The past few months have been a whirlwind for Amy Shark.
Shark catapulted into the Australian music scene off the back of her single ‘Adore’. Garnering the number 2 spot in Triple J’s Hottest 100 Countdown, the bright lights of success were immediate and sudden.
‘So much has happened and every now and then when I think about that, it is still quite overwhelming. Even when I get asked all the time, I still can’t believe people voted it that high.’
Whilst most Australians listened to the Countdown at a BBQ or a party, Shark spent it nervously waiting through each song from number 100, hoping and stressing for ‘Adore’ to register well. When ‘Adore’ came second, it was a hallmark moment for a young career.
‘It’s still a massive pinch myself moment.’
Once the champagne stopped flowing, Shark put her vision forward onto what’s next. With her official debut EP coming out this April, Shark emphasised how important her surrounding team are to ensuring that she isn’t a one-hit wonder.
‘A lot of jobs get done by people who know what they are doing, who know what the right steps are for me. It’s a totally different universe to what I’m used to. The shows are bigger and people look over my material.’
‘It’s totally weird but it’s what every musician dreams of and I don’t take it for granted.’
Gold Coast born and raised, Shark credits the area for her sense of perspective and honesty within her music. Additionally, the area exposed Shark to all types of artists which influenced her sound, from punk bands to future Australian Idol contestants, like Ricki-Lee Coulter.
‘We actually are good friends; she was a grade above me and has an absolute monster of a voice. I would never sing but I played the guitar for her. We like totally different music,’ Shark laughed.
Past high school, Shark diligently honed her songwriting with a series of numerous EPs released over several years. For her official debut EP, titled Night Thinker. Shark focused on crafting a new sound with producer Dann Hume of Evermore fame, who she credits as a key part of the artistic process.
‘I don’t even compare anything anymore, cause anything else that I’ve ever put out is totally different to this,’ Shark said, ‘it took me a very long time to figure what my sound was, you know when you’re younger you get persuaded to try different things and you actually do it…which is stupid.’
'Only that I feel when I got older did I really say to myself, ‘no I’m going to explore this sound’, it took me ages to say that I write guitar but I love hip-hop beats and electronic production, so I’m going to mix it all together.’
‘I’m really confident in what my sound is which is a great position to be in as an artist.’
Of course, the spotlight is now on Amy Shark like it has never been before and with that comes unprecedented expectations and pressure for the emerging artist.
‘I definitely feel more pressure now, but that’s only because now I know that everything I put out, people will actually listen and talk about,’ Shark said, ‘it’s really different to writing just for yourself. I’m going to try very hard not to let that interfere with how I’ve always written. I don’t want many filters on myself and to be honest.’
In addition to her songwriting, Shark is incredibly passionate about film. Alongside her (former) day job as video editor for rugby team, the Gold Coast Titans, Shark directs and edits all her own music videos. With her parents letting her borrow their video camera at a young age, interest grew into obsession as she continued to experiment with film all the way into high school, especially with cutting short videos and music. Now that experience gives her a heightened sense of insight into her own visual direction.
‘I’ve always had a strong vision for my music videos and I want that to continue. I never see myself taking a step back in that regard. Film is something I would love to pursue in years to come.’
For Shark, her visual inspirations come from the reality of suburban life in the Gold Coast.
‘I like finding beauty in weird places. I like highlighting where I grew up, places that always meant a lot to me.’
Just as she is always looking for new musical inspiration, Shark is equally seeking out constant film inspiration. One such artist is FKA Twigs who uses dark, frantic imagery in her video clips. A demonstration of that could be seen with the use of a snake in the video clip for ‘Adore’.
‘I needed a dark or a scary element for this video. And I knew this snake handler and he came and got the snake out. I have such a phobia of snakes and all my friends were picking it up and playing with it.’
‘When I stepped over it, I was shitting myself and the whole time I was just questioning why the hell did I do that. I’m definitely not into snakes whatsoever.’
With a podium place in the Hottest 100, a new EP and an emerging film career to boot, it definitely seems that Amy Shark is ready to take her newfound success head on.
Amy Shark's EP Night Thinker is out April 21
Alex Capper, once affectionally called by Ross & John of 3AW as the '7 foot fucker', loves the Essendon Football Club, stalking reddit and dabbing. He thinks he can speak French, but he can't.