Triangle Talks: Australian singer-songwriter Amy Shark | The Triangle
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Triangle Talks: Australian singer-songwriter Amy Shark

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Amy Shark is an Australian singer-songwriter who has gained a lot of buzz over the past two years. Her first major single “Adore” has gone 3x Platinum in Australia and her debut studio album “Love Monster,” released in July, climbed to number two on Billboard’s Heatseekers Album chart. Her music is mixture of angsty alternative and pop music that focuses on articulating emotions and honesty. The Triangle got the opportunity to interview the rising artist over email as she embarks on the North American leg of her “Love Monster Tour,” which makes a stop in Philadelphia Oct. 10 at Underground Arts. This interview has been edited for clarity.

The Triangle: When did you start writing songs?

Amy Shark: When I was in high school.

TT: Was there a specific reason why you started?

AS: It was just a way of digesting all the drama that usually goes down in high school and a few years after.

TT: I’ve seen you described both as an alternative artist and a pop artist. Do you identify more strongly with one of them or does the label not matter to you?

AS: I don’t think the label really matters — I guess I’m alternative because I talk about real topics and don’t usually censor my lyrics and I do it in a way that sounds like “pop.” I’m tricky like that lol.

TT: One of the most intriguing parts of your music is the honesty and vulnerability. Did you make a conscious decision to open up through your music or did it just come naturally with writing for you?

AS: It came really naturally. I never have to think. I just document personal moments. The key is picking the right moments to talk about.  

TT: “Adore” was the single that really got everyone’s attention, can you talk a bit about writing that song?

AS: “Adore” was written in about 10 minutes. Just one of those enlightening moments that happens every now and then and it’s such a great feeling when it happens. It’s almost like meditating. You just completely zone out.

TT: You have a song on the “Love, Simon” soundtrack called “Sink In.” Can you talk a little bit about how that came to be?

AS: I went on tour with Jack Antonoff and we became good friends and he was the musical director for that film. Julia Michaels actually wrote the song and he asked if I could sing it. I loved the song and felt that it sounded like something I’d write anyway. Plus, I really wanted to be involved with the movie somehow. It’s such a beautiful coming-of-age film.

TT: How did the creation and preparation of “Love Monster” differ from “Night Thinker?”

AS: I was pretty lucky in that I had already written a lot of the songs for “Love Monster” straight after I finished writing “Night Thinker.” I also ended up with way more songs as I continued to write while I was on the Night Thinker Tour. I was just really inspired and had plenty to talk about.

TT: Which song on your debut album means the most to you? Why?

AS: That’s a very hard decision. I’m very connected to all of them, but if I must choose I think “I Said Hi” is a real anthem for me, and I love hearing how much it is inspiring so many people to fight for what they believe in.  

TT: The current single is “All Loved Up.” What’s the story behind that song and what was it like to work with Jack Antonoff after touring with him?

AS: Working with Jack was a HUGE deal for me. I had a few lyrics for “All Loved Up” up my sleeve before I went into the studio with him. He wrote this beautiful piece of music and it didn’t take long before I started coming out with lyrics and a story. The music is so big and dreamy and I was on a high at the time. I was in Los Angeles, it was a beautiful day, I was working with one of the best producers in the world and I was “All Loved Up” lol.

TT: What’s your favorite memory from touring and performing so far?

AS: Playing on the main stage at Splendour in the Grass, Australia’s largest winter music festival will be something I’ll remember forever. I played a really fun show in Berlin and some chick threw a bra on stage so that was cool.

TT: How do audiences in Australia differ from those in America?

AS: I’m obviously a little more known in Australia, but the crowds that come to my shows in the U.S. are into it hard! They do their research. They know all the words to every song! Old and new.

TT: What other musicians inspire you whether in the studio or on stage?

AS: Tom Delonge, Amy Winehouse, Jack Antonoff, Post Malone, Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain and Patty Smith.

TT: What other Australian artists would you recommend the American audience check out?

AS: Cub Sport, The Smith Street Band and John Farnham.