Amy Kress ~ Secret Music

Amy Kress

Amy Kress

Singer-songwriter Amy Kress recently released her debut album Secret Music to rave reviews. The songs are wonderful and, according to Amy: “It happened organically. It was never my mission to go out and make an album. I wrote one song after another, and I thought the best way to do this is to release an album. Secret Music is a collection of last year’s music.”

The amazing, brave Amy Kress released this debut amidst her fight against breast cancer for the second time. She wrote a blog post about how this experience has made her focus even more on what’s important to her life and career. Of course, I asked Amy Kress to tell my why she decided to go public with such a personal struggle right at the dawn of her music career. Amy replied, “That was a question that my management team and I asked too. We’d been hitting it pretty hard, trying to get the album promoted. Then, all of a sudden, I’m diagnosed with cancer. We stopped and asked ourselves: Is this gauche to continue doing this? It was a difficult decision to make, but we were trying to get ourselves out there anyway. I’m just excited about the music. I love making it, and it’s really important to me to get my music out there. My cancer is just one of those things we have to overcome.”

The breakout hit from the album Secret Music is the single Numb. The song and video describe the lengths people go to as they try to fill their emptiness inside. I asked Amy what inspired her to write such a raw and open song? “That song wrote itself. I think the basic outline of the song was done in 10 minutes. Sometimes songwriting is like writing a diary entry. You just have to get it out there. As soon as you say it, it’s done and it’s cathartic. Numb was like that for me.”

Amy Kress also shared how she came up with the idea for the Numb music video: “I came up with the video concept one afternoon. I thought about all these crazy experiences that I’ve been having. The video is largely based on my life with a lot of embellishments. It’s about me searching for something that’s going to satisfy my soul and not knowing which way to turn or where to go or what to do. It came together really nicely.” The video is quite powerful:

I also love the song and performance video for the single The Crush. I just had to know who Amy Kress was singing about: “The song is about that general feeling of having a crush on someone. That’s one of the most powerful emotions. It’s really easy to write about being in love, because love is such a captivating thing and it’s so easy to lose yourself in it. My idea was to lose myself in what it’s like to have a crush on somebody and just be thinking about them and constantly be turning that over in your head.”

Amy Kress - Secret Music coverWhen I see Amy Kress singing and playing the song The Crush, I’m reminded of Sarah McLachlan, another Canadian singer-songwriter. Who are Amy Kress’s music influences? “It’s funny, because I don’t often listen to the type of music that I tend to write. I’ve been really expanding. My basics are Björk, I love Björk. I love Paul Simon and the way he can tell a story. I try to emulate that a lot. Sting does a great job too. Sting can take a situation, flush it out and create a still life in music. There are so many newcomers as well. SOHN is a great artist. I admire what he does.”

As you can see, Amy Kress gets very excited about music: “I post a song a day from Spotify on my Facebook page. There’s nothing I love better than listening to new music. I’m constantly inspired and constantly amazed at the next song I hear. I have a new favorite song every day.”

What advice does Amy Kress have for other recording artists trying to launch careers while facing hardship? “I think you really have to want it. None of this is easy. Going through chemotherapy is a challenge in itself. Trying to become a professional musician in my early 40’s is also a challenge. You’ve just got to love it. Today alone, I spent 9 hours on the piano, writing and playing and practicing and rehearsing, because I love it. That is my escape. I think you have to love it, because if you don’t, this is just a huge chore. I would not wish this on anybody, if this is not your dream. All I can say is: Love what you do.”

What’s up next for Amy Kress? “I’m finishing my chemotherapy treatments. I have 3 more. The last few times, the medication put me under the weather. Hopefully, I’ll pull through that. Then, we’re pulling out all the stops and taking over the world. I’m supposed to go on a local Colorado tour in June and maybe something on a more national level in July. I may go international, go back home and play for some friends. I’d love nothing more than to go back to Canada and play there too.”

Amy Kress’s second album is almost done: “We’re just figuring out what songs we want to put on it. We’ve got a bunch left over for the third album. I just wrote a song this morning. I want to release in a way that won’t inundate fans, but I’ve got more music coming out all the time.”

I’m so proud of Amy Kress! She has a positive outlook and she’s down that road to success.

The Amused Now Featured Artist Series

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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now
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