INTERVIEW: Amy Walklett on Writing in Pink
Playful, personal, and perfectly produced, Amy Walklett’s music needs to be on your summer playlist this year.
The 20 year old singer-songwriter from Beaminster merges her coming-of-age lyrics with anthemic pop hooks à la Nina Nesbitt and Becky Hill, taking inspiration from the future of powerhouse women in chart music.
Amy Walklett released her debut single ‘Why Do You’ in 2018, which you can listen to following Amy's Linktree here. Recently reconnecting with her producer at MadMan Music, she is planning a comeback with a stream of new music beginning this summer, bringing all the summer vibes you need straight to your living room. “2021 will be full of good stuff”, the talented creative hinted as we sat down to talk about all things music.
TSM: Hi Amy, it’s so nice to sit down and chat! Lockdown has been a tricky time for us all - how are you keeping yourself busy?
Amy: Hello! I mean, uni is very busy, but apart from that I’m just actually singing loads! I’ve set up my whole gig setup and I’m just practicing and kind of going back to basics on my singing. I’m planning releases and just trying to work out how to do lives and stuff a bit more online.
I am prepping some songs for a live stream that I’ll probably do at the end of next week. I haven’t really been that active on my social medias so it’s kind of a good time to pick that all up, and yeah! I’m also doing a few online courses in marketing - so it’s busy, but it’s good! I’m also doing FaceTime writing sessions with people and working on covers, so hopefully there will be more of that to come.
TSM: So as well as your live plans, do you have any releases lined up soon?
So I’m releasing Why Do You acoustic towards the end of May, which will come with a video I filmed earlier in the year, just to really come back into releasing music. At mid-June I’m going to release another single, and I’m currently working with Lorna Robey who is an illustrator and is currently doing the single artwork and hopefully designs for my new merch, depending on the situation over the next few weeks with the coronavirus. After that there’ll be an orchestral version of the new single! So that’s the next few months of releases for me.
TSM: Sounds amazing! What about your musical background - how did you first get into singing and writing songs?
Amy: I don’t actually really know how long I’ve been singing for - let’s go with since I was 10. A pretty long time, at least. I started having singing lessons when I was younger and I’ve got my Grade 8 singing now, so yeah that’s kind of how I started developing what I do.
I did a few school shows but really started gigging when I was at college, which was when I got my full set up with my fairy lights and everything! Then I played my first wedding 2 years ago, and it’s still quite a new thing but since that I’ve played a few more weddings and a few gigs, including a load of festivals in 2018.
3 years ago I also did my first big singing competition, TeenStar. This was a big part of my development because it’s where I got in contact with my producer, so we worked on ‘Why Do You’ and the new track originally and now I’m back working with him again on some new stuff, hopefully to be released in early 2021 for a big year of releases and gigging.
BTS from the ‘Why Do You’ acoustic video shoot, coming out in May.
TSM: I can’t wait to hear some new tracks from you. What does your music aim to say to your audience in general?
Amy: I just like it to be really personal to me. When I’m writing a song I don’t really think about what it means to anyone else, because for me it’s a really personal thing. I’ve never actually written a song that hasn’t been about something that’s happened to me yet!
I think when I release something I want people to relate to it and enjoy it because they kind of understand. Obviously a lot of pop music, maybe less so these days but still, kind of has the whole basic lyrics with no real meaning feel - so I want to take a singer-songwriter vibe and put it into really produced pop, which a lot of people are doing now and it’s really cool!
TSM: So your songwriting starts off really personal - what is your creative process from there to the release of your tracks?
Amy: So I always start with the lyrics, normally some lyrics and some idea of melody, and then I’ll either work with an instrumentalist or I will play keys and start to build the song. My songs always start really stripped back and then they turn into produced pop. I will always hear what the plan is for the song when I start writing it, but I’ll always start from completely stripped. When I work with my producer I’ll take my songs to him like that and he has a lot of creative influence on what we do, and we’ll always have songs that we use as inspiration.
TSM: It sounds like you have really found a creative process that works for you. What inspired you to write ‘Why Do You’, how did the songwriting for that work?
A: The story of Why Do You is effectively being in love with someone who you shouldn’t be in love with. It was kind of just me wanting to write something that was looking at the situation from a different angle. It’s weird because Why Do You was the first song I wrote where I had an initial feeling and I thought I’m just going to write a song. I think I wrote the original lyrics in like half an hour, just with my keyboard at home, and then it developed to be like what it is now. But it was probably the most natural song I’ve written.
TSM: Yeah, so you were trying to write in a mindset where it wasn’t a bad thing to like someone who’s taken, more confusing than shameful?
Amy: Yeah, I did try to but I’m not sure if it was very successful because there were a few lines like “its foolish of me, I shouldn’t think about you this way”, but it kind of looks at it like oh that’s weird rather than oh this is the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s kind of just like what is happening. It’s weird because the lyrics “why do you” kind of blame the other person a little bit - like “you make me feel so good / why do you”. I wasn’t sad about it when writing it at the time - I was just really confused.
TSM: Definitely, I think it’s really important to navigate feelings like this in music. So who would you say your inspirations are in music at the moment?
Amy: This is a great question. My favourite artist for a long time has always been Anne-Marie, especially her old stuff. And Sigrid, “Don’t Kill My Vibe” is one of my favourite songs. Becky Hill is smashing it at the moment, I’d love to write a melody the way she can write - and she works with loads of cool people so I’d love to get into that more; working with named producers like Jax Jones and people like that. Lowkey I also really like Liv Dawson - she’s not huge yet but I think she will be because she writes some amazing songs. I just love really powerhouse female vocals and I want my music to fit in the charts. And Nina Nesbitt obviously, I dyed my hair pink because of Nina Nesbitt!
Amy Walklett showing off her pink hair in London.
TSM: That was actually my next question! I’d love to know more about your visual style and if the pink hair is specifically an artist related choice.
Amy: Not specifically, no - I saw that Nina Nesbitt had pink hair and I thought it was cool so I dyed it, and then I realised after I dyed it how I could actually use it to create more of an artistic presence. But I think it also shows a big part of my personality - I like to think I’m quite bright and fun, and that having pink hair, or at least kind of orange at the moment, is a way of linking my personal side to my summery, bright, pop music. But yes it originally came to Nina Nesbitt - I don’t know who I’ve told that before but that’s an exclusive! I’d also love to at some point do a stream of singles with a different colour hair for all of them, but who knows if that’ll happen.
TSM: Amazing! I love that idea. And speaking of Nina Nesbitt, if you could collaborate with one artist right now, who would it be?
Amy: Ooh, that’s a really good one. I’m gonna say Becky Hill. I love a lot of her recent stuff and she’s just a really good pop top-liner, so I’d love to write a song with her. She’s also just really cool and I want to meet her.
TSM: Well hopefully you will get to meet her and collaborate soon, I can’t wait to hear it! Amy thank you so much for chatting to me today, it’s been brilliant. Is there anything else you want to talk about?
Amy: Thank you for having me! I just wanted to talk about creativity during lockdown and being in such a strange time. It’s so important right now to not put any pressure on ourselves, because it’s such a crazy time. A lot of people are doing really cool stuff, but don’t compare yourself - just do your own thing and don’t feel the pressure. Everyone will go through different waves of creativity while we’re in this space.
Amy Walklett’s next project will be released in mid-May 2020. There is plenty more to come from our new favourite pink-pop sensation - check out her social medias below.