BSCkids recently got the chance to talk with aspiring singer and musician, Amanda Raya. She spoke with us about her newest single entitled, “Without No Doubt,” her musical inspirations, and her goals for the future in music.
Amanda Raya is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter but is not your typical angst-filled teenager. The visually impaired fourteen year-old may not see the world the same as her peers, but her music shows a startling depth of vision. Amanda has been playing piano since the age of five and has recently added guitar to her repertoire. Learning by ear, she quickly mastered complex pieces and began composing original songs. Tackling a topic far beyond her years, Amanda’s debut single, “Without No Doubt,” is a mildly melancholic, yet powerful, young female perspective on a break-up. The chorus pleads for the object of affection to tell her how he feels. Her unconventionally beautiful voice and catchy songwriting make this track easily relatable and inspires spontaneous sing-a-longs. Amanda sings and plays both the piano and guitar on “Without No Doubt,” which was produced by Ashton Price (Lisa Swain, Kataklysm, Ripped), and mastered at the world-famous Lacquer Channel, by Noah Mintz (Peaches, Broken Social Scene, Sarah Slean).
BSCkids: Amanda Raya
When did you know you wanted to be a singer?
When I was very young, probably at the age of six! I remember telling parents that “when I grow up I want to be a singer!”
How supportive has your family been about your choice to be in music?
My family is VERY supportive of my music, and the path I chose. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Who inspired you musically?
I have many inspirations. Music has been a part of my life since I was young. But recently it is Taylor Swift, Adele, Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5.
What can you tell us about your single, “Without No Doubt”?
It’s a story about love and losing the person you love so much, begging him to stay, to see that after all we have been through, it just can’t be over! The music and lyrics just came to me in class and I couldn’t wait to come home to finish it and play it on my piano. We’re actually giving it away free on my website (www.amandaraya.com) on June 25, but if people like it, I hope they’ll also buy it on iTunes that same day, because we’re putting up different versions there too.
Do you write all your own songs? What about the music?
Yes, so far, I do everything – I come up with a catchy tune, and then I write the lyrics. But I’m also open to performing songs that other people write, if I really like the song.
When can your fans expect your debut album to be released?
I am still working on it, but hopefully in the near future! In the meantime, I hope the single will hold them over, as well as other songs and covers that I put up on YouTube.
Can you explain what kind of visual impairment you have grown up with?
I was born with it. I don’t see as well as other people but that hasn’t stopped me from seeing the world. I learned that everyone has their own challenges. Mine happens to be my vision. Right now biggest challenge is managing exams and performances!
How hard was it to learn to play guitar and piano?
Piano was very easy! I started formal lessons when I was five, but before that I had a small keyboard which I played on, forever trying to figure “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or making my own little songs! Guitar is a little trickier, but I am getting better and better at it.
If you could perform with any singer/musician, who would it be?
Definitely Taylor Swift!
What is the hardest part about working in the music industry and being a teenager?
Keeping up with school, preparing for exams and while writing, composing and recording! But it’s lots of fun!
Do people treat you any differently since you became a recording artist?
No, not really. My friends, teachers and family have been very supportive and it means so much to me.
Do you have any plans to eventually move to LA or will you stay in Toronto?
I guess for now I am in Toronto, but you never know.
What is your favorite hobby to do outside of music?
I love to swim, water ski, and read a good book!