A&E » Arts

Spotlight on local music: Tessa Amy


Name: Tessa Amy

Hometown: Bunbury, Western Australia

Pique: When did you first get to the Sea to Sky region, and what brought you here?

Tessa Amy: 2000. My then Canadian boyfriend, now hubby, got a job on Whistler Mountain.

Pique: I understand you have quite a background in theatre and dance. How did that lead into a musical career?

T.A.: I come from a musical family. We were always involved in children’s choirs and theatre groups. Upon graduating from high school I began to work professionally in dance and musical theatre, then one day I decided I needed to travel. So, with my guitar strapped to my back, I ventured off on a five-year exploration. It was during this time that I began to write my own music — something I had never thought I could do.

Pique: How do you describe your sound?

T.A.: Electro/Pop. It’s like a cross between the French/Scando electro sound and a catchy, quirky, but variable, pop.

Pique: So, your sound has evolved from “young acoustic folk/pop” to more of an electro pop sound. How did that happen?

T.A.: After years of trying to form a reliable band, I endeavoured to take matters into my own hands. Hence, I now do all my composing on two music programs, Cubase and Reason. Reason is basically a bunch of synthesizers and sequencers and enables you to emulate almost any instrument you could dream of… all by playing it on your keyboard. Add a few drum beats and the “folk” sound had evaporated… But not into thin air; it does still raise its head.

Pique: You used to only use guitar along with your voice, correct? Now, what instruments have you incorporated into your music?

T.A.: Correct. Now I use whichever seems to come first in the writing process — often a synthesizer riff or drum sequence. My voice is still my main instrument, but now my instrumental options are limitless. Having said that, live performance is different. I can usually switch between my computer, keyboard, guitar, trumpet and vocals. Preferably, I would have a keyboard player and live drummer on stage with me. This adds to the energy and fluidity of the show and allows me to perform rather than be three places at one time.