By Paula Araujo
Photo by Milan Cook
Amanda Jones is a passionate singer/songwriter from Portland, Oregon. At just 21, she has released her debut EP, Brand New Day. Other accomplishments include writing and producing music with members of Boys Like Girls, and opening for household names such as R5. Even with her unique lifestyle, Amanda enjoys watching YouTubers such as Tyler Ward and Kurt Schneider, and admits to having a love for the Jonas Brothers that will never die. It was a delight to chat with her about her career, her experience in and out of the studio, and much more.
What would you say is your favorite aspect of creating music?
I definitely like taking experiences I’ve had and writing about them in a way other people can relate to. I think when you’re writing a song, you know it can be interpreted in different ways to different people.
Was there anything in the recording process you discovered about yourself?
When I recorded my EP I worked with Morgan [Dorr] and John [Keefe] from Boys Like Girls and they definitely pushed me vocally. It was a super fast paced environment where we got a lot of work done in a good amount of time. They were like, “We know you can do this,” and it all worked out. It was a time where I certainly grew as an artist.
What was a typical day like in the studio?
You go in either with a song ready to record or you sit down and start from scratch with ideas. Then you lay down vocals within a couple hours of writing and you do a basic guitar track behind it, and everything else gets added in later. It’s always a little different but it’s always a fun process.
What was your favorite part of the whole process?
I had been to LA once before and played a show at CityWalk there and when I came back from recording music it was different. I had been working in LA and working on music. It was such a professional atmosphere and I really enjoyed that.
What would you say is the most challenging thing you have faced?
Finding my sound. I always listen to different styles of music and changing up who I am as a artist, but I think I finally found a good place with my music. I definitely love pop music and being able to have a singer/songwriter element to it and have songs with a deeper meaning to it. I have found my niche with that.
Any specific artists you look to for songwriting/production wise?
I think Carly Rae Jepsen is a good singer/song writer and the production of her songs is such great quality. I look to her for a fun pop vibe. Her most recent album, I think was so underrated and it’s just so good. I also look to bands like The Maine and Parachute, they are some personal favorites. Their sound isn’t like mine, but I take inspiration from their writing style.
Do you remember the moment when you wanted to do this for a living?
When I was in first grade, I didn’t talk much. I wasn’t very social, but I had a really good teacher. She had me writing poetry and reading my poems. Then that translated to singing when I saw the movie Annie. So between then and middle school, I started to take it more seriously. I said, “Okay I am going to go on MySpace and upload some songs,” and it grew from there.
What are your long term goals and short term goals?
I really want to be on tour within the next six months. I’d love to move to LA in the next year, and dive in to being a writer and working on other people’s projects as well as my own music. I think that working in different aspects of the music industry is really important, whether it be through writing or a label. All of that really interests me, and I think it can really help you grow as an artist too.
What has been the most rewarding thing so far?
I have song called ‘My Goodbye,’ that I wrote when my cousin died in a car crash. When I play that live at shows, girls come up to me with their stories like, “My grandma passed away,” or “My friend died of cancer and that song meant a lot.” So, it has been a really cool experience connecting with someone through a song.
What is the best advice that has been given to you?
The best advice that I’ve gotten so far is basically just to work hard. No one wants to work with someone lazy. I am a super hard worker. I am always trying to grow in every aspect of my life. So work really hard and be kind to everyone is the best advice I’ve been given.
What is your advice to other artists?
Sing wherever you can and make connections. Wherever I go I have promo cards, and hand it out. It is a great way to network and make connections. You never know when Nick Jonas is going to be walking down the street.
Any new content people can look forward to?
I am shooting some new cover videos and a music video for my song called ‘Brand New Day.’ I am excited to get that out there and wrap up the chapter of my life that was my first EP.