Emerging Canadian country artist and songstress Amberlea Bruch is wrapping up a prolific year of songwriting and live music with the release of her third single, “Usually”. Raw and honest, the song speaks of the difficulties of getting over someone, as well as accepting reality and moving forward.
Recently, I spoke with Bruch about her latest single, pursuing music and songwriting with fellow Canadian talents.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become a country singer-songwriter?
Amberlea Bruch: I grew up obsessed with music. From an early age, I would sneak into my Dad’s closet and play around with all his guitars, turning the tuning pegs to random places, fascinated with how the strings changed tone as I did. I received my first keyboard when I was 7 and also a stereo around that time too. I would often sneak into my parents’ collection of CDs to try out different artists and albums singing along to the ones I liked as I went. Later on, I started writing poems. As I got older (just before high school) I became more and more interested in performing as well. Initially, I didn’t know how I would put music to the poems/words I wrote nor did I know that being a songwriter was a thing, but I soon learned about Diane Warren & David Foster writing and composing for greats like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. From there, my tastes in music broadened from Pop to Jazz to broadway. When Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” hit the radio, I transitioned to Pop-Country. In University, my spark for songwriting grew brighter as I started watching Nashville. At the time I was taking vocal lessons, however, I found I didn’t really connect with many of the Pop songs I was singing. It was then that I dug deeper into what would now be considered modern country and the art of country songwriting. I fell in love with the way country music told a deeper story with such picturesque words. I felt at home and knew it was now or never to begin my career as an Artist/Singer-Songwriter.
Kyla Pearson: You’re set to release your new single, “Usually”, which you wrote at the same time as your previous single, Something New. Can you tell us a bit more about the song? How does it relate to Something New, if at all?
Amberlea Bruch: Yes, Usually was written in the 15mins following writing Something New. I had just finished writing Something New, the happy love song the described the way I wished a dating scenario I was experiencing would turnout when I realized there was more to how I was feeling than just excitement for the potential of something new. At that point, there had been a few unrequited loves and unfortunate dates I’d experienced which also caused me to have a lot of sadness towards this situation seemingly not being all I had hoped it would be as I envisioned in the song Something New. So I wrote how I really felt. I had a few chords in my head, pushed a record on my phone and just sang it, top to bottom there it was, the truth. The truth I wished wasn’t true but was just the same.
Kyla Pearson: What message do you hope fans take away from the song?
Amberlea Bruch: I hope they realize that even though it’s not always pleasant, sometimes we have to accept the truth about a relationship or person who no longer serves our greater good. That it’s ok to fall for someone, it’s ok to have a harder time than you usually do getting over someone, and that you’re not alone in those feelings. I hope folks also can come to see though that at the end of the day if someone isn’t willing to give you what you’re giving them it’s time to move on and find someone who will. All of which is easier said than done.
Kyla Pearson: Do you plan on releasing a music video for Usually? If so, can you tell us a bit more about your creative vision behind it?
Amberlea Bruch: I don’t currently have any plans for a video for Usually, however, I’m hoping to do some video projects for my 2022 releases so stay tuned for those!
Kyla Pearson: One of the most impressive aspects of your music is your powerhouse vocal performances. What type of vocal training and practice goes into maintaining your voice and achieving the results you desire? What is one thing you’re currently hoping to achieve with your vocal performances?
Amberlea Bruch: First of all, THANK YOU! That’s a huge compliment. I guess I’ll start by saying that for all the tracks I’ve recorded to date I have done live vocals in the studio with the band as they cut their parts. Traditionally now most vocalists will cut their vocals after the band cuts their parts. The inspiration to do this comes from listening back to old jazz recordings and more recently Michael Bublès Christmas album where the vocalists involved recorded the song in one take live with the band. There’s an energy, an ambiance and a living, breathing feel to the music compared to music recorded in other ways. I fell in love with that and now have aimed to capture that energy by following a similar recording style. This process though requires that I am vocally strong enough to spend 6-7h singing the songs with the band in the studio and for that as well as to be able to execute on a performance for a show that can be between 45mins to 1h. I practice and train on average 5 days of the week. Currently, I work with Tamara Beatty, an incredible vocal coach on vocal warm-ups, exercises, songs and performance techniques. Typically before I record a song I will spend 3-6months working on the song with Tamara. This way I know how to sing through any sticky spots when in the studio or on the stage. Singing really is a sport and as such requires constant training which shifts and changes over time as you get stronger and or sing different types of songs.
Kyla Pearson: This past summer, live music made a return here in Canada. What was your favourite concert/live show you attended and/or performed in?
Amberlea Bruch: I had a great time seeing this year’s Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Finalists Showcase at Burls Creek in Oro Station, ON. It was so great to see a few of my friends perform on such an iconic stage. Being able to cheer them on in person was incredible.
Kyla Pearson: You’ve also been actively co-writing this year, especially through Cuttable. What is one thing you’ve learned through your co-writes? Who is one artist you have never written with before this year/Cuttable, that you’re looking forward to writing with again?
Amberlea Bruch: Cuttable has been amazing this year! I am so grateful for the community that Rich and Elias have created. Co-writes have taught me how to approach songwriting in different ways, through strengthening both my lyrical and melodic abilities. Working with other co-writers also adds some really cool perspectives to a concept that you might not have thought of otherwise and working with so many talented co-writers constantly pushes the idea to be better and more well-rounded which is such an amazing thing to experience. I don’t even know if I could pick just one writer to write with again, but I will say I am very excited to get to share some of the songs we wrote this year. Stay tuned for those!
Kyla Pearson: As both a country artist and songwriter, do you see songwriting as a separate craft/independent of your musical genre? Or do you only write country songs? What do you think is one important thing every songwriter should keep in mind in order to be successful in this industry?
Amberlea Bruch: The one thing I’ve tried to be careful of is pigeonholing a concept or song too soon. I think the bottom line for any songwriter should be to write a good song. I think trying to make it a particular genre or write it for a particular person sometimes even takes away from the magic of songwriting. More often than not I’ll go into a write with a few concepts that have been bouncing around in my mind and heart and then only once the song is finished find it a home, whether that means I’m recording it, or someone else wants it for themselves or we end up pitching it to an artist we think it would be a fit for. This way we can let the song be what it’s meant to be and not feel the pressure of having to have it add up to anything other than the song it’s meant to be.
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, what is one thing fans may not know about you?
Amberlea Bruch: I trained in classical ballet growing up and would LOVE to give a full-on show someday complete with the pop-dance element. Something about big dance numbers just light me right up!
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Bruch, Amberlea. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Oct. 16 2021.
Martin, Sarah. “Featured: Canadian country artist Amberlea Bruch.”. Photo courtesy of Amberlea Bruch. Accessed Oct. 16 2021.
Martin, Sarah. “Official cover art for Amberlea Bruch’s single, “Usually””. Photo courtesy of Amberlea Bruch. Accessed Oct. 16 2021.