Amy Shark does not like holding back – as the star prepares to go on tour

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Amy Shark doesn’t like to hold back.

In her interviews, in her songs, or on the stage.

“You’ve caught me at a good time,” she tells 7NEWS.com.au.

“We’re knee-deep in rehearsals, building this absolute monster of a stage. The songs are sounding so big and epic.”

“It’s just going to be a really special one. One of those tours, you know?”

There’s a level of confidence in the 35-year-old’s voice. It’s not overt, but quiet. A confidence that has been earned.

Her first album, 2018’s Love Monster, debuted in the ARIA chart at number one. She craved the same success for her follow-up album, Cry Forever.

Amy Shark’s sophomore album ‘Cry Forever’ debuted at number one. Credit: Sony Music

“I’m not going to lie, I really wanted the number one for this album because I’m a little biased and think it deserved it.”

Her wish was granted when her second album also took top spot the day it was released, in May this year.

A national tour announcement soon followed. But thanks to the pandemic – a national tour postponement was also a real possibility.

‘I get myself into trouble’

Putting the risk of cancellation to one side, covid restrictions have capped the number of people allowed at concerts. However, the same rules haven’t been as strictly applied to sporting events.

Amy took to Twitter to voice her opinion on the matter, slamming the Queensland premier for abandoning the music industry.

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In our interview, she’s initially hesitant to add fuel to this Twitter fire.

“I’ve been told not to comment too much because I get myself into trouble.”

But it’s clear the issue is one that still hurts the ARIA Award-winner, because she quickly followed up by saying: “It’s friggin’ ridiculous. It’s an absolute joke at the moment. I’m trying to play a tour and the capacity gets to 3000 and they go ‘oh we can’t play that many’.

“And then I see 41,000 at sports events and the big thumbs up and I don’t know, it’s just gonna piss off any artist.”

Amy versus the ’d**kheads’

Amy Shark hasn’t always been an outspoken artist. For a long time, Amy didn’t know who she was. It took her years to figure out.

“That’s the hardest thing to do. What’s your sound? Who do you want to be as an artist? I got told so many times what to do, how to do it, what I should be doing by so many d**kheads.

Amy Shark performs during Music From The Home Front at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on April 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Amy Shark performs during Music From The Home Front at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on April 24, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty

“So when I finally grew up a little bit I thought ‘I’m gonna do this because I think I’m good at it’.

“The second I didn’t care anymore was the second it all clicked. The second I stopped trying to impress people, and just wanted to impress myself.”

“It’s too hard to be somebody else.”

But in some ways, Amy had to be.

Becoming Amy Shark

She grew up as Amy Cushway. But in an effort to keep some separation from her family, she opted for a stage name.

“I landed on the name Amy Shark and I felt a little more free to be this weird alias.”

Amy performs during "The Late Late Show with James Corden," in 2017, when she first rose to international attention.
Amy performs during “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” in 2017, when she first rose to international attention. Credit: CBS via Getty Images

Amy Shark’s breakthrough hit “Adore” meant she was being noticed. And with that attention came gigs.

Amy felt she had nailed the songs, and the name. But her ‘look’ was something she had given little thought.

Luckily for Amy, she is managed by someone who knows her better than anyone – her husband, Shane.

Amy and her husband Shane, along with the late, great Michael Gudinski at the APRA Music Awards, April 30, 2019.
Amy and her husband Shane, along with the late, great Michael Gudinski at the APRA Music Awards, April 30, 2019. Credit: DANIEL POCKETT/AAPIMAGE

“I remember I had a big meeting; I was flown to New York to meet with a record label. I was so jetlagged, my hair looked like crap, I didn’t know what to do with it. So, Shane was like ‘just do that half-up, half-downy sort of thing you do when we go to the beach, that looks cool.’

“So, I threw my hair up like that, and the guy at the record label said ‘I love your hair and I love your Adidas jacket.’

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“And for some reason that was it, it was like a uniform was created that day.”

The international attention followed quickly for Amy. Love Monster was a hit in the U.S., peaking at number two on the U.S. Heat Chart.

Sharing with Sheeran

And it opened all sorts of doors, including those belonging to music’s biggest names. Cry Forever features the songwriting skills and vocal talents of some serious star power.

Ed Sheeran and Amy writing ‘Love Songs Ain’t For Us’ together.
Ed Sheeran and Amy writing ‘Love Songs Ain’t For Us’ together. Credit: Seven

“There were some opportunities where I feel like I was lucky, but we really hustled and fought for those opportunities to come about.

“Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Travis Barker, they’re all relationships that I’ve nurtured myself. It wasn’t me begging my label or someone to hook us up.

Keith Urban and Amy Shark perform at the 32nd Annual ARIA Awards 2018 at The Star on November 28, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.
Keith Urban and Amy Shark perform at the 32nd Annual ARIA Awards 2018 at The Star on November 28, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Amy wrote the single “Love Songs Ain’t For Us” with Ed Sheeran, and says they hit it off instantly.

“Hanging out that day, having dinner that night, creating together, we discovered how similar we are in the way we live our life.”

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The song has Ed Sheeran’s fingerprints all over it, but another very famous voice – and guitar – on it.

Russell Crowe introduced Amy to his old mate Keith Urban, who jumped at the opportunity to join the recording of the song.

But did Rusty offer up his dulcet tones?

“(laughs) No, no. I’ve listened to a lot of his new stuff and surprisingly it’s really good.

He’s a good friend of mine now, I see him all the time, we play tennis all time. He’s just a real champion of me and I’m so grateful to have him in my corner.”

Husband Shane, Amy Shark, Nicole Kidman, Deborra-Lee Furness and Russell Crowe.
Husband Shane, Amy Shark, Nicole Kidman, Deborra-Lee Furness and Russell Crowe. Credit: Twitter

The reluctant battler

With a corner full of A-Listers, two number-one albums and tennis with an Oscar winner, it’s a strange and successful life Amy’s leading.

In a profile on 60 Minutes, she was described as a ‘battler’. It was a description that, initially, didn’t sit well with the Queensland native.

“It really pokes out that line, it sounds hard to listen to. But when I think about me and my life and what I was doing.. I was battling. I was the pinnacle of an Aussie battler.

“Working 9 to 5 on the Cold Coast as a video editor for the Gold Coast Titans for their website. I would do that, then go and play at really soul-destroying TABS and pubs where the guys wanted to watch the race behind me, and I was just in the way.

“I would do that for cash, to earn money to go and record my own songs on the weekend.

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“I was battling for 15 years.”

But the battle was worth it. Amy Shark is now one of the most successful Australian artists.

Amy performs during Fire Fight Australia at ANZ Stadium on February 16, 2020 in Sydney.
Amy performs during Fire Fight Australia at ANZ Stadium on February 16, 2020 in Sydney. Credit: Cole Bennetts/Getty Images

She’s cleaned up awards, sold-out shows and written music that connects with audiences right across the globe.

Just don’t ask her what she’d be doing if music hadn’t worked out.

It scares me to think. I don’t want to jinx it. I’ve found my dharma.”

Amy Shark’s Cry Forever is out now. Tickets to her national arena tour are on sale now at amyshark.com

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