Everybody comes from different backgrounds that shape who they are, and the art they choose to create. Amy Corey is one such songwriter with a unique story that started in Vietnam, took her to Ashland City, Oregon, and now Nashville. (With all the musicians in Nashville, I’d place good money none have that same geographical trajectory) Corey was adopted in Da Nang, where her parents then took her to grow up in southern Oregon. At eighteen, she decided to shoot across the Mississippi River, and chase down her dreams amidst the bright lights of Broadway and beyond.
Corey learned that singing and music was not only a form of therapy for her, but something she felt came natural. It was at eight years old that Amy decided she would pursue a life of music, and thirteen years later, she’s going full steam ahead in achieving just that.
Since her Music City arrival, she has hit the ground running. She’s released several singles, one of which “Look At What You Made Me Do,” recently hit airwaves. Corey then established Kent Wells as her producer, one who’s worked with Dolly Parton among others. She is also part of the Holt International Children’s Services as an ambassador helping kids all over the world.
We had the chance to catch up with Corey, and get a look inside the life of this determined Nashville pop artist.
Music Mecca: Do you recall your introduction to music, and the day you decided to work towards a career in it?
Amy Corey: No one in my family is in the music industry, but they appreciated music, and I was always singing. So when I was 8 I got to start taking vocal lessons from a guy named Ken Orsow who was taught by the one and only Seth Riggs. I studied with Ken for ten years and then at 18 I moved to Nashville. I also sang at a show in front of 500 people and got my first standing ovation and I was hooked in since then. (laughs)
MM: How does your Vietnamese heritage and adoption inspire your writing?
AC: It honestly just makes me more driven and determined to write great music. I have a lot of ambitions and plans with my Vietnamese heritage and Vietnam so I push hard and have it drive me and inspire me to make it all happen. It all starts with the music. So It keeps my goals in sight and keeps me focused.
MM: What can you tell us about your position as an ambassador for Holt International Children’s Services and the work they do?
AC: I am very, very honored to be an ambassador for Holt’s Child Sponsorship Program. It saves children across the world who are close to having to be put up for adoption, or even passing away. I think a lot of people forget that adoption should be the last result when it comes to a child, and so I have the privilege to promote to get these children sponsored so they have the money for food, water, medical services, education, and to be able to stay with their family. It’s very close to my heart as an adoptee, but also just as someone who has had the privilege to live a life and become who I am today. I want every child to have that same chance to become anything in this world.
MM: So your new single “Look At What You Did To Me” was just released. What was the inspiration for this song, and how does it compare to your previous singles?
AC: “LAWYDTM” was a song that I wrote about a really hard time that I went through. It’s a song reflecting the aftermath of a relationship, or whatever you want to call it. And how shocked I was because I’ve been through so much in my life, and thought I was so unbreakable, but this one person was able to break me. And I didn’t know how to rebuild myself to who I was, because I never thought it would be possible to break like I did. I’m almost applauding him for doing it within the song. My writing has always been raw and honest, and fans can relate, so this is just a further look into my life, and how I also go through difficult times.
The song/production is me. I got to really co-produce it without any guidelines, and I wasn’t afraid to push boundaries. I think thriving to make a good song should have no limitations, and of course to have Dolly Parton’s producer co-producing it with me, and letting me take some control meant a lot. Kent and I are very proud of this one.
MM: Can your fans expect an upcoming debut album or another EP?
AC: Hopefully. I’m going on a single stream at the moment. I released a three song EP and I cannot wait to debut an album. It’s all with time, but damn, I’m so excited!
MM: Do you have any shows lined up around town or elsewhere?
AC: I signed to Artist Services Nashville in November for management and booking, so we have a lot of stuff in the boiling pot. I hopefully can announce it soon. But I’m super excited to play Musicians’ Corner in Centennial Park on June 29th! And I’m always popping up at songwriter nights whenever friends invite me out.
MM: What is your favorite part of the Nashville music scene?
AC: The people. I love the family I’ve made here in Nashville and the friends I’ve been honored to call friends. Looking back, I am surprised on who I’ve been able to meet randomly, and how humble, kind, and inspiring everyone is no matter what success they have or had. I don’t like using the word “lucky” in my career, but if I had to say it once it’s with the people I’ve been able to meet and the friends and partnerships I’ve made in the almost four years I’ve been in Nashville.
MM: In a city that is ripe with competition, what do you do to set yourself apart?
AC: I honestly don’t pay attention to it. I am a very, very competitive person, and it can really mess me up if I start paying attention to it. I am always very supportive of every striving artist and songwriter, but I’m very good at staying focused and in my line, and just remembering that I am no one else, and no one else is me. I am honest with myself and I know I can’t please everyone. There are always going to be negative and positive opinions about me, but I am just going to focus my energy towards the positive ones.
MM: How did you get hooked up with manager and producer Kent Wells?
AC: I ask that question to myself a lot. Fate? Back in 2016 my entertainment lawyer and I were looking for artist developers and we found him, and after talking with him, putting aside his credentials with Dolly and Reba, we instantly knew he was the one. Kent fought hard to sign me, and has fought by my side since. And through it all he’s not only a manager and producer but truly is one of my best friends and a huge father figure in my life. I can’t believe he’s stuck with me for this long. But we share the same ‘world domination’ vision and I’m honored to have not only him but my whole team by my side to get there.
MM: Do you ever make it back to Vietnam, and do you have any knowledge of the music scene there?
AC: I haven’t been back to Vietnam since I was adopted. But I have been working my ass off these past six months on changing that. There is a lot of time and behind the scenes work I’ve been doing that I’ve been very quiet about. Thời gian sẽ trả lời (time will tell)…
MM: What is your most memorable Nashville memory/experience so far?
AC: There are so many moments. I mean signing my artist development deal a few years ago is always going to be up there. Traveling from Nashville to Arkansas as my first “tour” to honor Kent and to share the same stage and meet Dolly Parton I would say is always at the top. Finding the most amazing GF/Vegan bakery called Vegan Vee was a life changer in my Nashville life I will say… it’s the little things.
For more info on Amy and her music, be sure to check out her website HERE.