Our next interviewee Amelia Eisenhauer may look familiar to you, especially if you were a consistent viewer of American Idol. Amelia was a contestant on the farewell season of the show, and this very talented singer-songwriter, classical violinist and champion fiddle player out of Nashville recently released her debut album "Fortune Cookie", available for purchase on iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fortune-cookie/id1195716895. After reading this exclusive Q&A, be sure to follow Amelia on social media and check out the visual to her single "Black Dog" below.
Tell us about your training as a classical violinist and playing the fiddle. How did you get your start playing these instruments and do you play others as well?
I started playing classical violin when I was 6 years old and started in the Suzuki program at Southern Illinois University. I played classical for quite some time, but I had a sudden urge to be able to play all the cool country stuff you hear on the radio! So after I spent three years learning the classical techniques and styles I started in fiddle lessons in New Athens and branched out to many different teachers over the years. I’ve picked up a few more instruments along the way, instruments are kind of like potato chips, you can’t stop at just one! I now play mandolin, guitar, bass, piano and I am learning cello.
What are your most proud of with your first album "Fortune Cookie"? Do you have a favorite song from the release?
I’m proud that I could spend my high school career making something like this, it’s not everyday you can successfully make an original album! My favorite song on the record would have to be Moth or Butterfly, I really enjoy every part of that song, it always makes me feel happy when I listen to it.
Tell us about the name of your band "The Peruvian Farm Girls". Who are the members?
The name “The Peruvian Farm Girls” is meant to convey an interesting, mysterious and colorful bunch of people, and it represents just that! The band consists of my mother Rhonda, my brother Andy, and Bryan Ward.
You have your calendar filled for the next few months with performances in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Illinois; what do you enjoy most about performing live?
I love performing live because it’s like throwing a party and it actually helps me become more in touch with myself as well as with my fans. I feel like the stage is the only place I can truly let go and not care about everything else going on around me.
What was it like standing in front of the three judges for the first time and singing your song? Were you nervous?
It was TERRIFYING, and the room was very cold because of all the lights and cameras. I was shaking all over and when it was all over and I walked out I couldn't even remember what I said! It came back to me in bits and pieces later, I was so nervous it was almost like a black-out moment!
What did your experience on the show teach you the most about yourself as an artist?
I learned so much from that experience. You learn to take criticism, you learn to take rejection. The night I was eliminated off the show was probably one of the hardest nights of my life. You keep questioning yourself, wondering if there was something you could have done better. However, you learn how important it is to just be yourself, and do what you do. One of the guys said to me "There's a lane for everyone." You learn to value your own art and stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Congratulations on your songs "Black Dog" and "Lucky" being featured in the film "A Short History of Drugs In the Valley". How did these song placements come about?
We had a mutual friend with Brent Kato, the guy who produced the film. He mentioned he was looking for original music from an up and coming artist so our friend Brian Duplantis introduced us. We send him some tracks and turns out our sound was exactly what he was looking for! It was a very lucky break for us.
If you had to describe yourself as an artist or your music in three words, which words would you select?
Intellectual, fun, eclectic.
What are your goals musically for the remainder of 2017?
My goal is to really find myself as an artist and write lots of original music! I am also learning Pro Tools at the moment, so I would love to get that mastered.