In Conversation With . . . Amanda Martinez, Part II

Amanda Martinez is a Canadian singer-songwriter of jazz and Latin music. In 2010 she performed in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the FIFA Fan Fests during the World Cup celebrations. She recently released her second album, Amor, produced by George Seara (who also has worked with Holly Cole, Herbie Hancock, and Sting). Amor reached number one on the iTunes World Music Chart in 2009 and was one of the Top 10 albums on the iTunes World Music Charts for 2010. (See the Voice review of her two albums here and Part I of this interview here.)

Amanda recently took the time to talk with Wanda Waterman St. Louis about what happens when you decide to give your all to the work you love.

Creative Conditions

I need to have a sense of calm around me. Especially when I’m writing?things have to be in their place because I need to know that I have a clear space and that I’m not worrying about other things that need to be taken care of.

Part of my brain is . . . worrying about following up and looking after the day-to-day business of what I do . . . then I feel like OK, That’s under control, I can now take myself away from the computer and just focus on the creative side. So It’s kind of ironic because I can’t totally forget about the business, but you kind of have to when You’re in the moment. I have to focus on what I’m doing creatively.

Recently when I was away, I found that a change in environment was really helpful. So I’ve been going once a month to New York, and I find that really energizes me and gives me a different perspective. In a familiar place, you tend not to even remember crossing the street because you do it so often. In a new space, I’m very much alive and in the moment.

I find that when I’m in a different place, everything’s new and You’re kind of looking at life through different eyes. I feel more alive when I’m discovering a new city. So on the one hand I like to have my routine and tak[e] care of things so I have this space to create, and on the other hand I like to change my environment for fresh ideas, even for just a different way of looking at things.

In New York I’m also studying with someone who’s always pushing me in a new direction: to work on my piano playing skills from a Latin standpoint, not classical.

I find that I have these serendipitous moments there where I meet people in the strangest ways, and it always leads me to a new opportunity for my music career. It’s always an adventure.

A Sense of Trust

I know it sounds kind of hokey, but I do have a sense of trust in what the universe brings for us when we’re willing to make a commitment to doing what we do. If I had never decided to give myself wholeheartedly to music I would never have had the opportunities I have today.

Only when I decided I was going to make it happen no matter what, did so many doors open for me that I could never have planned. I subscribe to following your heart and doing the work. Then if you put in your work . . . the outside forces or people [or] opportunities will come, as long as You’re willing to go as far as you can on your own.

The resources and support will be there for you.