Amy Barbera: Inspirational
Singer and Songwriter
Amy Barbera has a voice so angelic and inspirational it pierces the soul. With each of her original songs, there lies a fusion of power and emotion. Her songs are a colorful display of her deep passion, that envelops the listener in a canvas of hope and love. Amy shines bright and delivers from the heart. She is destined to be recognized as one of the most sincere and passionate singer/songwriters of her time. (From Amy’s website)
TSM: Amy, it’s such a pleasure to have you in TSM. Thanks so much for doing an interview for the magazine.
AB: Jessica, I am so happy to be interviewing with you again and to be apart of the re-launch of your amazing Talent Spotlight Magazine. Thank you from my heart for taking time to interview me and for this wonderful opportunity!
TSM: What inspired you to get into music? And at what age did you start singing and writing songs?
AB: Well, I have always known since I was a small child that I had a passion to sing. When I was in elementary school the school decided to put on a big talent show and I entered the contest! I dressed up in a cute little dress and used some fun props and performed the song “My Favorite Things” from the movie The Sound Of Music. I ended up winning the whole talent contest and that really boosted my self-esteem! I was a shy little girl at the time and did not have much self confidence so winning the contest really meant so much to me. In middle and high school I was in the choir, and in my early years of college I did some musical theatre and even got some small leads, but it wasn’t until I moved to Florida at the age of twenty one that I really decided to pursue music with my whole heart. In Florida I started singing as a praise and worship leader at a church called Living Word Fellowship Church and that is when God really revealed to me that my calling was to sing. The church music leader gave me solos every week, and I started seriously training with many voice teachers at that time as well, so that is when I really started to grow as a singer and an artist! Around the age of twenty three is when my songwriting journey began, and the Lord started putting original songs in my heart to write and record. In 1998 I recorded my very first original song titled “Flowers In My Garden” with a music producer named Tim Jack! Since then I have written and recorded over thirty original songs, and I have released two original song albums – my debut album Beautiful Flower of Life released in 2008 and my healing meditation CD titled Breath of Angels released in 2015, as well as many other song singles.
TSM: You released your thirteen song debut album, Beautiful Flower of Life back in June 2008. Tell us a bit about this album and why you called the album Beautiful Flower of Life? Are there any songs in particular that stand out as favourites for you personally and why?
AB: I was beyond happy when my debut album Beautiful Flower of Life was finally released in 2008. I worked really hard on the development of the album. The writing and recording of each one of my original songs was a long process that took several years to complete. In that time period, not only was I training with many different voice teachers, but I was also learning proper recording technique with many different music producers and growing in my songwriting ability. So, I think that is why God had the process take so long! He knew that I needed the proper tools and training to make my debut album the very best. Most of the songs that I have written have been out of my own personal pain and life experiences, or I have been inspired by the lives of others who have touched my heart so deeply that I just had to write a song to express my feelings about it. I am also deeply inspired by God’s beautiful nature, color, love, joy and hope and you will definitely hear that when you listen to each one of my songs. I have to say that my favorite song on my album Beautiful Flower of Life is “Make Me A Butterfly” and that seems to be everybody else’s favorite song of mine too! “Make Me A Butterfly” is not only my favorite song to perform live, but lyrically it is very touching and universally understood by all who listen to it! I wrote the song to bring hope in the midst of a painful situation, and to uplift anyone who is hurting or just needs some inspiration. Since the release of my album thousands of people from all over the world have written to me to say how much “Make Me A Butterfly” and so many of my other songs on my album have made such a difference in their lives. When I create a song, it comes from a very deep and honest place in my heart, and I want others to be able to relate to the song in a deep way as well! I want my heart to connect with their hearts through the honesty and beauty of my songs!
TSM: Your latest album release is a healing meditation CD called Breath of Angels. What is the inspiration behind it?
AB: When God touched my heart to create my healing meditation CD titled Breath of Angels back in 2015 I was at a place in my life that I was under an extreme amount of stress. At that time I was taking a mediation class to help me relax and find balance, and it was during one of my meditation classes that the still soft voice of God spoke to my heart and told me to create an album that would bring others to a place of God’s rest, and bring them comfort, peace and healing. From that point on, I began my journey of creating ten beautifully composed songs for the album. I decided to take several of my songs that were already released and create new meditation remixes of the songs and I also created brand new songs for the album such as the title track “Breath of Angels,” Flying” and “Rest In The Lord.” I teamed up with my amazing friend and music producer Denny Tate on this album adventure because I knew Denny had such a creative flair for meditation ambient music, and that he was not afraid to step out of the box, and be apart of fun and creative projects. It turned out to be a music match made in heaven, and we worked together for months to create something that would be unique and healing at the same time. Not only did I work with Denny Tate on this album, but I also worked with many other amazing music producers including Rodney Laurent on my song “Rest In The Lord”, Doug Hammer on my song “Flying” and Ben Bagby, who has been my main producer for over twenty years
In February of 2016, my healing meditation album Breath of Angels was Nominated for “Best Vocal Album” for the “One World Music” Radio Awards in the UK. Not only was my album nominated but I also received a special “One World Music” radio nomination certificate as well. Although I did not win the final award for “Best Vocal Album,” I was just so thankful that the “One World Music” judges nominated my album, and that my music is being recognized and played all over the world.
