She continues to sell huge numbers in the EU - what’s Amy Macdonald’s secret?
TALENT BY TINA HART
modest and unassuming character but a formidable force in the music industry, wee 24-year-old Scot Amy Macdonald is one of
Europe’s biggest-selling singer-songwriters. To date, she has sold more than 4 million albums worldwide. Her debut LP This Is The Life charted at No. 1 in five countries and achieved multiple platinum status in several. It is one of the top 20 best selling albums of all time in the UK by a UK female solo artist and was one of the Top 10 best selling albums in Europe in 2008. The follow-up, A Curious Thing, achieved similar success as it went Top 10 in 10 countries across Europe. With her third album Life In A Beautiful Light
released this week, Music Week spoke to the Celtic troubadour about her much-needed year off, her favourite places to perform and why she’s grateful for picking up NMEwhen she was an aspiring musician...
You’re returning to music after some time off. You said you slightly pressured between your first two albums to finish them swiftly – do you think that’s a modern industry expectation nowadays? Yeah, I think so. That’s the way that it’s done so people always try and conform to that. For me, it’s detrimental because I don’t think that works. I write everything on my own so I can’t rely on everyone else – I can’t say, “Oh, give me a song.” I finished touring in September, 2009 and the
next album was out March 2010. I had to write everything and it just felt too rushed. I would have much preferred to take my time. With this album, having taken a year, it just felt
so much easier for me. It didn’t feel like I was writing an album because I didn’t write unless I felt some sort of inspiration. I was just out with my friends doing normal things, then if something inspired me I’d get my guitar and write. I never told myself, “You must write 9-5 every day” or whatnot, I just did it much more naturally and it felt like a much better process.
Did you have an ultimate one-year deadline for the album at all? I was lucky nobody put me under any pressure. My manager said to me: “If it comes to December and you’ve got two songs, you’ve got two songs. Nobody can do anything about it.” But luckily by September of last year I had 16 songs and it felt like I hadn’t even written any of them, it felt like they just appeared so it was really good.
Why did you pick your track Slow It Down as the lead single? The reaction when loads of different people heard it – my family, managers, label. The response for that tune was the biggest response, it was the buzz song. I don’t think there was ever a moment when anybody sat down and said: “This is the first single.” it was kind of just a mutual agreement that nobody had spoken about. That felt good, it was like a natural choice.