A Me B

  • A Me B
  • 2018-12-26

Manchester’s Amy Burns, aka A Me B, writes songs from her heart and life, aiming to provide an alternative to predictable, algorithm pop. Her new EP Wide Awake is out now and has been chosen as a ‘Producer’s Pick’ on BBC Introducing. We spoke to Amy about her music.

It’s pop music. Observational, reflective and melodic. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s uplifting. I hope it makes people think.

First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started creating my own stuff when I was about 11, throwing beats and loops together using Ejay Clubworld on my PS2. From there I got more and more into production and songwriting and soon started rapping over the top of my beats.

Music gave me my identity, I was known in my community as the ‘Rapper’, I would burn my own CDs and sell them to friends, family, teachers at school, anyone who would listen really.

Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop/rap, pop and dance music. I loved artists like Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Dido & Madonna. My main inspiration though comes from life in general and observing / experiencing different situations rather particular artists.

Why the play on your name to spell it ‘A Me B’?
Well, I’ve used that spelling for years now and it’s worked well. Hopefully it helps me to stand out.

How would you describe your musical style?
It’s pop music. Observational, reflective and melodic. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes it’s uplifting. I hope it makes people think.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
That’s a tough one as there are so many! I would probably say either Gwen Stefani, Timbaland or Lana Del Rey. I’d also love to write with Banks & Halsey.

Tell us about your new EP Wide Awake - what’s it about?
With Wide Awake, I’ve brought together 3 ideas that I felt gave a snapshot of the World today. It’s a reflective commentary on some of the complexities of society and relationships. The title sums up how I feel right now.

When did you write it and where did you record it?
It came together over the last 12 – 18 months. A good friend of mine recommended a producer named Phil Roberts to me, it turned out he lived around the corner from my home so lots of the production was done with him at his home studio. The tracks came together in Blackpool where I worked with Cal on vocal recording and mixing. It’s been quite long process, writing and refining and some songs didn’t make it through.

Can you talk us through each song on Wide Awake?

‘Familiar’ – This tells the story of a relationship in decline. It’s about people who stay together too long and lose touch with who they are and why they fell in love. Ending a relationship is hard, even one which has become toxic and unstable.

‘Little Men Big Suits’ – I initially wrote the hook for Little Men Big Suits 5 or 6 years ago and it was based upon my experience as a young female artist navigating the music industry.

Every now and then you meet someone who pretends they know the business just to reel you in and leave you disappointed. They’re all talk no action. I’m sure a lot of people in the entertainment industry can relate to this one.

‘Lonely People’ – My slant on the digital age. A look at how the technology which was intended to bring people from around the world closer together is isolating us and making us more detached from reality and each other. In many ways, we’re less connected now than we’ve ever been. I love this track late at night on the stereo in the car.

‘Lonely People’ (Calibeats Remix) – This is a deep house remix of Lonely People by Calibeats who is a good friend of mine and very supportive of me. This is one for the clubs and I’m looking forward to featuring it in my DJ sets.

What are your hopes for Wide Awake?
I want these songs to connect with supporters old and new. Creating the EP has helped me to move away from being ‘A Me B the female rapper from the North West’ and that was important to me. I still enjoy listening to Rap and might pick it up again in the future, but at this point in time, I needed to change lanes and I feel this EP is a good introduction to the new direction I’m taking.

How are you intending to follow up Wide Awake next year?
I love the new songs that I’m currently working on and I’m looking forward to sharing them with everyone. I will be releasing lots of visuals and can’t wait to be back on stage. Performing live has always given me a buzz and I’m looking forward to seeing how these songs go down with a crowd.

Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I would tell my younger self to live in the moment and appreciate all the good things and great people you experience and meet on the way. It is so easy to focus on what’s around the next corner…the next video…recording…performance…without taking the time to acknowledge what you have already achieved.

Listen to A Me B on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to amebofficial.com.

Images by Steve Oates.

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