American singer and songwriter Amanda Cunningham, combines deep, soulful vocals with raw, gritty honesty that allows her listeners to feel effortlessly understood and connected to the voice behind the music.
With her emotive, unfiltered singing talent and candid story-telling ability to express both vulnerability and strength, Amanda Cunningham beautifully shares her struggles with mental health, heartache, reflection, and the struggles of young motherhood to listeners to say, ‘you are not alone, and it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.’
Playing on her ability to fuse classic elements of the Contemporary Pop and R&B genres, Amanda Cunningham releases her most recent single, “Pattern.” In the smooth incline of acoustic vibrations that commence the tugging of your heartstrings, we submit ourselves to the evocative expressions of Amanda Cunningham.
The sultry sizzle in her vocalization has us craving the words that she offers up on a silver platter. The wide vocal range that she hones in on emits each compelling harmony she introduces to take a deeper dive into her talents as a songwriter, performer, and co-producer.
There is an eloquently placed juxtaposition that Amanda Cunningham takes into her hands to portray her viewpoint of the bigger picture. Within each intricately fashioned word, she shares within, "Pattern,” Amanda Cunningham places her artistic versatility in the limelight as she gives her audience an intrapersonal insight into her desire to break patterns in failed relationships.
Through her absorbing perception, you can hear the passion positioned into the blissful vocals she shares. Allowing others to know that there is someone else who is experiencing what they might be, Amanda Cunningham develops her fan base and talents with each arrangement she releases.
Congratulations on the release of your latest single, “Pattern.” You approach the lyrics in such a beautifully composed way. What inspired the songwriting on this song?
It was really after going through a rough time and depression issues after I was suddenly ghosted again by two women whom I thought I was close to. I realized there was a pattern in my life of getting really close to someone and then all of a sudden being ghosted and being really confused and hurt on why it happened. I don't know why people left or guess their reasons but I realized there was a common factor: me. So since I was the one common thing, it had to be something I was doing and then in some part the people I was choosing to latch onto. So this song was the dissection of that pattern and me concluding that a part of this must be me.
Could you please share a glimpse into the creative process that brought, “Pattern,” to life?
I co-wrote this with Miranda Glory (second season NBC's "Songland" contestant) under Cari Cole's "Signature Songwriting Circle" program back in March of 2019. Miranda and I were just talking about things in my life and how I was feeling really confused and depressed about how I have just ghosted again after I had just been fired from my job, so it was a double whammy for me (we were on a Zoom call working on a Google Doc together in real-time doing this). Miranda really related to this concept on how picking the wrong people who aren't actually there for you when things are no longer fun and get more real, and how there are a lot of times red flags that hint at this but you chose to ignore them. Now that it's almost 2 years later, it still hurts, the story behind the song, but after lots of working on myself with therapy, books, my husband, etc. and starting to build healthier relationship views I'm feeling good again and think it's just a really relatable song and hoping that I did actually break the pattern.
You tend to draw influence from Mariah Carey, Julia Michaels, Adele, Tori Kelly, and JoJo, for your vocal inspiration. What got you into these artists growing up?
I've always loved big female vocals like Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston because they were always so fun to sing along to when I was in my feels in my bedroom, in the dark, on the floor like a dramatic teenager. So I guess I started mimicking that and now my voice is kind of similar to that with the runs that I do. I really respect all of these strong female artists who are doing it their own way and the thing I've always loved is a great story that I can relate to and clever writing in the lyrics. I've been obsessed with Julia Michaels for this exact reason, her lyrics are insanely clever but also relatable. That's so hard to do and it's something I'm obsessively working towards every day.
How important is it for you to be vulnerable with your audience?
I think it's important. I'm not going to lie and say it's easy. It's really awkward and I feel silly and dumb doing it. Like do people even care and will they laugh at me, how much is too much, what do I want to keep for myself, what will my family think, does the person know this song is about them, will they care? It's a lot of questions I ask myself but ultimately my music will go nowhere and be listened to by no one if I'm not honest. I'm also obsessed with Brené Brown lately whose whole thing is vulnerability and embracing being comfortable with being uncomfortable in that vulnerability because that's what makes an actual human interaction.
What has been keeping you inspired and creative while creating new music?
I've honestly been struggling with that throughout the COVID pandemic (as has everyone) where one day is good and I'm like "yes! Let's take advantage of this time!" and the next day I'm thinking "Why do I bother....all the good songs have been done, I have nothing to offer...maybe it won't matter if I nap for 2 hours.." and all that other negative self talk. So it's something I've actively been working on by searching out new artists outside my genre and even the old classics to get new perspectives and lyric ideas, cowriting a ton with other people to learn and network, and then also taking up a new hobby of watercoloring just so I have another creative outlet that has no expectations. It's so easy to make music and the creative process unfun because it's what I'm pursuing as a career but the whole point is creativity and feeling semi-free to make mistakes. So I make it a point to show up to write most days and write even if it's just a terrible verse that I won't ever see again. I showed up and put in the work and that's half the battle.