In the series of interviews for this Fall and Winter season, I came across one of the latest singers from the USA to grace the world with her music. Amber Rubarth is like a breath of fresh air in a medium that is dominated by conglomerate music.
Amber Rubarth recently won the 2010 New Song Contest and was able to take time off from her European tour to be interviewed. Here is Amber Rubarth in her own words.
1. What was your initial response when you found out that you won the 2010 New Song Contest?
I couldn’t be more excited. My favorite album of all time is Tom Waits’ Mule Variations, and Jacquire King recorded that album. And I’m such a fan of NPR’s Mountain Stage too… I was just purely thrilled. I’ve put a lot of time already into making music and doing it independently, and this is a huge step up for me.
2. How did you get started as an artist?
When I was 17, I moved to Carson City, NV to become a chainsaw sculptor. I did this for 3 years (through a live-in apprenticeship) and toward the end, my mentor Matthew Welter (who also owned the shop) told me the most important thing he’d ever learned is that a person needs to follow their number one passion, throw everything into it and not have a back-up plan, because that’s the only way they will be truly great and serve their purpose in the world. It flipped something in my mind, and although I’ve always known music is my first passion, I never pursued it because it felt selfish. This made me feel like it would be selfish instead not to pursue it, and since then I haven’t really looked back.
3. Who are your musical idols and what inspiration did you draw from them in order to form your own style of music?
Tom Waits, Bright Eyes, Randy Newman, M. Ward, The Animators, Chopin, Cole Porter. People who create such a beautiful and intimate world and draw you into it. I like details and colors and love when artists create a mood rather than over-think the process of what is supposed to be in a song.
4. You have done concerts in Europe and North America and Japan. How has been the response to your music on different continents?
I’ve been lucky because people have responded with amazing warmth all over the world, but I especially love traveling to Japan and Europe to play because there’s so much to learn there, and their appreciation is more on a whole level, or a mood level, than lyrical or heady. The European and Japanese cultures have such deep roots and I feel like they’re the wise old grandparents and we’re teenagers, still trying to prove ourselves and figure things out.
5. What is your advice to those who want to become artists?
I don’t know if there’s a shortcut. I read something yesterday from Ernest Hemingway that was great, he said “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”
6. Do you have any words for your public?
I am truly thankful to everyone who has been so encouraging, it is amazing that today artists can live on their art without being signed due completely to the public. I am lucky and want to make something great to return my thanks. Thank you.
I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation and wish you the best in Sweden and the rest of the world.