seeing what is working or not and what I need to change going forward. It is the audience who will let you know in their response at shows if a song goes over well.  

How do you manage the pressures and expectations of the music industry while maintaining your mental and emotional well-being?

The expectations are often from one’s own self in this industry to always perform your best at all times.  Too often comparing yourself to other musicians and their journey is one that many, many artists get caught up in. Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s story is different. I look at myself, starting at a different point in life than many musicians. I have a story to tell. A reason it took me so long to get here.

Does this mean that every artist must put in their 10 years of the so called “paid my dues to get here”?  I have created my own path that works for me.  I created my tour for my debut album. I have by far the best band around to tour with me. I set expectations that are achievable. I ignore the noise of the negativity and politics of this game.  I live and breathe my music, appreciate every milestone, and am humbled by any recognition that comes.  That is what makes my life full and heart happy in this crazy industry. 

What has been the most rewarding experience or achievement in your music career so far?

The most rewarding for me is living and doing what I had wanted to do for two decades. Every time I hit the stage there is this overwhelming reassurance I am where I am supposed to be. Being able to navigate through the industry with a business background and knowledge has assisted me in making good decisions for my career. When I look back 1 year and see what has been accomplished it is extremely rewarding.  5 singles, debut album, album tour, 2 FCLMA nominations. These individually are achievements that I say are a bonus of doing what you love. 

What is your dream late-night show to play?

My favourite late-night is Jimmy Fallon.  How fun would that be?  I used to watch Conan O’Brien also when he had his talk show.  I have a crazy sense of humour.  Anything that is ridiculous cracks me up! 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting their careers?

Do not get discouraged.  You are who you are.  Do not try to imitate, compare, or try to keep up with what others are doing.  Create your own path. Believe in yourself.  Be grateful for every opportunity. Your story is what makes you unique. Do not change your beliefs or values. Allow yourself to create and take chances. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there for the world to see and hear.  There is an audience for everyone and every style of music. Do not make unrealistic expectations for yourself. Make attainable goals. Enjoy yourself!! Ignore the negativity and concentrate on the positive energy that comes with playing your music.  

Take all comments and suggestions. It does not mean you have to listen and act on them, but they will help you grow. Never be jealous of other people’s success.  Success is what you believe it to be. It will never the same for everyone.   

Are you Happy?

I am so fortunate to have the ability to do what I do, sharing my stories through my music. And taking my lived life experiences and knowledge and using it to fulfill what I have always wanted to do.  There is no greater feeling…than just being happy. I am in my happy place.  

Spotlight – Amanda Keeles has come to an end. Big thanks to Amanda for taking the time to catch up!

Check out His Perception right now!

Keep up with Amanda right here

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