Q&A: Singer-songwriter Amelia White
You may not know her name just yet, but you've likely heard the moving and evocative performances of Nashville singer-songwriter Amelia White. Her songs have been featured on television show (WB’s Summerland, FX’s Justified), as well as on NPR's popular program All Things Considered.
Recorded at Dagotown Recorders in East Nashville, her new album Beautiful and Wild runs the gamut of musical genres. The project's producer is Marco Giovino, a favorite collaborator for Band of Joy and Patty Griffin. In her interview with Out & About Newspaper, White describes how Beautiful and Wild was inspired by a sense of loss, and why she cherishes her special role as a performer.
Give us a taste of your new album, Beautiful and Wild.
It has a firm, but gentle heartbeat to it that runs throughout,- the sound of Marco Giovino ( the producer's drums which are like no others) it's very melodic and has elements of rock, gospel, a hint of country and spooky folk. the album was written largely through the lens of a my aching heart, as I'd lost a couple close people in my life to an untimely death. It also explores star crossed love. It's a very passionate album; it was recorded in a couple weeks with lots of love. Every player or singer brought themselves fully to the process, and I think that makes it special.
What's the most rewarding aspect of being a musical performer?
Getting to heal people through music, writing about this crazy rollercoaster life that is so beautiful and at times unexpected. Getting to release the demons that plague me, and look into the faces of the angels that give me hope. I"ve also had to learn to let go of the notion that money is what could make me happy.
When you were first starting out, how challenging was it not to merely mimic your idols?
That was honestly not a challenge for me. I seem to have always had a strong sense of my own sound, I think I"ve had to learn to accept a few influences into my process. I try to listen to a broad mix of music that moves me, but I just as often I prefer silence so I can hear the songs in my own head.
How has your songwriting process changed as you've moved through the years?
I stopped trying to make it "better", and learned to respect my muse for what it is. At the same time, I"ve learned that the editing process can be super valuable if you have patience. I've also gotten more relaxed about it. I write a lot and I always have, and I think I've recently come to realize that sometimes writing can wait a week if there is business that needs to be attended to.
What effect do live performances have on your recordings?
I think playing songs live makes me feel instinctively what needs a little work or a little shaping up. Of course some songs touch more people than others, and you can recognize that as well. I don't always choose my songs by that process. I've had songs that ended up being my signature songs I"ll be proud of my whole life that the audience didn't seem to fall in love with at first. I'm more interested in art than entertainment.
What are the next goals that you've created for your career?
My goals are to continue to grow as an artist, to keep doing what I do and touch the people that need and want it. I want my audience to grow, but I also believe the best art is sometimes not for the masses. I'd love to be able to record as many albums as the songs I write. At this point I can't quite get the business of it to catch up to the art.