Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The right time & the right place with Amanda Bauman

One of my favorite things is seeing the almost spiritual moment, that flash of light that happens when preparation and opportunity meet. It’s a rare occurrence in life, and even more rare in the business of music, but once in a while it still happens and I love to see it when it does.

Take the case of Amanda Bauman, or ‘AmA’; a lifetime love of music, 8 years of hard work and a chance meeting in a bar with the creator of the upcoming series Bullet In The Face, Alan Spencer.

Amanda thanks for taking the time to do this, I know you’re having a busy week! Can you tell us a bit about how you got your start musically, and maybe a bit of your background?

Sure! My earliest memories of songwriting began at the age of 2. I remember running around tirelessly, singing and making up songs in the backyard of our farmhouse in the Midwest. Putting on performances for any relative or baby sitter who would listen. Growing up in the small town of Blue Springs, Missouri does conjure up many idyllic memories of singing in school choirs, lead solos in various plays, and playing flute in the orchestra. It kind of felt like living in a season of the TV show Glee, as my early years seemed to revolve around music in a wonderful way.

Things changed drastically however, when my parents divorced. We moved to northern California where the new middle school I attended had virtually no musical community, and being in the choir was about the most “uncool” thing you could do. All of sudden my training in music stopped and I sunk into a sulky teenage depression which spawned a whole new phase of my relationship with music. Keeping to myself in my room I found solace in bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, and New Order, and the beginnings of my love for electronica music.

Eventually, we moved back to the Midwest and I attended the University of Kansas. Against, all “practical” advise from family I decided to reunite with my passion for singing and performing. Shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Film and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising I moved to Los Angeles an embarked upon the journey.

I’ve now lived in LA for about 14 years. A journey that has led me to become a self produced indie artist with my first full-length album and song licensed to be the theme song for the new dark comedy/satire on the IFC channel, Bullet in the Face, starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts. Whoa, Eddie Izzard!!

Yes! Airing Thursday and Friday nights this week on IFC! It’s very exciting, and of course every artist’s dream. I know every indie artist will want to know: how did you meet BITF creator Alan Spencer and ultimately get your music to him?

I was bartending at the time, when Alan Spencer creator of the show, came to know I was a musician. Alan was sort of like a mentor, always encouraging me to stick to my path. Eventually, I handed over my first EP to him and then he told me he wanted to license the song ‘Dispatch’ for the theme song of the show he was creating.

Honestly, I didn’t believe him at first…. I was sure somehow it wasn’t true…. really, until the day I actually signed the contract! But, wow, what a feeling!

All the years of vocal training with my coach Donald Earholtz, developing my recording and studio techniques with various bands and recording projects, hours of writing with my producer Patrick Doyle suddenly made the 8 years of focus, obstacles and trusting in the process of my development, completely worth it.

It is so exciting when this happens! Has this opened more doors for you, or solidified anything for you personally?

Well, being able to say I have a song licensed to be the theme song for a TV show definitely seemed to legitimize my career as a singer/songwriter! Pretty quickly after the licensing deal I was hired to work with two different producers.

For several months I worked via the Internet with producer Paul Zasky of this great Dub band based out of Vienna called Dubblestandart. In the fall of 2012, I will have 2 tracks featured alongside some pretty awesome female vocalists, including reggae legend Marcia Griffiths, on an album called Women in Dub. There has also been talk of a tour, which would be fantastic.

Also, to be released in the fall, are several down tempo ambient tracks I did lyrics and vocals for with producer Cato, for his album Eccotonic.

That’s amazing, and I love that you are working internationally, I think most artists are not aware of how easy collaboration really is.

Where do you see your career heading – where do you see yourself in the long and short term?

I’ve started writing another set of songs with my producer Patrick Doyle. I’m proud of the first album I’ve written, but do look forward to learning from some of the mistakes I made. I’m hoping to pare back on these next songs I write and create a less produced sound.

Amanda we work with a lot of young and new artists who are just getting their feet wet. Do you have any advice for newbies - music or anything else, from your perspective?

I feel really fortunate to be living in a time where people like me, who want to self -produce music, have so many advantages through social media. It’s seems really important to try to keep educating myself on all the social media outlets that are out there. It can be tough sometimes being in charge of the creative and marketing aspects of this business, but I really credit my meditation and yoga practice for helping me stay centered and open to creative processes.

I think most importantly, as I reflect over the last 8 years of diligently pursuing this dream, I’m highly aware that the passion I’ve felt about music has kept me going. I’m grateful for all the other musical artists that have influenced me with their sounds and lyrics that have somehow healed or inspired me.

You are so grounded I love that! Do you feel like your stability lends itself to you offering something different in your music, or do you do something different from the pack that makes you stand out?

In my spiritual practice I’ve learned that there are really only 2 basic emotions that you can operate from, either fear or love. When you lead your life from love~ meaning loving what you do, loving yourself, your songs, your mistakes, even the naysayers, you learn to trust in yourself and the process. Operating out of fear only leads to self-sabotage and lack of growth. So I encourage any newer musicians out there to give themselves time to grow and learn and to LOVE the journey. You’ll never know how you might be rewarded for sticking to your passion, but when you trust yourself, ultimately it will all pay off.

I agree 100%! And thanks so much for this, I’m really excited for the show this week and to see what will be coming up next for you and your music.

Here is a sneak peak at Amanda’s latest single ‘Come In’....


Anonymous said...

I thought to myself, "how did they get Natalie Merchant to sing that theme?" Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Great song, but she loses one point for sounding exactly like Madonna in the chorus.