Based in Vancouver, Canada, Amanda Dean is a gifted singer/songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. One of her most admirable skills in songwriting and performance is that she is truly able to convey the message in her artistry. Amanda digs deep down to bring the heartfeltness with a voice that has been described as gravelly and rich yet somehow smooth, soulful, old school and impactful. Amanda has extensive experience in the music industry, performing internationally in North America, the UK and other parts of Europe. She was signed to an independent record label in London, England, at the age of sixteen. She was heavily influenced by Soul music as a child and has since had the honor of sharing the stage with a number of Motown artists. She was also equally influenced by rock and counts Led Zeppelin and the Beatles as some of her earliest influences. Amanda is currently in the studio writing, producing and recording an album of original material that will incorporate, guitar-driven rock, R&B, and contemporary ballads. Amanda writes a lot of her songs from personal experiences and her mission is to connect with and inspire others through her music.
“Stepping Stone” is beautiful, melodically inspired by the sounds of modern pop and rock, but instrumentally soaked in a more worldly aura that impresses on multiple levels. “Stepping Stone” reaches out for your affection and holds tight to it right the way through. Explosive and unique vocals line the outer edges in an intentional fashion and fragments of audio and ideas rain down around you. Surprisingly multi-layered, Amanda has taken the time to build something entirely unique, made up of individually crafted and captured moments. Ultimately, the effect is a rightfully uplifting call to action, a song that engages and embraces the listener, and inspires them to step forward. The song is subtle yet stunning, and hopefully, it’s merely a taste of what’s to come from Amanda Dean!
Check out “Stepping Stone” here!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Amanda Dean! Can you tell us about your upbringing? How did you get started in music?
When I was growing up, my parents were huge music fans. My mom was a fan of soul music and my dad was a fan of rock music, so I got to listen to a variety of great artists from the 1960's and 1970's such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & The Pips, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin from a very young age and that was a great early education. I learned to harmonize listening to the Beatles. I was completely obsessed with music. When I was five years old, two
things happened that led my family to believe I would go on to become a musician. We had an old piano in the corner of the living room. I would climb up onto the stool, and mess around on it. I somehow worked out the chords to a Stevie Wonder song by ear (played with entirely the wrong finger positioning, although someone later showed me the correct way) and my mom walked in as I was playing and singing it. So we had the neighbors around after that, and I would do little concerts for them. I was also completely obsessed with the Thriller album by Michael
Jackson. It's a masterpiece. Quincy Jones is my favorite producer and I'm a huge fan of the session musicians that played on the album, namely members of TOTO.Whenever Thriller was played on MTV, I would run to my closet and grab a red jacket that I had (like the one in the video) put it on and dance and sing. The only time I was quiet was when I would sit by the stereo that we had in those days, with headphones on, listening to my parents music collection. As a teenager, I was always singing, playing piano and writing songs. Much later, I developed a major passion for electric guitar.
What can you tell us about “Stepping Stone”? How did it come to be, and what does it mean to you personally?
I co-wrote "Stepping Stone" from personal experience. I was in a very bad relationship some years ago and felt dispensable to that person, who didn't have my best interests at heart. I went through a lot. I could have written a scathing song about it at the time, but decided to wait until I felt stronger and put a positive spin on it. It's a very lighthearted sounding chorus, making it sound like a much easier time than it actually was. While we were recording it, I had the idea of having someone whistle the melody of the hook at the end of the chorus, low in the mix. That was a small production technique that conveyed a 'carefree' feeling of getting over it and coming out the other side, because I really grew from that experience and am a lot stronger for it.
In the past, you’ve worked with some impressive names! What has been your most memorable or life-changing experience so far as a creative?
It's hard to pick just one. One of the best experiences was when I sang the Canadian and American National Anthems for all the major sports teams in BC. Having 44,000 people singing with you in a huge stadium, whilst you represent the pride sports fans feel for their
respective countries is the best feeling and I'm honored to have been able to do it.
I also love the creative process of being able to take a bare-bones song I have written and build it into the final product. I 'hear' all the instrumentation in my head fully produced, before anything is
recorded. Then when other musicians play their parts, they add their own personal touch and it takes on a life of it's own. Each time we do that, it's memorable to me.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming album?
The title of the album is going to be 'Rise Like A Phoenix'. The title track has almost a Pink Floyd vibe to it, with a choir, real strings/horns and a big production. There's a few songs that are in the vein of Stepping Stone - radio friendly with catchy hooks. There's a few songs on the album that are all out, heads down rock and roll, a couple r&b/funk influenced tracks and some big sweeping ballads. It was important to me to have variety on the album, as I love to listen to many different types of music, from rock to soul, to classical, and I didn't want to write the same song ten or eleven times. It's cohesive as a whole though, because of production values and pretty much the same team of musicians playing on each of the songs. Also, I have a couple people who I co-write with, so the same chemistry is there on all of the tracks. Production wise - I try to make the songs really build, so that they tell a story and take the listener on a journey.
What do you hope to bring to the music world with your own releases over the coming months and years?
I want to continue to enjoy the creative process in the studio and I also want to get out there and tour and perform the songs live! I love each aspect equally. Music is a very giving thing. I love being in the studio but I also love performing live and connecting with the audience. To be given a gift as musicians and entertainers, where we can bring joy to others with art that we create from our passion is a blessing and I am very thankful for the gift of music every day. Each day, I work on trying to improve and grow as an artist and I'll never stop doing that.
For now, I'm focusing on making the most sincere album that I possibly can. If in the future, I can make just one person feel the way I do when I listen to my heroes and influences, I'll be deeply honored.
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