With the impending release of the album, This Life it was a perfect opportunity to quiz Amanda Abizaid with questions about life and her album. Sadly, with her being over the pond in the USA there could only be exchange via email, but it is sufficient to shed some more light on a career only just flourishing.
How are you today?
Had an amazing day today. Meetings with interesting people who are helping me in supporting my growth in the music industry. Tired, back hurts from moving around so much but I am happy and in good spirits and wouldn't trade it for anything.
Apart from music, what is going on in your life?
I am involved with my Buddhist Community, being disciplined with my exercise; Bikram Yoga, and being a great mom to my two loveable cats and supportive of my wonderful husband and his new position as Producer/Director of Video for the Athletics Department at UCLA.
What is your main inspiration for your music?
My music is inspired through life experiences, personal challenges, successes and people who I meet along the way. After the story is written, the music and harmonies come together melodically. Some influences in my songwriting come from my early childhood listening to The Beatles, Annie Lennox, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash and Kate Bush.
So you are at home after a hard day, you switch on the TV and hear your song on the opening credits. How does that make you feel?
Very excited… Grab my cats and hug them. Take hold of my husband and share the moment dancing around the living room smiling and laughing.
Do you miss Lebanon?
I miss my childhood and life experiences in Lebanon prior to the war.
The variety and tone of the many cultures, the beautiful country, the ocean, the cedars and mountains, and the friendliness of the people which is truly unique. I also can't forget about the awesome food and family time too!
Is there anywhere you would recommend to visit there, or in that area?
Faraya is where I learned how to ski and where the Cedars of Lebanon are most prominent and beautiful. It's like another world only an hour or so away from Beirut.
What is it like living in America?
America became a second home for me since moving here from Lebanon during the war. I was educated well, have made incredible friends and have been offered great opportunities encouraging my journey as a singer songwriter. America is where I met my husband too, so it's all good.
Are you happy with the album? What are you happiest about?
I love my latest album “This Life”. It reflects more of my eclectic style and worldly influences in my music; showing all of who I am today. The style of the songs hopefully bring a little something for everyone from electronic, Americana, pop rock, country, folk, world music and alternative rock. Playing the flute, piano and guitar also allows me to express myself differently throughout each song and story.
How much of a say in the artwork for the album did you have?
The artwork for the album was my creation and development. The drawing of the journey on the back reflects my tour of 2009; the various stops and experiences while traveling across the USA. My wonderful husband helps me with the artistic development and final touches.
Will you be planning a UK tour soon?
If I am lucky enough to be invited to come play in the UK and fill up the venue then I will be on the next plane. That would be amazing.
Is there anyone you would like to tour with?
I would love to open for some of my favorite artists; Coldplay, Annie Lennox, Kate Bush. They are phenomenal artists and I would be honored to be on the same bill as them. I also believe their fan base would like my music. I consider them my mentors. A dream I have would be to write a song with anyone of them! That would truly be an amazing experience.
Any artists you have seen or heard and want to let us know about?
Ani DiFranco has a talent that is unique with her style of writing. I admire her ability to perform solo on acoustic guitar with an occasional stand-up bass player, holding her own throughout an entire evening. The level of respect she has with her fans shows, especially when her audience begins to sing “happy birthday” to her during her performance (on her birthday) is quite exceptional.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to establish and develop a fan base in the UK that reflects a similar experience to that of Ani DiFranco in the USA, earning the popularity and respect of the public. To be able to have a personable, intimate setting for a show where fans feel as though we are all sitting at home, in a living room together would be a dream.