I was lucky enough to meet Amy Fitz Doyley at a cultural event at the Southbank Centre earlier this year. We connected and Sapelle sponsored the wardrobe for her performance at the Mostly Jazz Festival this summer. Amy also performed at our Portobello Store launch event. Talking to this very talented young lady with a versatile, laid-back jazzy sound, I knew we had to feature her here. There’s a strength behind the beautiful softly-spoken calm exterior, a clarity on what she wants, and how she wants to get it, which evades many women her age; and we’re behind her all the way. Our cub reporter Zidza caught up with Amy for a round of quick-fire questions.
And our timing’s great because Amy’s been shortlisted to support Natalie Williams at the EFG London Jazz Festival! BUT we have to vote her to win! The lucky finalist with the most likes, shares and comments gets to perform at this prestigious event. Voting closes at 16:00GMT on Thursday 29th October – so we don’t have much time, let’s vote!
Enjoy the interview:
1. Name three quick facts about Amy Fitz Doyley
Apart from my name, I would describe myself as a thoughtful individual. I also always associate my interests with laughter, as it’s one of my absolute favorite feel-good things to do! Lastly, with regards to my music and practice I can be a bit of a perfectionist!
2. What was your first musical experience?
My parents concur that it was probably at the age of about 2 or 3 years old, when I heard the theme tune to Eastenders being played on the television and immediately started dancing. Personally, it would be when I wrote a song for my GCSE music exam in secondary school and was then asked to perform it to my year group both in assembly and at the school graduation.
I’ve come from a musical background as both my parents were professional singers and I grew up in a house with various instruments as well as a recording studio, belonging to my father.
3. What inspires your musical creativity?
I am truly inspired by everything – from nature to current affairs to sounds, tastes and smells – there is always something to write about. I do of course also listen to many musical predecessors with far too many to name them all.
4. We love the song “Freedom is Yours”. What’s the story behind it?
This is a song I wrote with a good friend of mine whist away in the Netherlands. The weather was beautiful; the scenery was like nothing I had ever experienced in a city and great company surrounded me. I was in my element on this particular trip away from home and this is what inspired the song.
5. What do you do when you’re not composing or performing?
I am currently in a time of transition where everything I do is being filtered through music. Although sometimes intense, this is great for me because it means that I can avoid the ‘living a double life’ scenarios that many of us musicians can find ourselves in. I enjoy starting new projects that involve other art forms like dance and film too. I also relish traveling experiences, as these give me the opportunity to meet new people, speak other languages and learn about other cultures. In addition, I often carry around a little notebook within which I doodle or write ideas of poetry or new songs.
I also really like people-watching if that can be described as a ‘thing’!
6. What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Earlier this year I had the great honor of supporting artists Gregory Porter and Public Enemy at the Mostly Jazz Funk And Soul Festival in Birmingham – this was a fantastic experience and actually my first major support slot. In terms of what’s coming up next, over the Autumn/Winter period I am going to be focusing on writing and experimenting with new materiel and musical sounds for an online album release in 2016, as well as floating up, down and around the UK performing and connecting with different audiences.
7. If you could choose one, what would be your superpower?
It would be to have the ability to listen to other people’s thoughts. I think this would give me reels of inspiration to use for writing and would mean that I’d never ever suffer with the dreaded writer’s block syndrome again!