Photo: Nate Hertweck/The Recording Academy
Amber Mark On "Mixer," Her Upcoming Single "What If," Being Driven Around By Redman & More
If you haven't yet listened to singer/songwriter and producer Amber Mark's "Mixer," stop and do so now. While you're at it, press play on "Love Me Right" too.
The New York-based artist raised traveling the globe is showing her worldly musical inspirations through 3:33 am, greatly inspired by her mother's death, and 2018's Conexão EP. Her sound is a fresh mix of soul, bossa nova and R&B that she prodcues herself and the world needs to listen.
When she's not creating her own stuff, she's collaborating with creatives like GRAMMY-winning songwriter, musician and producer Andrew Wyatt, who won a golden gramophone at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards for Lady Gaga and Bradely Cooper's "Shallow."
The Recording Academy caught up with Mark at Governors Ball in New York City to talk her next single "What If," what soul music means to her, the advice she has for aspiring music artists and more.
It's your first time here. Tell me what your impression is of Governor's Ball.
This isn't my first time being here, but it's my first time performing, so it's been a whole new world for me. It's really exciting. We just finished performing and I'm still like high from it, from the adrenaline and stuff like that. It's been pretty amazing. We performed on the main stage and it was my first time having like back up dancers and stuff like that. We kind of did it big this time around and I really enjoyed it. I had a really good time. The audience really loved it and now I just got golf-carted here by Redman, so I'm having a really good time.
That's amazing. It sounds surreal. It sounds like a dream that you have.
It's very surreal. I don't feel like I'm actually doing this right now, at all.
"Mixer" is everywhere now and you just released a visual for the acoustic version. Tell us about that song. What does it mean to you and why was it important for you to give it so much love?
It's one of my favorite kind of dancey songs that I've put out ... I'd always put a lot of meaningful songs out and stuff like that and I really kind of just wanted to have fun, kind of like a jam ,vibe song out as a single. Andrew Wyatt approached me with it and said that he thought this song was perfect for me and that he kind of wrote it after he had seen me perform. And that inspired the whole lyrics behind it and stuff like that. I heard it immediately and was like yes, I'm so down, let's do it. And then one thing lead to another you know?
It's a tough act to follow... what's next for you, musically?
I was actually working on a visual for a new song that's coming out called, "What If." It's going to be out next week, it's really exciting. It's like my baby. I love that song. I've been working on it for two years now. So I'm glad it's finally out ... Or will be out. We were working on the visual for that, and I've just been rehearsing like non stop for this show. I've never like done choreographed dance before. So it was a lot of that. It just was a lot of me dancing and rehearsing with the band and visual shooting and all of that stuff.
You've had a huge year since we first saw you last year on tour. What for you personally and artistically has changed in the past year the most?
I think the performances have been like a huge change for me and just how I go about putting out music, I think understanding the flow of that more and my knowledge of production and stuff like that. I think I'm still pretty slow when it comes to that because I really like to take my time with lyrics and stuff like that. But, as far as just not being as nervous of being in the studio and not being as nervous about putting music out and what people will think about it, and all that stuff, really just kind of going from inside and what feels good to me, .I think I've really learned a lot from.
You're such a soulful artist - I'm curious what "soul" means to you. Not as a genre, but just as a term or a concept.
That's a good question... I think soul to me personally is more just expressing what is inside of you, what you're really feeling strongly. A lot of the time for me, personally, I've always had a hard time expressing myself because I wasn't really sure that what I was feeling was the right feeling, or I wasn't really sure what I was feeling at all. That's why I kind of turned to music. I think it's just really gaining understanding of what you feel inside and really just believing in that and being passionate about that, no matter what it is. It could be being a janitor, it doesn't matter. As long as you put soul into it.
Do you have any advice for anybody that's getting into this world? Maybe what you wish you knew?
I think you should really follow your heart. I think that's really important because I think that's what people will really direct towards, is you being yourself. I think just put your music out there, don't feel like you need to go to a label and stuff like that. I just put my stuff out there after waiting years and years and realized that I don't need to rely on people. And that's when people started coming to me. So, I think that's the most important part, and just always believe in everything that you do.
Anything else you wanted to mention, or talk about that's coming up?
Redman is driving a golf cart, so if you're here, you probably won't know this because I don't know when this is coming out. But he's driving a golf cart here, and it's pretty insane. And I'm freaking out!