UNDER THE RADAR is how the vocalist Amy Mayes has been described. This up and coming artist has been making waves, and in her words, ‘slowly but surely’.
Creating her sound and perfecting her art has been first and foremost for Amy and this would describe her steady rise to notable recognition.
Amy was originally on course to become a classical singer but strayed from this path when she heard (at the age of sixteen) Janis Joplin singing 'Take Another Piece Of My Heart', the rawness of the vocals and how they were portrayed, spoke a story and one that Amy has aspired to ever since....
After graduating from the prestigious Leeds College of Music in 1999, studying under the well known UK Jazz Vocalist, Tina May and singing in the Duke Ellington Repertoire Orchestra, under the direction of the great Tony Falkner (drummer for Tubby Hayes), Amy listened, learned and honed what was to become her distinct sound.
The sound Amy has created could be called unfashionably old school but her love of the greats from a wide variety of genres, Bessie Smith, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Martha Reeves, Gladys Knights to name but a few have certainly helped create Amy’s unique, deeply soulful and meaningful way of singing and relaying a song, (cover or original) like no other.... It is with this true heartfelt emotion Amy has been able to encapsulate her audiences
Amy moved from Dorset to Leeds, learning her trade not only through study at Leeds College Of Music but by singing in local clubs throughout the north. She then moved to London where she lived and sung for ten years, playing with amazing session players who worked with the likes of Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse and Sting to name but a few. Amy also started sessioning for dance producers and co-writing tracks to be remixed on the dance scene…
Feeling she needed to get back to her roots Amy decided to return to Dorset and pursue her first love of soul and blues. Fortunately for Amy this was the best decision she could have made.... She started working with the most amazing local talent where she garnered a fantastic following and was soon invited to collaborate and sing with the prestigious Ben Waters who has graced the stage of Jools Holland and The Rolling Stones to name a few. Amy has since not only recorded on Ben Waters album 'Live in Moscow' but has followed that up by touring with him throughout Europe with his equally impressive band, gracing the stage at the most prestigious venues alongside great names including Mick Taylor (Ex Rolling Stones Guitarist), and a current session with Ben for Jools Holland Radio 2 show playing with him and his section band!
Amy has recently been signed to WHM Music and has released her debut E.P called simply 'An Introduction'. Tracks feature the brilliant guitar virtuoso Robbie McIntosh, and the equally brilliant Boogie Woogie pianist Ben Waters, plus her incredible band.
With Tour dates throughout the UK and Europe, Amy is looking forward to making her mark on the music scene!
All photography provided by Jared Chambers