Having promoted some of today’s best known and hottest music acts from when they began their journey, we’re pleased to showcase the amazing talent of solo star: Amy-Jo Clough
Amy-Jo had many inspirations growing up. From Mariah Carey being the biggest influence, to Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Whitney Houston. Amy-Jo describes her sound as soul mixed with country. The first glimpse of performing Amy-Jo received was when she was encouraged to enter an online contest at only 11 years old. The contest was the chance to perform with stars such as Anthony Costa from boyband Blue and Kevin Kennedy from Coronation Street. Amy-Jo won the online vote and was given the chance to perform at the show where she sang a Duffy Classic. This then lead to Amy-Jo supporting the American Four Tops and the Back to Broadway cast at the Lancaster Grand Theatre.
It wasn’t until the age of 13 where Amy-Jo realised this is something she could turn to as a career when she won North West Search for a Star in Preston; out of 2000 auditions. Amy-Jo quotes “I remember coming home from sound check crying thinking I wasn’t good enough to be in the final; I can’t believe I went on to win!” The prize for this contest was to perform for 10,000 people at the Preston Light Switch on; an experience Amy-Jo will never forget. She sang alongside X factor stars. As Amy-Jo was enjoying her early success, she was spotted singing at a gig where a new opportunity would arise.
At around 13 years old, Amy-Jo was spotted by the Miss England director where she was asked to perform as the guest singer for every show they do in the North West. This meant that amongst her school work, every weekend Amy-Jo would travel to Manchester, Bury, Ulverston, Carlisle and other areas across the North to perform at these shows where she began to gain very loyal fans including Harry Styles’ mum who tweeted about her and filmed Amy-Jo performing live! Once performing for the Miss England rounds, she was then spotted by the Miss Teen Great Britain and Miss Galaxy director and asked to perform at her shows too. This then lead to more commuting around the country to attend these events.
“I have many influences from many different genres which reflects the variety of genres I perform. I’ve grown up with soul/RnB music as this was the style played around the house and in the car. These early influences were Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, R Kelly. I grew to like country music when I reached 13 where I discovered Leanne Rimmes, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. As I began writing songs, I listened to some great singer/songwriters such as Gabrielle”.
It was around this time where Amy-Jo began writing her first songs. Amy-Jo quotes “I had always been writing lyrics, but it wasn’t until around 13 where one of my closest friends taught me a few chords on the guitar and then I was hooked”. Amy-Jo began writing many songs on piano and guitar about love, boys, high school, and everyday life situations. Amazingly, Amy-Jo began to receive guitar lessons by what Amy-Jo quotes as “An incredible man” where she discovered he had great recording equipment and knowledge of music. She also plays piano, bass and guitar when recording her own songs. She began recording her songs here which lead to her original songs “Sorry For” and “Shy again” to be put on iTunes which gained lots of interest; not only on iTunes, but YouTube too where Amy-Jo now has over 400 subscribers and over 40,000 views. Recently, Amy-Jo has had these songs played on Bay Radio, Radio Lancashire, Halifax radio and BBC introducing. She has also written a song for the end titles for a short film called “Striving for perfection” by a talented film writer.
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“A beautiful blend of soul mixed with country” – Mark Boardman (Music Journalist).
Amy-Jo has also been involved in charity work where she has raised thousands for the Ryan Stanford Appeal (A little boy named Ryan with Alpers disease). Amy-Jo won £1000 by winning the Furness Building Society Charity Challenge and donated this money and also ran the junior great north run in order to raise funds. As well as this, at around 13 years old, Amy-Jo sang “I’ll stand by you” as the lead vocalist along with Kate ford (who plays Tracy Barlow in Coronation Street)and other household names helping to sing the chorus which was played on The Bay radio numerous times and sold all across the north-west.
At aged 16, Amy-Jo was offered many incredible opportunities such as supporting “Liam Tamne” off The Voice in Harrogate and Matt Cardle (along with Be Minor and Reconnected) in Burnley. She was also fortunate enough to perform for 25,000 people alongside The Vamps, Union J, Little Nikki and The Brit School in Sheffield for Capital FM where she received extremely positive feedback. She also supported Alexander O’Neal at the Buxton Opera House.
Aside from singing, Amy-Jo is also trained in Tap, Ballet, Modern, Street dance. She was chosen to be the choreographer for the Pantomime at the Lancaster Grand Theatre for two years where she taught the cast and dancers the moves, and even performed herself for 16 nights running to busy and sold-out audiences. As well as dancing, a passion of hers is acting. At aged 13, she was entered into a national acting competition where she delivered a 20 minute monologue in the final against other schools. She went on to come second. Amy-Jo also performed as Sandy in Grease and has carried many main roles in plays at The Lancaster Grand Theatre and The Dukes. She also plays piano, guitar and is currently learning the drums. Amy-Jo is looking forward to all the excited things in store for her and wants to thank everyone for being so supportive along her journey.
When asked what girlband from the past 20 years would Amy-Jo most liked to have been in, she told us “I would have been a part of Destiny’s Child, they had such an amazing attitude and edge to their music. The songs were so catchy and I used to adore Beyoncé. They always had brilliant dance moves and could freestyle in all of their music videos and as a dancer, I would love to have done this”.
Amy-Jo CLough recalls her most memorable gig to us “My most memorable gig was performing in Sheffield for 25,000 people. This was because sitting in the dressing room, I had no idea what that amount of people would look like having never performed for such a large audience. Walking up the steps to the stage was the first time I could see the audience moments before going on and I remember shaking and pacing up and down because I was so nervous! But once I was on stage I settled into it and had a great time”.
Amy-Jo is now looking forward to supporting Blue in September, performing at a number of festivals over the summer including Warrington Pride and working towards her EP launch on the 25th July.
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Feature by Entertainment Journalist, PR Professional & Social & Media Expert Mark Boardman
Each month we celebrate an artist who we feel deserves some recognition, whether they are an undiscovered talent trying to make it into the music business, or an existing star who has not reached the level we feel they deserve to be at!!
Previous MarkMeets Music Artists have included: Mary Spender, Kit Rice, Derek Ryan, Harvey, Jamie Eldridge, Tom Andrews, Blaise, Luke Towler, Carly Rae Jespen, Aiden Grimshaw, District 3, Adam Lambert and The Dolly Rockers. We have supported brand new artists too from Kingsland, Tich, through to Concept, Ria Ritchie and Overload.
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Background MarkMeets – Having attended thousands of music showcases, gigs, red carpet events and showbiz parties and having written a huge amount of album reviews and features on celebs, film, music and TV over the years; Site editor and founder Mark Boardman and everyone who contributes to MarkMeets including celebs, journalists and freelancers have one things in common: The Passion for Music and Film. MarkMeets – Promoting new talent.