Amy Wilcox Is Out “West” And Finding Her Voice Watch Amy Wilcox's Latest Video of her Cover of Lauv's "Never Not'
LOS ANGELES, CA- Over the past few years, country music has been solidifying its footing in Los Angeles’ musical landscape. With flocks of country fans heading out to the annual Stagecoach extravaganza, to the newly installed Tailgate Fest that debuted at the Forum featuring Toby Keith to the plethora local performance venues featuring talent who perform anything from Appalachian folk to bluegrass or to country folk to Cajun, there always something a little country going on in Los Angeles every night of the week.
Amy Wilcox is a bright young talent looking to carve out her own little country corner in the City of Angels.
The world got a little glimpse of this young songstress on A&E’s reality show about aspiring musicians in Music City, U.S.A., Crazy Hearts: Nashville. After the first season had concluded, and following some heartbreak, she moved to Los Angeles to start fresh and refine her sound and style.
While she’s got a little country in her voice, to classify her as only a country artist would be an affront to her talent. With a crystalline tone and strong pop sensibilities, there’s something magnetic about her musicality. As her latest video of her cover of Lauv’s “Never Not” demonstrates, she has the ability to sing a song, any song, and make it her own.
Prior to her recent performance at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, we were able to catch up with Ms. Wilcox to learn more about her, her journey to Los Angeles, and what we can expect from her going forward.
I read online a little bit about your experience on the reality television show for A&E. I understand that life threw a curveball at you after the show concluded.
Yeah. Everything was kind of riding high. I had this reality show. They were supposed to be pushing my music. During that time I met someone and things moved very quickly and we got engaged. After the show ended, I was signed to CAA. I was touring, I was doing all these things and I was planning a wedding. Everything was going great. And then my relationship just kind of completely fell apart and I ended up calling off my engagement and … that was a huge … just, nail in the coffin. I kind of had to take a step back and just get my life together and figure out what to do next and, you know, it was kind of an unwanted, but necessary, forced break from music for a little bit.
Did you always know you wanted to come back to music?
Yeah! I think I was really frustrated with just kind of how everything had gone down. Pretty angry at the world for a little bit there, and it was. You know, a lot of people are like, “Okay, well take that opportunity to write about it and really go dive into it,” but I just didn’t want to. I wanted to compartmentalize it and just push it away.
Why did you decide to head out to Los Angeles?
That’s kind of when the LA thing started happening. I was kind of burnt out in Nashville… and all that stuff had gone down in Nashville … and I needed a breath of fresh air. So I started coming out to LA and working with some new people and just associating with a totally different circle, different scene. It just, was so vital to kind of like rejuvenate my creativity and inspiring me to want to start writing again and want to start bringing up those emotions and using them in music.
So, before moving out to LA, you were kind of visiting LA to work with different producers?
Yeah. I kind of just came out. I came out once and was like, “This is great! I’ll come back out again,” and before you know it, it was an entire year where I was here like every two months, like clockwork. The more I was out here the more I realized I really loved it out here and I was working with some amazing people and, it just felt kind of like it was time to make the move and now I have this record label out here that’s been amazing and supporting me and so far it’s, good.
How hard is it for you to find your country niche in Los Angeles? I read how you were influenced by The Eagles and Jackson Brown and those types of Americana artists as well.
Yeah. I think so far, a lot of people in LA are really open-minded to the meshing of genres and I think a lot of my music and even more as I continue down this path here, is a lot more like rock based, and has not so much the, you know, country stuff. I kind of want to find myself in, surrounded by people who aren’t just inside that country music box. ‘Cause the country is in me, and that’s the way that I write and that’s the music that I’ve created so far. It sounds like country, but that’s why I love working with all these people. Some of them have never even heard country before. And that’s amazing to me ‘cause we’ll work to make a song the best song it can be, and not just “the best country song.” So it’s kind of been an eye-opening experience to work with people who … I’ll rattle off someone who’s had like five top number one country hits and they’ve never even heard of them. So, it’s cool. I think it’s a learning experience. I still go back to Nashville and work with a lot of people there, but for me, I want to surround myself with all the different types of styles so that I can really truly find what my niche is. And I think there’s a really cool country scene out here, it’s very alternative country and very old-school throwback, but, you know, I’ve had no problem finding cowboy hats all over, haha, all over Los Angeles.
I have to admit, they’ve been throwing a lot more country festivals these days.
Yeah, absolutely. And you go to Silver Lake and Echo Park and Los Feliz and there’s country hats and there’s country music everywhere, so, you know.
You released a few single from your upcoming EP West this year. “Somebody” and “Bandwagon”. What’s the plan fo the EP?
So we have four more tracks that’ll come out early next year, and then the entire EP will come out as well.
Did you write most of it while you were in LA or living in LA or while you were going back and forth?
Back and forth. I actually met a producer while I was in LA. We got connected through a mutual friend and I kind of told him about my journey, how I wanted to get back into writing an album and releasing music again. I was like … I don’t want to just go into the studio. I want to take this off-the-beaten path. Let’s get a cabin in the woods, let’s go create something and labor over it. And this guy was down. My producer Cass Dillon was ready and willing to go, and we went to this cabin and just started writing music and working on stuff and producing demos to see if that’s exactly what we wanted and it just kind of snowballed from there. But, “Bandwagon” was the first song that we released and that was the first song that I actually wrote that I was like, “Okay this is cool, this is kind of the sound that I’ve kind of been circling around and I dig this.”
So, obviously I was super excited about that song and then, from there we kept writing and kept, you know I mean, that experience, too, coming back into writing, was so energizing. And I was finally like positive and the whole album is kind of, it touches on some heartbreak and some bad decisions and stuff like that, but for the most part it’s really positive.
So I’m assuming it’s kind of like the feelings you got when you moved out West maybe?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean the West is like literal, but it’s also you know, a metaphor for me going through this rebirth and you know, everything sucked and I was miserable and then I decided to make a change and find what was gonna make me happy and that was just kind of going on this journey, going through that experience and getting back into my creativity, and then also just so happened to be moving out to the Pacific Ocean, which seems to be very therapeutic for me.
Honestly, it’s very therapeutic for everybody.
So, what’s the plan after the EP?
I hope to really get rolling with getting on the road and playing the songs It’s taken a while to get settled out here, but I’ve started playing live again and it’s been amazing. So my goal is to just play as many shows as possible and get the music out to people, and then also writing again with Cass. So far, it’s been really great and the music is just as edgy … if not edgier than … the previous EP. So, I’m super excited and collaborating with more people out here on the West Coast, and. My goal is for everyone to hear the music, is my number one goal.
Any thoughts about your performance tonight?
This is my first big show in LA, but we’re hoping to hit the ground running after the holidays.