Amy Shark

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Amy Shark

She’s been obsessed with the Australian classic film Jaws since she was a young girl, so it’s no surprise that Amy chose the word Shark to round out her stage name. With a penchant for fishing and all things Great White, it’s just another facet of the musician and film producer whose career was catapulted into the top charts last year with her ode to adolescent love, ‘Adore’.

The single, currently streaming across national commercial radio stations, was originally ‘discovered’ on triple j’s Unearthed, an avenue that has seen the likes of Flume, Tash Sultana, Sticky Fingers and a slew of other major artists fast-track their musical career. With a sold out tour about to head under-way and a slot in one of Australia’s biggest regional touring festivals, Groovin the Moo (GTM), it’s a wonder that being a musician wasn’t always a career choice for Shark.

“I was always a writer,” the Gold Coast local says. “It wasn’t until I was really out of school that I started listening to different indie bands like Death Cab and Modest Mouse, that I just noticed you didn’t actually have to have this amazing Mariah Carey voice – you could just make your own sound.”

However, it wasn’t something that happened overnight for Shark. The singer, who was working as a video editor and film producer whilst experimenting musically, took her time finding her signature sound – a blend of 90’s influences and modern instrumentals.

“I was using a lot of percussion and beats,” she says about her track ‘Spits on Girls,’ before dropping in some “electro drops” in her second track ‘Golden Fleece’, which won the pop song of the year at the Queensland Music Awards last year.

Feeling excited about the sound she was creating, Shark applied for a grant to help her work with Grammy-award winning producer M-Phazes, which, coupled with her desire to only use “words that are strong and timeless,” resulted in the now platinum ARIA single ‘Adore’.

“No one, including myself, thought ‘Adore’ was going to be a thing,” says the admittedly self-deprecating musician, which despite a slate of success was still surprised to be asked to feature on the GTM line-up.

“I’ve never been to Groovin the Moo at all,” Shark says, “but I’ve always loved the line-up, so when I got the call to say I had been offered that I was like, ‘What? This is crazy!’”

Discussing what new tracks she’d be performing at the festival, Shark laughs: “I think people only know one song at the moment so anything I play is probably new to everyone!” It’s this modesty that highlights the difficulty Shark had accepting that she was a top musician.

“When everything went so big so quick, I was like… I don’t know. I was supporting people and now they were supporting me?” she explains.

“I knew a lot of artists had been slugging it out and I guess I kinda feel like I had been too, but I hadn’t been going as hard as a lot of others have.” Shark grapples before admitting, “I’m always talking myself down and not getting excited about things. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that maybe I’m meant to be here. This is what I’m meant to be doing and I’ve got to stop beating myself up about it and going, ‘sorry the song is doing so well’. It’s just not normal.”

With a much anticipated EP in the wings, Shark is finally confident in calling herself a musician and with her music going forward.

“There was a bit of pressure with the whole next single, but I’ve got so many songs that I’ve written that have the same sort of angsty feeling and passion that ‘Adore’ has so I’m just really excited.

“I didn’t have to go and quickly write a banger,” she laughs, “I felt like I had some strong demo’s ready to go.”

One thing is clear, Shark has a bright career ahead of her – and whilst fans can catch a glimpse of her EP later this month at Groovin the Moo, Shark hinted “there could be a little treat coming out pretty soon, so keep an eye out! I never know what I can or can’t say,” she laughs. Well, we’ll keep it our little secret.

When & Where: Groovin the Moo, Bendigo – May 6

Written by Caitlin Haddad