Amanda Cooksey is a young singer and songwriter who credits lyrics and melodies based on her life experiences. Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Amanda started writing Music at twelve years old. Now residing in Tennessee and in possession of a college degree, Amanda is presently working on a series of new songs. She has opened for star Michael Ray at a show and is opening at a series of major concerts and events.

Amanda recently discussed her breakthrough in the music industry and more via an exclusive interview.

Songs, albums and the music industry

Meagan Meehan (MM): You started writing songs really young, so what were your first ones about?

Amanda Cooksey (AC): Being a teenage girl, of course I wrote about boy drama that I didn’t even have at the time. However, one of the most memorable songs that I wrote was a bullying song about a dear friend of mine.

MM: You grew up in Orlando, so did you visit Disney a lot and do you think your hometown influenced your creativity in any way?

AC: I get asked this question a lot! I went to Disney a few times as a kid, but I never really got into it. I was more of a Universal/ Islands of Adventure fan. I think Orlando is a cool place that has a lot of that childhood magic feeling we all need in our lives so I would say it most likely inspired me! I have always had a creative mind.

MM: What can you tell us about the album you’re working on now and what makes it different and special from your past work?

AC: This is actually the first EP I have ever worked on so that’s what makes it so special to me! I think a lot of the songs on this project are representative of my personality and songwriting. My first single, “Girl in the Mirror”, is one of the most real and honest songs I have ever written. I have struggled with insecurity my whole life, and I think this was a song that helped me pour out my feelings and one I hope will help other people dealing with these same emotions.

We all need a pick me up once in a while! I think this song was the best representation of who I am and the message I want to spread.

MM: How have you gone about breaking into the super competitive music industry and what sorts of genres do you enjoy writing music for—and singing—for most?

AC: I have been playing piano since I was in first grade.

It actually took me a while before I felt comfortable singing by myself in front of people. I was a very shy kid. My vocal/piano teacher, Ron Feldman, actually encouraged me to break out of my shell in eighth grade and try out for the school talent show. From then on, I was writing songs, performing, and moved to Nashville in 2014 to attend Belmont University as well as meet more people in the industry. There was a very limited music scene in Orlando, so I knew I needed to be around more like-minded people. I love writing Pop/ Country music. I started listening to country music my junior year of high school and fell in love with the storytelling and clever lyrics. However, I have always loved pop music and have been heavily influenced by R&B so my music reflects a variety of genres.

MM: How did you get the opportunity to book big gigs and work with some really well-known Celebrities?

AC: Fortunately, I was booking so many small shows around Florida that the big opportunities came out of that! I am really lucky and feel blessed because of it.

Hobbies, career and creativity

MM: What do you do in your spare time hobby-wise?

AC: I love watching movies. I am a big SyFy/ Horror movie fan so I try and find new films to watch on Netflix. There is always some sort of clever twist which is so intriguing to me. I also love spending time with my family and friends whenever I can.

MM: How do you intend to expand and evolve your career and creative content in 2019?

AC: I have a lot of goals for myself this year.

I want to release more music. I have definitely developed a bit of a new sound so I am excited to share it with everyone! I also want to continue performing as well as meeting more people in the industry.

MM: What are your biggest dreams regarding your singing and songwriting career and what exciting projects are coming up in 2019 that you might like to discuss?

AC: My biggest dreams are to write a hit song, tour the world, and influence people in some way. After writing many songs, I have finally found my own sound. I look forward to releasing new music and performing the songs I feel really passionate about. Most important of all, I want to share my story with people. I never dreamed I would be singing to crowds as a young girl, and I conquered my fear. I want to inspire others to go after their dreams and not be afraid to try. It will only hold you back from being truly happy.