• Allie Russell

Soulful singer A'Myah Gill tells us about challenges and success as an artist

What is your musical background? How did you get into music?

I grew up around music. For as long as I can remember I have been singing and making music. If it wasn't at my late grandfather's church singing on Sundays then it was putting on talent shows at family gatherings and showcasing it then. Everyone and I mean my family either sings, plays an instrument, or both. My family is just one big song. It wasn't forced on me or my siblings, but not being involved in music was kind of impossible. I think from being around it all the time I naturally grew a love for it so I did things like choir and band throughout my school career which now as a senior in high school doing virtual school, this is the year I really decided to make my own music instead of just always singing other artists music for other people.

Why did you choose to be an artist? First, there's nothing else I would rather do. I love music and I love singing. Nothing gives me the feeling I have when I'm creating music and singing. Second, I know the impact music has on people and their lives. Music can change lives. If I can make something that does that for myself why not share it? I also want to be understood and have a connection with someone who is feeling the same things I do. That feeling when you find out someone else is feeling that exact same feeling you can't describe is remarkable. If I can connect with at least one person and help them feel understood then I know I'm doing something right.

Does music help you in other areas of your life? Absolutely 100%! Though it may sound cliche I don't know what I would do without music. I use music as therapy. If I'm angry, sad, happy, confused, I'll listen to music. As someone who suffers from anxiety and panic disorder, music is always my #1 go to when I feel anxious or if i'm having an attack. Music is my therapy and voice when I can't speak for myself. It's quite funny because my family has this way of knowing if I'm upset because I start playing music over my speaker. I remember one time my mom called me and said "Hey Myah are you okay I hear you blasting music through the house."

How do you overcome creative blocks? I'm always in a constant creative block until randomly at 3am I get a surge of creativity and can make a song in one sitting. Honestly speaking though, when I'm in one of my slumps with music I just completely submerge myself in music. I'll go on YouTube and watch concerts and music videos of artist I know or have no idea who they are and just came across them. Then I start getting inspired and motivated and I just go from there. How do you define success as an artist? When you have a genuine connection with people. When people actually care about you, what you're doing, and what you stand for. It doesn't matter how many people it is either, it could be 1 person or 100,000 people. If I have a connection with at least one person who actually cares about me not as some public figure but ME as a human being, what I'm creating, and they actually love it, then I've done what I've wanted to do and I would consider that success. How do you know when a song is finished? I'll know a song is finished if I can listen to the song, imagine myself on a stage, and see how it would be if I performed it live. If I can't imagine it or It doesn't seem like it would be good or enjoyed by a crowd , then I will completely scrap it. I scrap it because I make songs with the purpose of one day doing them live. If I can't see myself doing it live then it makes no sense to consider it finished and put it out. Another way I know if it's finished is if I'm obsessed with it. With my last release and this upcoming one, I play them all the time still to this day. You think you like my music? Not more than I do. If i'm not obsessed with it I would assume nobody else will like it so I either scrap it or push it to the back burner. What is the biggest challenge of being an artist? I would say accepting that not everyone is going to like you and or your music. We are human beings. Of course it would be hard to accept that people can hate you for just doing what you love to do. Or even hating something you put your blood, sweat, and tears into. The moment you upload a song and put yourself out to the public, you are subjecting yourself to that and you might not even realize it because you know how much you love doing what you're doing and what you're making, and naturally you expect everyone else to love it and support you. Unfortunately after a certain point things don't work like that. So having to accept those facts would be the hardest thing I would say. What is your biggest accomplishment in your career so far? My biggest accomplishment is actually putting my foot in the door. I've always entertained the thought of being a singer and making music but I never did anything about it out of fear of what people would say or think if I did. Also nobody outside of my family or church people knew I could actually sing. I was extremely scared to sing even in front of my mom, so other people knowing about it were really beyond imaginable. I was also nervous about how people from my school would react because In school I was like the quiet girl unless I was with my friends. So I would say posting my first singing video is my biggest accomplishment. It may not seem big, but it's very personal and it holds a lot of value to me.

Thank you very much for being on A'myah Gill!

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