Kingston-based singer/songwriter Amanda Sadler released a new single on 20 January, “Drop the Needle Down.” Following on the success of her debut EP “The Light,” Sadler is exploring new vocal and lyrical territory with her new song, produced by Dave “Dwave” Thomson (Lady Antebellum, Autumn Hill). We had the chance to ask her some questions about her new single and her recent musical journey.
How would you define this single in contrast to your first project, “The Light?”
My debut EP The Light really reflected a period of growth for me as a songwriter and as an artist, where I was developing my sound and my vision for my music. Looking back on that project, from nearly two years ago, it’s so inspiring to see how much I’ve grown and developed, and where that’s brought me to today. My new single “Drop The Needle Down” is very much a game changer for me, because it really reflects a time in my career where I’ve found my groove as both a songwriter and an artist, and my sound is exactly in line with the vision I have for my music that I’ve worked so hard to develop.
In this new song, at least, you seem to be exploring the lower registers of your singing range a bit more than on “The Light.” (Note: I’m envious of such a singing range!) Is that a conscious choice on your part, or more of an accident of circumstance based on the song?
This was definitely a conscious choice, and reflects some huge developments that I’ve made this past year vocally. I was classically trained as a soprano and as a younger performer was often directed towards singing in an upper register. However, this past year I’ve spent a lot of time working with an amazing vocalist and musician in her own right, Miss Emily, who’s coached me to develop a much more expansive range and tap into areas that I didn’t know I really had before.
Your bio points out that you were classically trained – what drew you to country music? What do you love most about it?
I get asked quite frequently why I chose country music, but I’ve always thought that it kind of chose me. My family listened to everything from Shania Twain to Johnny Cash when I was growing up, so country was very much in my roots from a young age. When I started writing songs around the age of 13, I realized very quickly that country was where my heart and soul were as a songwriter and as an artist. The first time I heard “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss, I knew that I wanted to write in a genre where a single song could make you feel so much.
You’ve spent quite a bit of time in Nashville now – how have those experiences affected you as a musician and songwriter?
Last year I had the incredible opportunity of spending a month and a half down in Nashville, collaborating with some amazing writers and mentors, and recording some of my new music. I can honestly say that no other experience has ever caused me to develop so much and so quickly. Working with writers such as Patricia Conroy and Dave Thomson was an invaluable experience not only in terms of developing my craft and learning the musical nuances that are essential in creating a hit, but also about the incredible importance of being fearless in your writing. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that rewards gained come from risks taken.
As your career has taken off, is there one thing that has surprised you about the journey more than anything else?
One thing that continues to amaze and inspire me is how incredibly supportive everyone has been in this wonderful country music family that we have in North America. I’m so grateful to the wonderful people who have offered their guidance and support over the years as I’ve developed my craft. It’s such a privilege to be part of such an amazing community.
What plans do you have for touring in 2017 with your new material?
2017 is off to an incredible start with a cross-country radio and media tour to promote my new single “Drop The Needle Down.” I started in Vancouver and worked my way back east through BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and eventually back to my home base in Ontario. It was such a fantastic trip and I’m so excited that I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with all of the amazing people who work at our country radio stations across Canada. I’m thrilled to keep the ball rolling with some exciting dates in 2017 that will be announced very soon – stay tuned!
Photo credit: Erin Leydon (Leydon Photography)