Singer-songwriter Amanda Fama chose the name Here To Stay for her recently released debut album. The title has a double meaning, in that while it comes from a song she wrote about a summer love, it also reflects the fact that she intends that both she and her music are also “Here To Stay.”
Growing up in Barnegat, Amanda received a heavy dose of musical inspiration from both her mother, who has a beautiful singing voice, and her father, who played guitar in multiple bands. She often went to his shows, and it inspired a desire to be up there on stage playing as well. At the age if 11, she got her first guitar, and was soon on her way.
“At the moment, I play mostly solo,” Amanda says. “I have been performing as a solo acoustic act since I began, aside from a few collaborations that I have done with musicians for fun at certain local school gigs. For my new record, I have played on the tracks, as well as my dad and my producer. Together, we have the skills to play all of the instruments that we need to make the songs sound produced. I am currently looking for band members who would want to go full-time into music next summer to perform my original songs, but until I find the right people, it’s just me and my acoustic guitar.”
She and her guitar have managed to hit venues ranging from local schools and coffeehouses to clubs such as The Stone Pony and The Saint, and to venues in New York such as The Bitter End, The National Underground and Bar East. She also made her way down to Nashville, where she hit some of the clubs she was allowed to get in, being that she was 18 at the time. “I look forward to visiting the city again and playing more venues that will now let me in. I just turned 21. I currently go to school at Ramapo College of New Jersey and try to play at as many school events as possible, such as Oktoberfest and numerous Greek life events. Basically, I play anywhere from coffee houses to bars to showcases to school events.”
Musically, Amanda’s songs cross from simple, intimate voice and guitar tracks, to fully produced acoustic pop tunes. But they all have in common a desire on her part to be genuine and to tell a story. “That is what I love to do when I write songs; I love to be a storyteller,” she relates. “I usually start off by playing a chord progression that fits my mood, and then I start singing a melody. Melodies have always come pretty naturally to me, and once I have those down, I sing words that fit the melody and the chord progression. Once I have the basic structure of the song down, I go back and edit the words so that they fit the message of the song that I am trying to portray. I love writing songs late at night, usually past midnight, because I feel like you have so many emotions when everything is quiet and it’s just you and your thoughts.”
One of the songs that draws a strong response from listeners is “Daisy.” “I wrote the song about moving on after being in a relationship with someone who didn’t know what they had until it was gone,” she explains. “People love the line, ‘I promise you that you’ll find a rose, but I’m a daisy.’ It’s very self-fulfilling and gives people confidence to not settle and be the unique person that they are while in, or out, of a relationship.”
While Amanda is influenced by artists such as Taylor Swift, Jewel and Kacey Musgraves, a major inspiration has always been The Beatles. “I grew up listening to The Beatles, so I have always been really inspired by their unique melodies and chord progressions,” she states. “They are definitely my favorite band, and will always be.” Other groups she relates to are The Lumineers and The Head And The Heart. “I am really moved by their raw, yet intimate songs,” she adds. “You can feel their passion through their music, and I want people to feel that about me, too.”
That feeling is what drives her goals for her music and her career as an artist. “My music goals have been the same since I began dreaming,” says Amanda. “I want to be a successful singer-songwriter, and I want to perform my music for thousands of people all over the world. I want to touch people with my lyrics and I want to be a role model. I want to be someone that people turn to in their times of need, when they want to listen to a song that will make them feel better. I want to be a musician that makes people happy and gives people hope, whether it is hope about love or hope about life. I don’t want to be that stereotypical ‘pop star’ that makes a living off of a song that was written to sell; I want to write songs that will live on forever in people’s hearts and minds.”