After impressing our team with a glowing review to calm all anxious hearts, the incomparable storyteller Amadour is rather tremendously open and shall warm all cold souls whilst detailing life in Reno, family support, and the vision behind the dreamy new 5-track EP, Western Movie Dream.
Llewelyn: Hello Amadour, We truly appreciate you chatting with us all about your new release. Firstly, do you recall the first time you knew music was what you wanted to do as a living?
Amadour: My goal is to be a great storyteller, travel with my work, and share music with others abroad. As I build my audience, I am considering innovative ways of making a sophisticated show that keeps it simple and stripped down with just the piano and vocals for an intimate venue like a theater. I come from a visual arts background, so I often think about the colors, temperature, and emotions of music while writing.
Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your fantastic new EP, Western Movie Dream. What is the vision behind the project and how was the creative process?
Amadour: The idea behind Western Movie Dream is to share a bit of biographical history from my life growing up in Reno, Nevada, and Sausalito, California, and the angst of young love. I wrote these songs for someone I fell head over heels for, and our story is embedded throughout the lyrics. In “Before Grapes Ripen,” I love the verse “and the shadow of clouds on cursive pages.” It’s so daydreamy, and I wrote it while sitting on the steps of Russian Hill in San Francisco, looking at the Golden Gate Bridge. “Two Hands Holding Me” is a song that describes the unbelievable joy of having someone that’s into you as much as you are into them. I would wander around, imagining falling in love as a teenager, and then one day, it hit me that that was my experience as an adult; that’s where the line, “in my adolescent heart across the bay, the dreamer is fully awake,” comes in. I think “Western Movie Dream” is my Nevada song because my love interest at the time and I met at an art museum, and the line “as we gaze across the Blue” is about Lake Tahoe.
Llewelyn: Who has supported you most during your music career and what do you enjoy most about being on stage?
Amadour: I owe everything to my mother and my family. My vocal coach, Max Lawrence, trains me for future performances and singing live. He’s a musical vocal genius along with his dad, Don Lawrence. I love fashion and use it to make an impactful stage presence. My taste draws from my mentor Gladys Tamez, who designs all the hats I wear; I love hats! I also take a lot of outfit inspiration from Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli, and Tom Ford – I am a black-on-black and gold type of person.
Llewelyn: Bay Area. What was it like growing up here and do you have any memorable memories you’d like to share with us?
Amadour: One of my favorite places is the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. There are redwood forests, including the famous Muir Woods, and my best memories are of the walking paths where I like to hike. I also love to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge with my mom. Every morning when I lived in Sausalito, I would run back and forth as a workout.
Llewelyn: Reno, Nevada. How is the music scene here and which venues would you recommend to us?
Amadour: Oh, Reno! I love the Holland Project, which is intimate and shows newer acts, and also, the casinos have theaters that host more established acts. Tahoe also had a fantastic festival called SnowGlobe that MTV ran. The impact of Burning Man, a few hours north of Reno in the Blach Rock Desert, brings many musicians and concerts into town. I performed at every open mic in town as a teenager, and I would drive around with my keyboard to jazz clubs and old western saloons in Carson City.
Llewelyn: Please tell us more about the producers you worked with on your new project and how did you link up?
Amadour: A big thank you to Nick Rosen for sound engineering this body of work and being so talented. We used the Electro-Voice RE20 microphone Chet Baker used to record my vocals and an upright in Nick’s studio in Los Feliz. I am also working on new projects with Daniel Cullen at Just For The Record in Los Angeles and Jordan Koop and Terry Ondang at The Noise Floor on Vancouver Island in Canada this summer.
Llewelyn: Lastly, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Amadour: My uncle, Domingo Tibaduiza, is a four-time Olympic marathon runner from Colombia, who I look up to. He advised me to follow the “four D’s” of success, desire, dedication, determination, and discipline; this is my mission statement.
Hear this wonderful EP on Spotify.
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Interview by Llewelyn Screen