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Spotlight on Amber Wildling Stone - Interview with Songwriter Scene

'One of those girls they name hurricanes after' has become the synonymous phrase to describe Amber, born from lyrics in her single 'That Girl Jolene.' In her own words, she is very much a girl that should come "with a warning label." Not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, Amber waves the flag for being equal parts strength and fragility. A 'Complicated Contraction,' she is both 'beauty and disaster.'

With her single 'That Girl Jolene' gaining the number one spot on US TV show 'Next Stop Nashville,' a top 5 spot for 'Best Original Rock Artist' (International Singer Songwriter Association 2019) plus 'Independent Rock Anthem of the year' Belter Radio (2019,) her edgy style, and unique sound is certainly starting to get recognition.

What inspires your song writing?

 I'm just a human, writing my truths, and what comes out, comes out, whether it's pretty or not. My life, my experiences and my relationships are my muse really. I write as catharsis and as a navigation tool; especially at times when I feel a strong emotion, both positively and negatively. 

 For me I guess it's really all about exploring the emotion of new situations I find myself in, both good and bad and then committing those to paper and music; almost like a photograph of a perfect moment. There is beauty in the chaos of a raging storm, but instead of a perfect picture of a lightning bolt - I'm trying to create snapshots of feelings, of the human experience. As transient and fleeting as some moments seem, impactful situations and feelings will no doubt come at me again, but they will never be as powerful as the first time - so I like to catch them in their raw state, before they become tinged with nostalgia or jaded by prior experience; those feelings make different songs.

I write because it's my story, and in reality our own emotions and own experience of the moments in our story is all we will ever own. We cannot take our possessions with us, nor does anyone else remember what we had, but they do remember who we were and how we made them feel. We are all just humans and souls experiencing moments in time, and I like to capture them; like unedited, perfectly imperfect polaroid photographs, bursting with feeling, keepsakes of my memories; a journal of my existence. 

 A purge of what consumes me and an exploration of the lessons to take forward, is what makes writing for me, not a choice, but a compulsion. It is my closure of where I've been and the blank page of where I am going. If I don't purge what's taking up space, it starts to cloud everything else, perception, judgment; and I like to try to deal with other people, thoughts and feelings, from an emotionally non biased place.

 I like being alive, in all its storms, I like to feel all the feelings, but that doesn't mean that I find it easy.

 I'm an emotion collector I suppose, and moments in time are my treasure; I preserve them and give them space to shine for what they are.

 By nature we are relational beings, so it's no surprise that the much of what I preserve is collected from from both ends of the joy and despair scale; carefully and lovingly sifted from the expansive grey space between love and pain. 

As an independent artist, how do you decide your songs are 'good songs' and worthy of being recorded for a single / album?

Funnily enough, I decide that after. I think the best songs I write aren't based on their genre, or how upbeat/catchy they are - it's the ones that somehow come round again, after I've recorded them, put them out into the world and sat with them a while; almost as a 'slap in the face' reminder that I'm on the same carousel that I've been on in the past. Whether it's an angsty rant song, a reflective look at myself, or song of heartache, it is a strange thing to feel your own words thrown back at you, a long time after you first put those thoughts to paper. So the songs I think of as my best, are the songs that almost wake me up again - whether it's from staying in relationships or situations where I'm being unappreciated/undervalued or the ones that light a little fire in your belly; when you are feeling perpetually disenchanted with life.

Do songs ever not make the cut?

Some songs get put on the shelf for a while, normally it's because they weren't fully finished or recorded at the time of writing. If I stop resonating with how I was feeling at the time I started it, it starts to feel contrived, so I then wait until something reignites the fire of feeling. If that doesn't happen, then it didn't mean enough, and if it doesn't mean enough to me anymore, it no longer matters.

What do you hope to achieve as a songwriter?

My hope is, in sharing my truths, (as much as we all think no one else is going through what we are) in reality I am likely speaking somebody else's truth, or at least hitting on similar situations or stories; so I guess It would be nice to think I am validating others feelings and providing a vehicle for others expression - whether it's shaking them up a little, or providing comfort at times when you feel stuck or alone in your position.

Given that your songs are so completely personal, do you ever feel vulnerable or nervous sharing your work?

Always. It's not an easy thing to do, but I don't feel it's a choice, it's a weird compulsion. I'm pretty introverted on the whole, but somehow creatively, I'm a raging exhibitionist. I'm naturally pretty rebellious and like to push the envelope to a degree, but it's sometimes difficult because my songs are all my own thoughts and opinions. It's my side of the story, often of conversations never had. Often before I communicate my feelings to someone, I first put my thoughts to paper and music, almost to work through them before addressing them in reality, probably because I'm not a fan of conflict. I find when you are no longer in situations or relationships it is easier to share, as everything is already dealt with.

 It is very difficult airing your laundry when you have others feelings to consider. 

 It's like I don't mind the world knowing where I've been, but I'm always a bit more protective of where I am. 

Do you tell people when your songs are about them, or share them with them?

Not usually, as I said - the songs are just my thoughts and feelings, so unless I think it's going to help a situation, I'd rather just let the songs be ambiguous. I'm not interested in creating drama or mystique, they are what they are and funnily enough, my songs come back round to me, so sometimes a song lyrically can fit a multitude of my own experiences and relationships after a time, therefore they don't 'belong' to any certain someone; other than me; except when they have been shared in the public domain, and then they are open to everyone's personal interpretation, and hopefully become theirs.

Daring to unashamedly 'air' the things we mostly try to hide, 'Complicated Contradiction' pushes the boundary - in a modern world where everything seems to have a 'filter.'

'Complicated Contradiction,' is a juxtaposition of themes and emotions, mirroring it's title - It is what it says on the tin. The album feels like a rare and intimate glance into a diary, with Amber candidly opening the pages of her mind, enabling a rare look into the vulnerability, exasperation, intimacy, and sensuality; of woman's chaotic inner world.

Expect sass, playful 'tongue in cheek' attitude and self deprecating humor; paired with an uninhibited delve into the parts of ourselves we'd rather ignore. Amber leaves no stone unturned, diving into the complexities of her psyche, exploring her own psychology, decisions and reality.

In one sentence, how would you describe the Album?

An honest, open and emotionally charged exploration of the wildly different facets that embody one person.

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