Gold Coast singer/songwriter Amy Shark has had a year that most artists only dream of. From pub-obscurity to selling out international shows, Shark’s meteoric rise has been spectacular from the beginning.
Shark first uploaded her debut track, Adore, to Triple J’s Unearthed platform in early 2016 before the hugely popular radio station selected it for regular rotation. From here, Shark has been ticking off milestones and achievements without pause. Widespread acclaim. Sold-out national tour. Placing second on the prestigious Triple J Hottest 100 competition. 25 million streams on Spotify for Adore. Six Aria nominations. Without a doubt, Amy Shark has captivated audiences across the world.
Whether she is dancing with abandon on stage or capturing audiences’ attention with her relatable tales of heartbreak and youth, Shark has emerged as an artist that understands how to fuse romantic themes with indie-pop in a way that is fresh, personal and experimental. Following years of performing locally in pubs, this seemingly overnight-fame is the result of years of hard work, sacrifice, and passion. Speaking of her years performing locally in pubs, Shark comments “I wouldn’t take it back, honestly. Every time I walk onto stage I remember those days and it just makes me strive to achieve as much as I can. It made me appreciate what I have now.” While she is now touring internationally alongside acts such as homegrown-favourites Vance Joy and Sia, Shark isn’t swayed by her newfound fame. “I don’t really think of that kind of stuff. I am just Amy from the Gold Coast who writes music. It’s great to be recognised and acknowledged, but that’s not why I write music or do what I do.”
The recent 2017 Aria announcement saw Shark impressively-nominated for six awards, including best female artist, breakthrough artist, and the coveted song of the year and album of the year awards. “Knowing I will always be a 6-time Aria nominated artist probably hit me deeper than I thought it would. It was very humbling. I always believed my music was good enough, and to achieve this recognition makes me finally realise others do too.”
Check out the full interview with Amy Shark below.
Siobhan: It was recently announced that you will be touring with Sia, Charli XCX, and MØ! This is a huge line-up full of strong musical acts, including Australia’s very own Sia. What excites you about this tour?
Amy: I have looked up to Sia forever, she is one of the greatest songwriters in the world and I admire the way in which she lives her life and handles the industry. I still can't believe I am playing a show with her, it gives me goosebumps. Charli is amazing too, I just saw her play at Lollapalooza! It will be a very special couple of shows and will be so exciting playing stadiums with these girls.
Siobhan: Following on from the previous question, I’m personally excited to see a line-up completely of strong female artists who are all thriving in the industry. Do you have any thoughts about the all-female line-up?
Amy: I am so motivated by how much females all across the world are excelling in the music industry. All I know is Sia, Charlie and MØ are incredible, and I mean that. It's going to be one hell of a show for the fans.
Siobhan: How has touring with Vance Joy (another homegrown artist who found significant (almost overnight) acclaim) influenced your own artistry?
Amy: He is such a nice dude. I watch his set most nights and it's incredibly inspiring to see the crowds on the other side of the world lining up to see him play every night. I try and not let much influence my artistry, I still very true to my brand and style, but it's very motivating and inspiring.
Siobhan: You have mentioned a few times that you never expected Adore, a song you recorded on your laptop in your Gold Coast home, to be so wildly popular. How does it feel to have reached 25 million streams on Spotify?
Amy: I now want 50 million! Haha. It's addictive, rewarding and humbling. I never dreamed of this, but I will forever be in love with Adore.
Siobhan: Prior to your incredible rise to the top of the charts, you were gigging and performing locally. How did this period of your career impact who you are as an artist now?
Amy: My vocals are tough, strong - I been in the dirtiest pubs singing to the dirtiest humans haha. It made me appreciate what I have now. I wouldn't take it back, honestly, every time I walk onto the stage I remember those days and it just makes me strive to achieve as much as I can in music.
Siobhan: You are currently still living in your hometown of The Gold Coast. Are there plans to relocate soon, or are you happy to live & work locally for a bit longer?
Amy: I will always have my home on the GC, I love it there. I like knowing wherever I am in the world, I have my base at home.
Siobhan: With your meteoric rise to popularity, how have you adapted to becoming a household name in the music industry?
Amy: I don't really think of that kind of stuff. I am just Amy from the Gold Coast who writes music. Its great to be recognised and acknowledged but that's not why I write music or do what I do.
Siobhan: Your national tour last year sold out before your EP, Night Thinker, was even released which is amazing! Since then, you’ve been regularly touring and have released your EP. Can you give us a teaser about what your plans are for the remainder of the year?
Amy: Haha every time I answer these questions I get in trouble! I am on tour with Vance Joy now, then I am going to Europe to headline my own shows, then I am going on tour in the states with Bleachers which is very exciting. I honestly don't think I have a day off in the next 12 months! But that's how I like it.
Siobhan: This year’s ARIA nominations cap off an amazing year for you, with an impressive six nominations including best female artist, breakthrough artist, and the coveted song of the year and album of the year awards. How do you feel about this incredible recognition from the industry?
Amy: Knowing I will always be a 6 time Aria Nominated artist probably hit me deeper than I thought it would. It was very humbling. I don't say this often but I am incredibly proud of myself and my team. We worked for this and we achieved it. Being recognised by the industry means so much, it really does. I always believed my music was good enough, and to achieve this recognition makes me finally realize others do too.
Update 11/17: At the 2017 ARIAs, Amy Shark won Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist for her EP, Night Thinker.
Feature image: Amy Shark
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