Featured Artist of the Week: Amanda Sadler
Name: Amanda Sadler
Instrument: Piano, guitar, banjo and sing
Amanda Sadler is a country singer/songwriter and philanthropist originally from Barrie Ont., who moved to Kingston to take sociology and English literature at Queen's University. She quickly fell in love with the city and has been living in town for five years (when she's not traveling around for music). Apart from her passion for music, Sadler is an avid foodie and says she loves trying out new restaurants downtown. She says her life consists of surrounding herself with the things she's passionate about, whether that be people, places or music.
How and when did you discover your love of music?
My parents put me in dance at age four and we quickly discovered that I was in love with all things musical. So I started off dancing, and then I was figure skating, and then I started piano and we quickly started realizing that the common denominator was music. And from then on I started doing singing lessons – I was classically trained as well. And it’s just kind of always been a very obvious thing to me and my family – that’s kind of where my number one passion lied right from the beginning and luckily my parents were very supportive of that and have always encouraged me to pursue it.
Is your family musical?
No! They’re not. So we’re all wondering where on earth this came from. My mother is very artistic. My father, bless his heart, cannot hold a tune to save his life.
Are you an individual performer or are you part of a musical group?
I am a solo artist, but I do have a wonderful group of musicians who back me up in my gigs from time to time.
What do you like about performing music?
I think what originally attracted me to music, especially as a songwriter, was that there have been so many songs over the years that have influenced me and affected me in such a profound way. And I find that a single song can change your mood, it can comfort you, it can inspire you, it can just have such an incredible effect on you. And that was my goal as a songwriter and a performer from day one – was to write and perform a song that could have that much of an effect on someone else. And so it’s incredibly rewarding to have someone come up to you after a performance and tell you that a song that you’ve written and performed has had that kind of effect on you. That’s what it’s all about.
What’s the biggest audience you’ve ever performed in front of?
YGK Craft Beer Fest last summer I believe. And I think they drew an audience of just over 2000.
Do you write your own music?
I do write my own music, yes. I’ve been songwriting since the age 13 and I’ve been incredibly lucky in the past couple of years to do some co-writing with some incredible musicians down in Nashville and in Canada as well.
What musicians have influenced your music?
In terms of songwriting: Dave Thomson, Patricia Conroy, Donovan Woods – those are the type of songwriters who I really, really look up to and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of them. And some of them are still on my musical bucket list so hopefully I’ll check those off in the future. But I’m influenced by musicians from all genres as well. I like to listen to a little bit of everything because I think inspiration can come from anywhere. I have a lot of respect for Canadian artists like Lindi Ortega, who are really approaching their musical career in a way that’s very true to who they are as a person kind of creating something that’s never been done before. I have a huge girl crush on Maren Morris at the moment, both as an artist and a songwriter. She has really opened some new doors for females in country music and set a lot of trends in songwriting that I know a lot of writers are looking up to.
What are you listening to right now?
Right now I am very into Love In a Bar by Ryan Hurd. I’ve been listening to a lot of Maggie Rogers lately: On and Off and Alaska are two really great songs. I also just like to listen to a lot of the playlists on Spotify. I mean there’s so many incredible musicians coming out of Canada these days. James Barker Band has a really great new single – Chills – that one's been on repeat lately.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on stage?
I was playing a gig last summer at Country in the Park sponsored by Country 93.5 in downtown Kingston and I guess when the mic was set up they had put the chord into the microphone, but it hadn’t clicked so it wasn’t perfectly in. So, in my first song I went to take the microphone out of the stand and the chord just went flying across the ground and it took us about three quarters of the song to get it back in again.