“I went to school with Ricki-Lee and she was the singer, she’s one of my good friends but no one would dare sing if you couldn’t sing like her.”
That’s what 29-year-old Amy Shark remembers from high school, so growing up she "never thought of myself" as a singer.
“We used to hang out in the school music room and write songs, I’d play for her and listen to her sing,” she told NITV.
That changed when she left school and started writing her own music.
“I was writing songs for my own therapy and then MySpace happened, so I would upload songs there and I started getting a following through that."
A few weeks ago Shark won her first Queensland Music Award, taking out Best Pop Song for her song 'Golden Fleece'.
“I’ve been nominated three times before but to win was amazing,” she said.
'Visiting Indigenous communities was some of the best stuff I’ve done in my life'
Shark is the first to admit singing doesn’t pay all the bills, and she’s "always had to balance a full time job."
“Music is not that glam; I do it for the love.”
While music is her passion, Amy works at the Gold Coast Titans as a content coordinator and has been linked to the club "for about 5 years."
A career highlight for Shark is her work with the 'Titans'4 Tomorrow' program, where she got to hangout with "dream team" Preston Campbell and Dean Widders.
“I remember we went to Mornington Island and Doomadgee to film some small documentaries. I never knew it existed. Seeing the community so happy and living off the land, and not need anything superficial, it was so different,” Shark told NITV.
“Even though I’m not Indigenous, I wanted to learn so much. I got my face painted up and I learnt so much from them. I met so many beautiful people during my time there,” she added.
From punk to indie pop
Growing up, Shark was inspired by old rock bands like Pearl Jam, The Police and Guns N' Roses.
“I like the older stuff.”
Despite being a fan of all music, Shark admits she’s "grown into a lot of indie stuff."
“I like The Weekend, Churches and Tegan and Sara.”
Shark describes her music as 'alternative pop' but it wasn’t always like that.
The singer songwriter who is about to release her sixth EP said she was "trying to find my sound for so many years."
“Now I feel like this EP is the best thing I’ve ever written and I think I’ll always compare things to it” she told NITV.
The writing process is "therapy" for Amy Shark and a few words from one of her idols reinforced that.
“Jarrod James described it to me once, he said you write and everything just comes out.”