Spotify Spotlight: Amanda Ong
In light of World Mental Health Day today, we've decided to shine the Spotify spotlight on this artiste who is on a journey to write songs that comfort and heal listeners. Yes, it is Amanda Ong's fervant wish that those struggling with mental health issues are able to heal through music.
Born and bred in Singapore, the 25-year-old has released her self-titled EP, which features six tracks and showcases her dexterity in juggling various musical genres to create harmonious tunes that discuss a variety of issues:
"The songs address family, friendship, self-doubt, love, and conflict through elements of indie-pop, folk, and a cappella," says Amanda. "The tracks are of various genres and I didn’t plan it that way, but those were just the sort of ideas that were floating around in my head when I first jotted the melodies down."
"My own mother (who currently works in Switzerland) told me she could relate to the lyrics in "Living On My Own". It was super sad coming from her because I can't go visit her right now, but it made her feel better after listening to my song," says Amanda. "And that's what I hope to achieve through my music for others."
She adds: "I made a playlist that encapsulates the running theme of my songs. It's a compilation of songs with sad lyrics that sound happy, with the same intention as what I want my songs to be for people."
"I usually get the inspiration to write my songs when I hit a low mood in my life and my other usual coping mechanisms (e.g. yoga/pole fitness/Netflix) aren't working," Amanda reveals. "Songwriting helps me get the emotion out of the moment and stuck into the song so that I still feel validated albeit by myself."
One of the artists Amanda draws inspiration from: Dodie. "I find that with her music, even though the lyrics are sad sometimes, it's able to calm me and take away some of my anxiety or depressed feelings," says Amanda.
"So I want my music to be like that for others as well, in a way where they can relate to the lyrics and, at the same time, make themselves feel better."
A big proponent of the Singapore arts community, Amanda has commissioned a different artist for every one of her releases to date. Her songs have garnered listeners in 79 countries, been featured on Spotify playlists such as Singapore’s Top Acts, Women Of Singapore, Rising 65, New Music Friday Singapore, and New Music Friday Malaysia.
Her songs have also been nominated for the Youth Music Awards 2020 under three categories – Earworm Of The Year, Best Feel Good Song, and Best Song to Sing Along to. At the moment, she is also producing regular a cappella covers both individually and with her a cappella group, New Recording 47.
Up next: a karaoke version of all six songs. Now, that's something to sing about!
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