TSM: What’s your process for writing lyrics? And where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
AB: Most of the time the lyrics come to me instantly. I am usually inspired by a situation, a person, my relationship with Jesus, or a life experience at the time that God touches my heart to write a song. It comes so easily to me and out of nowhere most of the time. God often at times gives me the melody line, and vision of the direction I should take a song as he is giving me the lyrics as well. I think God has supernaturally given me this songwriting gift because honestly I am not a good speller or writer at all, yet he puts such beautiful song lyrics, melodies and song ideas in my heart. So, I really need to give him all the glory for my songwriting ability. I write each song with passion. I have decided to be true to myself, so instead of following musical trends, I follow my heart instead.
TSM: I have seen that your “Make Me A Butterfly” music video and original song have won several awards in 2019/2020. Can you share the details?
AB: Yes I am beyond happy to share this special news about my “Make Me A Butterfly” music video!! Well to start, in June of 2018 I released my very first professional music video to my signature song “Make Me A Butterfly” to wonderful reviews from fans and industry professionals alike. Shortly after the release of my video, I had a friend encourage me to start submitting my “Make Me A Butterfly” music video to film and music festivals all over the world on Film Freeway. Once I decided to step out of the box and do it, to my surprise, my music video was selected, and even won some awards at several music and film festivals worldwide. Here is the list of my special awards and selections:
* Global Music Awards- 2019 BRONZE MEDAL WINNER
* Spotlight Short Film Awards-2019 SPOTLIGHT BRONZE AWARD WINNER
* French Riviera Film Festival- Cannes, France- 2019 Semi Finalist
* Christian International Film & Music Festival- 2019 Official Selection
* Transparent Film Festival-New York City 2020 Review…. “A really beautiful song with beautiful imagery. Pristine footage done with a sterling edit. Love anything that’s this good that is faith-based.”
Another Amazing that happened recently in 2020 is that I was blessed to find out that I was nominated for People’s Choice “Artist of the Year” for the 2020 International Christian Film and Music Festival. Although I was not the final winner for Artist of the Year,” I was just so thankful to be 1 of 10 artists that was nominated.
Here is my Award-Winning “Make Me A Butterfly” music video: https://youtu.be/et4s-Ri-kT8
TSM: I’m thrilled that your song “Walking on the Stars” made it on season two of the TV show, “Do I Have a Hit Song?” It must have felt special being one of only nine artists worldwide that made it on the show. Tell us more about the song, the inspiration behind it and about the process it took to get it on the show.
AB: Well, I decided to team up with a wonderful music producer, Jim Wallman to create a fun inspirational dance song titled “Walking On The Stars.” I created the song to inspire others to Dream Big, to believe in themselves and to reach for the stars. When the song was released people just loved it so much, so I decided to submit the song to a new up and coming TV show “Do I Have A Hit Song.” To my surprise and with the help of many votes from my fans, I was one of nine artists worldwide that made it on the show. In January of 2015 Season 2 of “Do I Have A Hit Song” was filming in Jacksonville, Florida, and so I traveled there and performed “Walking On The Stars” live. Even though I was not the final winner of the show, it was such an amazing experience for me, and I met so many other music artists from around the world that I am still friends with to this day.
Another Amazing thing that happened to me is that in February of 2013 I was selected as one of the top five artists in the categories Best Singer/Songwriter and Best Pop Artist at the 2013 “Artists In Music Awards” in Los Angeles, CA.
TSM: I know that you’re praised by many national organizations for the healing energy you provide at live concerts. What can fans expect from a live show? And is there something special you do to prepare for a show?
AB: Well, to be honest with you I get extremely nervous before I have to perform. Thank God I have had so much professional vocal training over the years because I am able to push through my nerves and really do great performances. So many people tell me that I seem so relaxed when I am up on the stage performing, but if they only know what I went through on the inside before a show they would be really surprised. When I perform, fans can expect honesty from my heart. I will give my very best to them with not only my singing voice, but with my communication and heart with them. I always love to share my heart during my performances, and I love to really speak to the audience before I perform each song. When I prepare for a show, I do a lot of vocal training, yoga, I rest, I juice, I workout and I do breathing exercises! I also pray before each show and really trust God that he will work through me to touch the audience in a special way! Most of the time when I perform, people come up to me afterwards to tell me that my songs and voice have made them cry, and that they really connected with my songs! That means more to me than words can express.
