We caught up with rising singer-songwriter, Amy Lawton to discuss new single ‘Hurts Like Paradise’, her inspirations and how she write songs.
You seem to have really honed your style with your latest single ‘Hurts Like Paradise’ – how did you find your footing as a pop-country artist within the British music scene?
Amy Lawton: I never think too much about the genre of what I’m writing or about what anyone else is doing. I write what naturally comes to me. I guess my country sound is a result of listening to a lot of country music, but I’m seeing more and more country music on the British music scene at the moment. But also because my songs don’t belong strictly to any genre I think they could work anywhere.
You have a few covers on YouTube – how would you say posting covers online has helped your visibility as an artist?
Amy Lawton: I suppose it’s a way of getting people to notice you when they’re searching for a song they like. If you do your own version of it you can show what kind of artist you want to be as well.
You’ve been compared to an early-era Taylor Swift and Alanis Morrisette. But who would you say are your inspirations?
Amy Lawton: I love the songwriting of people like Suzanne Vega, Joni Mitchell, Amy MacDonald, but I find it hard to think of an artist that I’d say my music is like. I also listen to a lot of country music like Kacey Musgraves and Keith Urban.
‘Hurts Like Paradise’ is one of your more ‘pop’ sounding songs – was there a conscious effort to kind of genre-merge for this track?
Amy Lawton: Not really, I wrote this song a long time ago before I’d even thought about people hearing it. The pop thing was an accident, and probably a result of the kind of music I listen to.
The latest single has a bitter sweet edge to it – echoed particularly in the title ‘Hurts Like Paradise’. What’s the message behind the positive aftertaste to this assumed sad song?
Amy Lawton: It’s a little confusing because the title is sort of an oxymoron. It’s saying that even though something bad has happened you’re glad that it did because you got to experience it while it was good. I think the positive aftertaste comes from the melody, because I like to juxtapose sad lyrics with happy sounding music. I think it depends on the person listening to it and what they’re experiencing in their life to decide if they feel it’s a happy or a sad song.
Both ‘Hurts Like Paradise’ and ‘Undone’ seem as though they could be poems as well as songs – what’s your writing process like?
Amy Lawton: I’ve always found the lyrics are the most important part of the song for me. I think a lot of people would say that the hook is more important but I think that may be what makes you like a song at first, but my favourite songs are the ones where the lyrics have more substance. Songs happen in different ways every time, but a lot of the time I collect the lyrics for a while before I start writing.
The music video for ‘Hurts Like Paradise’ involves a lot of acting with a very present storyline – what was it like to physically act out your lyrics?
Amy Lawton: It was a new but fun experience for me, trying to tell the story of the song which keeps developing with every verse of the song. It was sort of like going back in time to when I first wrote the song and remembering what inspired it.
Along with the release of your latest single, you’ve announced some live shows. What can someone expect from an ‘Amy Lawton’ gig?
Amy Lawton: At my my gigs you can expect to feel involved as a part of a connected audience, as well as get a little more insight into the stories behind my songs and stripped back versions of them to give you a feel of the making of them. I’ll be playing with a band, a set of songs that I wrote. But really I never know what to expect from a gig because every live show is different, the audience makes a live gig what it is.
What’s the ultimate goal for your music, and what does the future hold for Amy Lawton?
Amy Lawton: My goal for my music is to help people who are going through the same things as I have, in a positive, artistic and creative way. I think that people turn to music all the time which they relate to most. I’m going to carry on playing live as much as I can and keep releasing new music that I write. I want to keep writing about personal experiences and keep experimenting as my life changes.
Interview by Phoebe De Angelis
Featured Images by Ian Wallman