Q&A With Disco Diva Amey St. Cyr
We catch up with Amey St. Cyr after the release of her fresh, nu-disco single 'Life's Too Short'
Firstly, tell us all about your new single: ‘Life’s too Short’. What inspired you?
My new single 'Life's Too Short" was actually a different song. The only thing I've kept from the original version is the chorus. The original song was about going clubbing but I wasn't happy with what I had written or how I had sung it. I expressed this to Dan Clarke, who produced the track and he said that If I wasn't happy there was nothing to stop me re-writing it so that's exactly what I did. I'm really happy with the lyrics. the melody and how I've sung it now. Dan inspired me to write something which was a bit of a Covid 19 anthem, a celebration of life. I'm a firm believer in the saying "It ain't over till the fat lady sings”.
Can you tell us a little about your earlier musical career? Have your experiences influenced your music?
Well, I've been involved in various bands and music since the mid 80s. I was lucky enough to tour the States with a band called Baby Ford the early 90s. We were supporting Erasure who were huge at the time. I played stadium gigs when supporting Erasure and we had our own gigs in funky little gay clubs. It was all very exciting and an incredible experience. Very hard to come down from. In the late 80s - early 90s House music was massive. i have always loved Dance music but House really grabbed me and I've been influenced by those early House pioneers from back in the day like Larry Heard, Kerri Chandler Masters At Work and people like Moloko who emerged in the late 90s. I've done a great deal of raving in my time and I would say that those many and varied experiences in glam venues to warehouse parties have had a huge influence on the kind of music I make now.
How does the music scene of the 90s compare to 2020?
The music scene in the 90s was very exciting where House music was concerned. That is when House music really peaked and made it into the mainstream charts with bands like Baby D, Adamski, The Shamen, Modjo and many others. The new innovations in technology made recording electronic music available to the masses. Now in 2020 new technological advances mean that anyone and everyone can make music and release it. I think that's a much more democratic approach. We no longer rely on A&R men at large corporate record companies to be the taste makers. There is something out there for everyone if you take the time to explore.
‘Life’s too Short’ has such a great positive message! Do you have any words for those struggling to feel positive themselves at the moment?
I've been spending a lot of time in nature with my friends and family, where permitted. I've went to Pembrokeshire in Wales earlier in the year and was lucky enough to venture onto the beach every day for a week. I even went into the sea, which was freezing but so exhilarating!!
Before this current lockdown I also spent hours walking around Epping Forest. These experiences have really helped me keep my spirits up. I listen to music a lot as well as it can help lift my mood. I take things a day at a time, I try not to look too far into the future. I find that if I have an attitude of gratitude that helps too: Today I don't have Covid 19, I have all my limbs, I can see, I can hear. I can taste and smell, I have food in my fridge etc... And remember " it ain't over till the fat lady sings..."
What would your (post-pandemic) dream performance be like?
I'd like to support a House act like Elements Of Life, for example, and get the crowd warmed up and dancing. I think the gig would have to be in a club where people are free to shake a leg. I want people to enjoy themselves while singing along and/or dancing to my songs.
What drew you towards dance music? Do you have any particular musical influences or heroes?
I have always loved Dance music. My parents were reggae fans when I was growing up and my mother also loved Motown so there was always dance music in our house. I loved Disco, Soul and R&B but House music is my first love. I really admire the house Divas like Barbara Tucker and Joselyn Brown and Portia Monique. They have created anthems which still sound fresh today. The songs, the musicianship, the rhythms and the dancing keep me coming back to Dance music.
You’ve worked in an impressive array of roles including acting, modelling, singing and songwriting! Do you have any advice for somebody looking to start out in these creative industries?
My main piece of advice for anyone starting out in the creative industries is 'develop a thick skin'. When you're first starting out you will make mistakes and errors of judgement which naysayers and haters will jump on. When this happens you've just got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. Of course, you have to be realistic about what you have to offer but just keep believing in yourself. Be open to advice because sometimes we have to do a bit of tweaking here and there before we get it right. Enjoy the ride. Pointless continuing with something you don't enjoy.
Can you describe your songwriting process? Any unorthodox writing tips?
My song writing process usually begins when I'm in bed on the verge of sleep. Suddenly from nowhere a melody line or lyrics or a bassline will come into my head. Then I get out of bed and go into my front room, so I don't disturb the neighbours, and I sing the ideas into my phone. I tend to let the ideas lie for a couple of days then come back to them to see whether there is anything worth working on.
What's next for you after this release? Is more music coming?
I'm going to see how this song is received and yes, I plan to release more music. I have already decided that I'd like to release a song I've written called "Do You Fell It Too?? ".The song is about a chance encounter at a club. How will the night end...
Listen to Amey St. Cyr's Latest Single 'Life's Too Short' on SPOTIFY HERE