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Check Out Amalia Fleming’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amalia Fleming.

Amalia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Music influences the way I experience the world, what I value, and ultimately how I communicate. It has always been as large a part of my identity as my name and my upbringing. Before I could even read or write, I was composing songs, maybe not great ones, but I improvised and began exploring the world of music. As I have grown older, my desire for knowledge and experience has helped shape me into the artist I am today. I grew up in a small town called Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California.

I taught myself guitar in 4th grade and started guitar and voice lessons in high school. At age 9, I began by performing in talent shows at my Elementary School, Live Oak Music Festival in Santa Barbara, CA, and then progressed to open mic nights locally. Starting in my sophomore year of high school, I was hired to perform at a variety of restaurants, festivals, and venues. Through these events, I have made incredible connections that have given me the opportunity to record professionally with producers and collaborate with other artists.

I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering at many environmental and social justice rallies to help bring awareness to global issues. In my senior year of high school, I applied to over 10 different schools looking for the perfect fit. After extensively searching I ended up at Belmont University in Nashville where I am currently studying songwriting and music business.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Overall, it has been a fairly smooth road because of the support from my family and friends; however, as with any creative career in the arts, pursuing the path of a singer-songwriter can be intimidating. Because I started writing and performing at such a young age it has always felt natural and I haven’t struggled much with stage-fright.

But coming from a tiny town in California (where the only other young songwriter I knew was my younger sister) to the heart of a music city in Nashville I find myself intimidated by the incredible talent. Here at Belmont University, we all were considered the “talented” kid at our high school and now we study alongside each other. Though the culture is supportive and encouraging, the competition can be cutthroat when there are over 400 songwriting majors and a limited amount of opportunities.

At times, it can feel like I don’t have what it takes to make it in the music industry and it’s a constant fight to stay in it. But the more classes I take and the more experiences I have, the more confident I become in my abilities and I am reminded of why I love what I do. I know that if I don’t give it my all and pursue my passion then I am wasting the possibility of a fulfilling career in music.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As a singer-songwriter, I accompany myself on either guitar or piano. During the pandemic, I was unable to perform and turned my attention towards recording my music. Before this, I had recorded in a professional studio with a producer but I had little experience with audio engineering on my own. I gathered the necessary equipment to build a small home studio set up in my room.

I then began to work with my friend Alec West to record and produce my original music to promote and release on music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, and more. I am now confident working with Digital Audio Workstations like Logic Pro X and Pro Tools to record my music and it has helped me tremendously as a musician. It is important to be familiar with audio engineering as an artist so that you are knowledgeable while recording in professional studios and can effectively communicate what you want.

I mainly write alternative/indie pop music that is similar to artists like Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Olivia Rodrigo. Some of my influences span the decades from the Beatles to Duran Duran and I am always looking for new inspiration. I take pride in the fact that I write very authentic and honest lyrics that express everything from heartbreak to the struggle and beauty of growing up.

Listening to my catalog of songs would be the equivalent of telling you my life story. I am referred to as a “Rising Singer-songwriter” in a San Luis Obispo County New Times article, a “Renegade” in the Morro Bay Life Newspaper, and have been interviewed live on Cal Poly KCPR radio and KALW Radio in San Francisco. As the winner of the 2017 New Times Music Awards, I perform at local venues in California such as SLO Brew Rock, The Siren, Harmony Cellars, and more.

Though I continue to play locally, I have also performed an international concert in Oaxaca, Mexico, The Branding Iron in Colorado, Freight and Salvage in San Francisco, and Cabana Taps in Nashville.

My music is more than just entertainment; I intend my lyrics and melodies to inspire self and global awareness. In 2018, I was contacted by NPR to be part of a national compilation album for student protests. My song “Renegades” was professionally recorded by the Little Village Foundation, a non-profit record label for the compilation. Following the release of the album titled Raise Your Voice!

Sound of Student Protest, five student performers, and I had the honor of debuting the album in front of thousands of people at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco in October 2018. You can find this album on all music platforms under my artist profile Amalia Fleming. This experience was incredible and I hope to inspire others to pursue their own passions and share their stories with the world because we all deserve to express ourselves.

I am looking forward to the coming months as I promote and release new songs I’ve been working on and continue to perform around Nashville.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
As a songwriter, I believe it is my job to explore other artists’ and writers’ work. It allows me to expand my knowledge while also giving me the inspiration to write more.

Whether it is a novel I am reading for fun, a TV show, or a poetry book for English class I am exposed to a plethora of ideas, creativity, and passion that gives me the motivation to continue writing and sharing my own work.

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Image Credits
Dawn Feuerberg

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