Despite being a global superstar in her own right Amy Shark revealed to City Hub that she still has moments where the feeling of impostor syndrome can sneak into her mind.
Imposter syndrome is that feeling which anybody can have, but certainly as an artist, where internally you don’t believe that you are as competent as others perceive you to be. According to Amy this hits her most when working with other musicians/artists. So obviously when the opportunity to work with both Ed Sheeran & Keith Urban on her song, Love Songs Ain’t For Us, the feeling came to the fore.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated a little bit,” Shark said. “I never thought I’d get that opportunity in my whole existence.”
In order to overcome this Amy says she has to go into “another part of my brain” so that she can ensure she is “working at their level.”
“I need to be able to shut off the fan part & show that I’m good enough to be there, which is a hard thing to balance & do. It’s always intimidating but I’ve had some practice now & I’m getting better at it.”
While imposter syndrome is a horrible mental state to deal with Amy explained that she never wants it to stop arising, “I hope I actually never lose it because the minute you start thinking you’re all that, you turn into a bit of an idiot.”
Amy believes it will never leave her because of her journey in music, “I think I’m always going to have a good 60-70% imposter syndrome, that’s just who I am. I’ve lived a really normal pedestrian life a lot longer than I have been Amy Shark, so it’s always going to feel weird for me to be in a room with Ed Sheeran or hanging out with Keith Urban. As much as I realise within 10 minutes they are normal people I’m always going to think they’re superstars.”
Once she was able to overcome her imposter syndrome Amy explained that she really enjoyed working with & learning from Sheeran & Urban.
“The level of professionalism of both was incredible. Ed would get to the studio a lot earlier than a lot of people I had worked with previously. He’s also so quick at drawing out the artistry in people, the lyrics or stories.
“Keith is Keith. I sent him the song and said ‘hey I’d love you on it’ without saying what I wanted. I just trusted that he’d do something great because he’s Keith Urban, & he did exactly that.”
Naturally at this point of our conversation we transitioned to the topic of Amy’s new album, Cry Forever.
“The album is another big step from my last album,” explained Shark. “I feel like I’ve just gotten better at my music. I’m more confident in my own skin, because now I know the direction I’m heading in, what songs to write, & what songs are going to resonate with my fans.”
With this added confidence Amy says she was able to be “more fearless” by taking the album in a more guitar heavy & fun-filled direction. A move which has in turn created an added level of excitement for her June arena tour.
“I’m looking forward to playing a lot more guitar on stage, plus when you add in my other songs from the back catalogue it’s going to be a fun filled set list.”
For this tour Amy will be performing at some major arenas around the country. Given her experience with imposter syndrome Amy told us she had to double check with her team that this was actually happening.
“I’m playing venues that I never thought I’d play. When I saw Rod Laver Arena in an email I asked ‘are you sure?’ That’s a very big venue & I’ve seen some fantastic shows there, so to think that I’m playing there is pretty wild. I haven’t really been doing this for that long so it’s a massive achievement.”
Headlining shows at these venues is just another special achievement on an already long list for Amy Shark. In just a few short years the young star has already won eight ARIA Awards, had several multi-platinum singles, a chart topping album, & even Australia’s highest selling album in 2018. All things Amy says she “never expected.”
“I had lived a very pedestrian nine to five life, so just to get my song played on the radio once was a massive massive achievement for me.”
Strangely COVID was actually beneficial for Amy in the sense that it gave her a chance to take the time to reflect on all of her achievements.
“Lately I’ve been taking that time & realising just how far I’ve come. I need to do that occasionally & give myself a pat on the back for how everything has turned out.
“There were so many years beforehand that were pretty dark. I thought the universe was telling me ‘you’re not meant to be a musician’ so to think that all of this has happened after jumping over all of these hurdles is wild.
“Things are still scary, full-on, different & heartbreaking at times but now I know how to deal with those emotions. So now I’m just excited & looking forward to being on tour with my crew & band again.”
Jun 12, Qudos Bank Arena, 19 Edwin Flack Ave, Sydney Olympic Park. $50.85-$91.60+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.amyshark.com