09 Aug, Sunday
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Get To Know: Amanda St John

The debut album ‘Grow’ from Amanda St John was launched in May 2016 to a full house at the prestigious Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast and has received rave reviews and worldwide airplay including a national advert campaign for The Rio Olympics for the title track ‘Grow’.

She has worked with artists like Brian Kennedy, Duke Special, Eddi Reader, Mary Coughlan, Ciaran Gribbin (of INXS) and Jon Tiven, as well as recently recording for legendary broadcaster ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris. Get to Know Amanda St John.

Where you’re from: Glenariffe, Co. Antrim

Last gig you attended: Gareth Dunlop at Mandela Hall

Favourite album: Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield

Musician you’d like to collaborate withGregory Porter, I just love him!

What are you listening to right nowMichael Kiwanuka, Leon Bridges, Jo Harman, Dusty Springfield, Bill Withers and lots and lots of Motown music to prepare for my upcoming album recordings in Muscle Shoals.

Most memorable gig: U2 at Stranmillis embankment about 20 years ago. I’d never been to a concert of that scale before and to see 40,000 people singing along and being so connected to the music just blew my mind!

The best thing about Northern Ireland: Definitely the scenery, I spend so much time outdoors on the North Coast.

What is the last gift you gave to someone: A box of Lindor chocolates for Easter (I may have helped eat them too… Lol)

What got you into music: Since a young child I’ve always been singing but a near death experience in a car accident in my early 30’s made me reassess my life and finally commit to performing my own music. Up until that point I had only ever sang in cover bands. I decided not to waste another moment and have worked so hard ever since writing and recording my own songs. 

What’s next for you: I’m about to travel to Muscles Shoals in Alabama in May 2018 to start recording my 2nd album in the incredible FAME Studios. I’ll be doing a small US promo tour as well while I’m there so I can’t wait! 

What was the last band you recommended to someone: I was chatting to a friend a few days ago about how much I love Glen Hansard’s lyrics. She’s a fan now too.

Musician you’d love to be stuck in a lift with: Stevie Wonder, he’s another of my heroes and I’d love to have a conversation with him about songwriting and his inspirations.

If you could learn any instrument, what would it be: I’d love to learn piano, there is something so special about piano and voice together.

Song you wish you’d written: Rather Go Blind, it’s just so vulnerable and powerful.

Amanda will be performing in Belfast’s Strand Theatre on 14th September, Bennigans in Derry on 6th October and Portico in Portaferry on 19th October. For more information, click here.