Article By: Ericka Santos
Photographys Courtesy Of: Sascha Knopf Photography
A journey that began as an unwanted move to a foreign country and an adolescence form of secluded rebellion ultimately gave birth to a captivating young artist. At 24 Amy Kuney has celebrated the release of her debut album, Bird’s Eye View, toured with Kate Voegele and Damien Rice and has a variety of exciting new projects on her plate, including a new album currently in the works.
With a history as rich as the melodies of her music, Kuney’s road to stardom plays out like a string of destined and disguised opportunities.
As part of her parents’ missionary passions, Kuney’s family left the states and relocated to Honduras when she was just 13. While the idea of a new life outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a new language, and a new culture didn’t exactly spark Kuney’s interest at the time, her childhood protest served to nurture her musical talents. Channeling her energy for self expression through her love for music, playing instruments and writing became Kuney’s retreat.
“[Music] was something I grew up with. My parents started me playing piano when I was four and all my siblings, we’ve all played instruments, my parents play instruments,” Kuney said. “I tried art, drawing, and stuff like that as well, but music was sort of something I grew up with.”
Confiding in the pages of her notebooks, Kuney’s personal writings during her time in Honduras translated into the distinctive voice of her debut album.
Determined to pursue a career in music, Kuney took to the Internet and began sending off her songs to L.A. producers in hopes that someone would bite. The leap of faith and optimism in her tactics eventually landed her with producer Peter Barker. Exchanging the country sides of Central America for the hustle and bustle of the entertainment capitals back in the U.S. was yet another agenda on Kuney’s list.
“I chose Los Angeles,” Kuney said, “and that was really difficult moving from a third world country to one of the biggest cities in the world. It took a few years for me to overcome the culture shock.”
Since her time in the big city, success has been no stranger. Kuney has had her music featured on the season finale of “One Tree Hill.” She’s gained the recognition from music artist Kate Voegele, who invited Kuney to accompany her on tour and also caught the attention of fellow musician Damien Rice. In an unexpected twist of events, a cover she recorded of one of Rice’s songs made it back to Rice himself. He heard it, he liked it, and a few days later Kuney found herself preparing to join Rice on his Iceland tour. Aside from appreciating the attention she’s received from artists in the industry, Kuney has been equally excited to take notice of her growing fan base.
“It was really cool when people I didn’t know started writing me and telling me they really like my music, and I guess that’s when I started sort of realizing, ‘oh this is cool. This is getting somewhere,’” Kuney said.
No matter what her venue, be it on the road touring or headlining at high school concerts, Kuney admits to taking nothing for granted. Feeding off the excitement of her fans makes every show worth performing.
“I love it,” Kuney stated. “Sometimes people underestimate the fans. The fans are the [ones] that keep the industry going right now, and they’re the whole reason why we do this you know. We do it for ourselves partially, but mostly it’s for the fans.”
Empowered by the drive she sees in fellow female artists such as Fiona Apple, Pink and Lady Gaga, Kuney is inspired to continue making her mark on the music scene. With lyrics that run deep and a sound that resonates with experience or plays to the youthfulness of her spirit, Kuney promises to be an interesting new voice in entertainment.
Upcoming projects range from helping with music for independent films, co-writing with other artist in L.A., to working with European producers and infiltrating the music market overseas. While the journey for Kuney as an influential artist is far from over, she remains vigilant of the important choices yet to come. Where Kuney’s next move will take her might be unknown but, for now, remaining focused on finishing her next album and expanding her fan base is key.
Uncertainty, after all, has yet to diminish the flames of this rising star.
To learn more about Amy, listen to her songs and find out where you can snag a copy of her Bird’s Eye View album visit: www.stipko.net/amykuney.
Name/Nickname: Amy Kuney
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oaklahoma
Random/quirky thoughts about yourself: “I have OCD…I love mopping the floor when I’m stressed. I also enjoy mystery science theater.
Favorite things to do: “Writing short stories, reading, and watching reality TV.”
Most embarrassing life moment: “(Not telling). But I will say this…I slipped while running through Grand Canal Station and fell on my back in front of about 300 people last winter…Oh and I started crying.”
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