Amba Shepherd Q&A
We sat down with the amazingly talented Amba Shepherd to find out about her collaboration with Dyro, her musical background, the Aussie EDM scene, her future plans and much more.
Hi Amba! How are you and what have you been up to?
Hi! I am great. I've been super busy now the studio is running hot hot hot with very awesome collaborations! Other than that I’ve also been busy finishing tunes from my recent trip to London and planning my next trip over to Amsterdam & Europe in October.
You’ve got a track coming out with Dyro on Strictly Rhythm called Sky High. How did the track come about?
Yes I love this tune!! I love Dyro. I met him around December - January when he remixed my tune Lifeline (with Kevin Doherty) which came out on Central Station Records. I absolutely LOVED the remix he did and I was immediately asking “who is this guy??!!”. Funnily enough he contacted me on Facebook to collaborate literally around about the same time I was about to contact him so there was an obvious mutual connection. We finally met up in March at the Mix Mash pool party in Miami which was pretty awesome.
What was it like to work with Dyro?
Awesome and easy! I sent him over the vocal parts and a few days later he sent back the amazing track almost fully complete. We just tweaked a few things after that.
Tell us about your background, how did you get into music?
I come from a musical family. I’ve been playing piano since I was 7 although I’m not very good at it anymore to be honest! But from such a young age I was really over-exposed to music - there are photos of me as a toddler with headphones on! Nothing has changed. One of my favourite things growing up was my Dad and I listening to jazz tunes in the car and he would ask me to sing the individual instruments playing. We would sing along together - it was a lot of fun.
Who inspires you in your songwriting?
Musicians that have influenced me including Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Sting (with & without The Police), Michael Jackson, Nirvana, The Doobie Brothers, Prince, Earth Wind Fire, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Peggie Lee and so many more.
You were recently named the number one voice on today’s dance floor by DMC World, how does that make you feel?
Pretty awesome and very grateful for the support. There are so many wonderful singers so to be recognised is very special.
Australia hosted some of the first EDM festivals and there are plenty of talented Aussie dance artists. Apart from yourself – what’s in the Fosters?
Yes there really are a lot of talented artists here aren’t there. Especially in EDM at the moment we seem to be killing it. I get a lot of tweets about the Aussie invasion that’s happening with people like Tommy Trash, Nervo, Emma Hewitt, Knife Party, Nick Thayer for example. I think the Aria club chart & chart DJs really support local releases and labels here really go the extra mile putting great release packages together incl remixes and videos.
You’ve got an impressive resume! What has been the funniest and the weirdest collaboration/songwriting session you’ve done?
I have a lot of fun in writing sessions. I love to be silly and the best writing sessions are when everyone’s very relaxed. I’m not such a fan of forcing ideas or a quiet rooms which unfortunately does happen. They are ALL funny and weird in their own way though.
Do you prefer being on stage or in the studio?
Both are SO different and I LOVE them both.
What has been the best place you’ve performed at?
Ooh I’ve performed at the MTV VMAs which was awesome. When I was growing up I performed at the Carols In The Domain for several years which is our huge televised Christmas concert. The audience was a sea of hundreds of thousands of candles - that was incredible!
You’ve written songs in such variety of genres and worked with people from all around the world, how did all that come about?
I’ve worked with some different music publishers and travelled to different cities like LA, Stockholm and London for writing sessions. Many of my collaborations also happen via email and even skype.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
There are so many talented producers and songwriters to choose from. I would love to work with Michael Woods, Calvin Harris, Tommy Trash, Arty, Skrillex, Will.I.Am, Dr Luke, Nicky Romero, John Dahlback to name a few.
What does the future hold for Amba Shepherd?
Awesomeness & tunes.