TSM: You have created a God’s Special Angel Ministry that benefits children in the USA, and as far away in Uganda, Africa. Tell us more about it.
AB: Yes, years ago God spoke to my heart to write a touching song titled “God’s Special Angel” for sick, special needs and orphan children all over the world. It was through the writing of “God’s Special Angel” that I started traveling to children’s hospitals to sing my song and to bring encouragement, balloons and gifts to the children. I am a true humanitarian at heart, and it is my God-given mission to be a light not only through her music, but through service to those in need.
In 2012, Jonathan “JDOGG” Lederman and The American Cancer Society presented me with a special “Spiritual Entrepreneurs Visionary Award” for outstanding dedication to help other people excel through inspiring and empowering practices. I also received a “Humanitarian Award” from the St. Anne’s Holy Name Society “Patch Awards” in New Jersey for “Project Amy,” and my “God’s Special Angel ” ministry work to help orphaned children in Uganda Africa, and special needs children throughout the United States.
TSM: Who are your major music influences?
AB: I really love unique music artists that are different and who are not afraid to be honest and expressive with their art. My favorite all-time artist and musical influence is Prince. I have loved him and his music since I was a little girl, and back in 2016 when he suddenly passed away, I was so sad. It was always my dream to meet him in person, and tell him that God used his music to make a difference in my life, so when he passed away I was even more heartbroken because I know my dream of meeting him on this earth would never happen. I just love music artists that are not afraid to be themselves, and who are creating their art from a real and honest place, regardless of the musical trends of the time. Prince is an example of an artist who is not only real and who has a God given genius gift, but who truly stands out and creates from the heart. My Favorite main stream Prince song is ” Purple Rain” and my favorite Prince song that many people might not know is called “Still Would Stand All Time.”
TSM: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
AB: WOW, this is such a really great question. Well, my heart is to spread the unconditional love and grace of Jesus to the world. I want people to know they are truly loved, accepted and created special by God. So many people are hurting and they feel left out, or like they don’t belong, and this just breaks my heart so much. I have made it my mission in life to make everyone I come in contact with feel that they are so special, and that they are never alone. That Jesus loves them unconditionally and that he is with them. Love is the greatest gift we can give to others, as the Bible says, “There is faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.”
TSM: What is one of your favourite quotes/or lines that inspires you?
AB: WOW, I love this. I have so many favorite Bible Scriptures and Quotes, so here are just a few of my favorites:
“All Things Are Possible With God.”
“Love Never Fails.”
“You Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens You.”
“I Am Blessed And Highly Favored Of God.”
“For I Know The Plans I Have For You, Declares The Lord, Plans to Prosper You And Not To Harm You, Plans To Give You Hope And A Future.”
“The Lord is Close To The Brokenhearted And He Heals Those Who Are Crushed In Spirit.”
“By Jesus Stripes You Are Healed.”
Faith, Hope, and Love. The Greatest of These Is Love.”
“Man Looks On Outer Appearance, But God Sees The Heart.”
“When Your Heart Is In Your Dreams, No Request Is Too Extreme…When You Wish Upon A Star, Your Dreams Come True.”
TSM: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can readers find out more about you and your music?
AB: I have so much to share. I have so many new songs and music videos coming in 2020 and 2021. The music video to my beautiful song “Flying” is in the editing process now and will be released in the coming months. In the coming months I will also be releasing my heavenly song “Jesus Set Me Free To Fly” along with a music video to go with the song as well. There is more… I have my cute, nostalgic 1940’s style “My Sweetpea” song and music video coming in 2021, as well as two other amazing music projects that are in the works now. I will be sharing more about them very soon, so make sure you all stay tuned! If you would like to connect with me and find out more about my music, see my website and social media links here:
Official Website/Social Media Links
Amy Barbera Official Website http://www.amybarbera.com/
Amy Barbera Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/amybarberafanpage/
Amy Barbera Twitter https://twitter.com/amybarbera
Amy Barbera You Tube https://www.youtube.com/user/amybarbera
Amy Barbera Instagram https://www.instagram.com/amybarberamusic/
TSM: Thanks again for doing this interview, and wish you the best of luck with all you do in the future.
AB: Thank you much much Jessica! It was so amazing interviewing with you, and sharing my heart and my inspirational music! You are such a wonderful person and I am thankful to God that you are in my life!