Thursday night of the annual Lancaster Music Festival saw eighteen year old singer-songwriter, Amy-Jo Clough amaze a packed audience at the Penny Bank with her country-pop sound reminiscent of a young Taylor Swift. Yet, there was a twist. With her soulful, bluesy covers of Mercy by Duffy and Paolo Nutini’s Last Request as well as inclusion of her own catchy songs, she really showcased her range of talent even mastering the rap in Blackstreet’s No Diggity. I caught up with her during the half-time break.
Hey, how’s tonight going?
Really good, it’s really busy so it’s a good atmosphere and everyone’s been really friendly and nice about everything.
Have you been gigging a lot?
Yeah, I’ve been singing since I was eleven and then I started writing songs when I was thirteen so basically since then I’ve been gigging every single weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday so school was really tiring for me (laughs) but I’ve loved every minute of it.
So you write your own songs?
Yeah definitely, I think that’s the most important thing for me, to be able to write my own stuff and have people relate to the lyrics I’m writing.
Do you like doing covers or do you prefer your own songs?
I like doing my own songs but I feel covers are a bit more of a crowd pleaser, you kind of need to do that to sort of get people involved in it and then just throw your own ones in between, I think.
What inspired you to first get into music?
Mainly just listening to other singers, Mariah Carey was a massive inspiration. I don’t really sing anything like that or that kind of music, but just hearing her voice when I first heard it, I was literally blown away and I became a bit obsessed, so since then I’ve really just wanted to do it myself and started listening to different kinds of genres to find my own genre.
What genre would you describe yourself as?
I don’t know to be honest ‘cause I feel like I just do a bit of everything. I’d describe it as soul/country-pop, I’ll go with that (laughs) like three genres in one.
What is it like performing at the music festival, what are your opinions on it?
Yeah, I’m obviously quite local and I think Lancaster’s got such a great music scene, there’s so many people here it’s crazy and it’s nice that all the musicians can get to hear everyone else and the public can come and hear local talent and stuff. It brings the community together I think.
Amy-Jo has a number of shows lined up in the coming weeks, and performed with Stooshie at Lancaster Grande theatre on Friday. She is also soon to release an EP.