Amy Marcus's music is based in classic roots and folk. While she only recently released her first collection of songs, Marcus has been writing music since the age of four. Marcus, who is also a photographer and mother of three children, uses music as a means to tell her own stories, and the songs on Brave are rich with their own snapshots of life and hard lessons. We are excited to share an interview with Amy Marcus about her new music and creative process, along with her book recommendations.
Please introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.
My name is Amy Marcus. I would describe my music as real, honest lyrics set to folk/roots inspired melodies.
How long have you been a songwriter? How long have the songs on Brave been around?
I've been writing songs for as long as I can remember. I would go sit at our piano starting at about the age of 3 or 4 and figure out melodies and put words to them. My parents use to make my brother and sister sit and listen so that I could pretend like I was having a concert.
Three of the songs on Brave I wrote the year before we released it. The other two I had written a few years back. Music is therapy for me, so the lyrics all revolve around things I was working through when I wrote them.
Talk about the recording of Brave. Who did you record it with? Were there any challenges in getting the sound you wanted?
Recording Brave kind of came out of nowhere for me. I had always wanted to put out an album but never really had the right opportunity. I recorded the EP with Rob Guy of Serve Productions. Rob had come across some of my music on Youtube and reached out to see if I'd be interested in putting an EP together. He was trying to make the transition from live sound production to more freelance studio projects and this was my first recording of my own. (I had done back ground vocals here and there for some people.). It was definitely a learning curve for both of us I think. I went from writing these songs alone in my living room, to teaching them to studio musicians and learning the recording process. It took some back and forth to get the sound where we both wanted it, but Rob did an amazing job with it.
How do you move through creative blocks? Who or what inspires you?
Creative blocks are the worst. I have several outlets for creativity and if I'm not feeling like songs are coming easily, I move on to another outlet for a while. I really try not to force out songs. I write what I'm feeling and typically they flow pretty naturally. My kids inspire me. I have 3 kids ages 9, 6 and 3 and they keep me going. I want them to teach them to pursue your dreams in life, and I think leading by example is one of the best ways to do that.
What inspires you the most about music in Kansas City?
Kansas City has such an amazing collection of talented musicians. I've found that there isn't competition per se, but an opening of arms ready to welcome you and let you do your thing. It's taught me that even with so many incredible musicians in the area, none of us are the same, we all bring something to the table, and supporting each other through this journey is important. It's been refreshing.
Amy's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
The Weight Of Blood by Laura McHugh. A really well written mystery
Baby by Patricia MacLachlan. A junior fiction, but an all time favorite
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lucky by Alice Sebold