Amalie Bryde On Being Vulnerable, New Music, and more
For Danish singer-songwriter Amalie Bryde, elements of contemporary R&B, soul, and jazz scene are beautifully weaved into her own signature sound. Her songwriting abilities showcase her witty, introspective, and hopeful take on modernity, romanticism, as well as the highs and lows of being young in today’s world. Now, based in London, she aims to a promising act to watch blossom into a superstar.
Last Spring, Amalie unveiled her debut EP Lay Down, a six-song record that explores the depths of desire, self-awareness, and love. It documents both her personal and musical journey with songs like “No” and “Say What It Is” serving as standout cuts from the project. Fast forward to 2022, the songstress unveils her first single of the year with “Love Again”—a record that finds her longing for love. While her dreamy vocals are tinged with melancholy, the song arrives ahead of her forthcoming sophomore EP slated to drop later this year.
In our latest interview, Amalie Bryde chats with us about adjusting to London culture, being vulnerable in her music, her forthcoming EP, and much more! Read on for our conversation.
London is a place with a massive personality. How did the culture and experience of living there impact your songwriting when you moved?
It’s very different from Denmark, there’s no doubt. There’s more culture, more art, more expression. People express themselves in so many ways here and I really enjoy that. I soak it in every day and I’m happy to be here. You, especially as an artist, should be in an environment that educates you and makes you want to grow because of how often you’re influenced. I have to move from Denmark because I craved the waves of inspiration.
I’ll often walk down the street and see something that has nothing to do with music, and it sparks my artistry. Denmark has less Jazz and R&B, which is why I moved to London. My first intention of London was to perform every single day and be around that environment. In Denmark, it’s more pop and making the next hit or being quite young and signing to a label.
Very rarely do you come across artists who also produce and direct their own music, is this something that came very naturally for you?
No! I started meeting people in the industry, and a producer that I met who’s also my mentor, encouraged me to write my own songs. Eventually, as he got more busy, he also encouraged me to start producing my own songs and I just found songs that I like and turned them into something new. As much as I want to write with other people and have others produce for me, you can’t just sit around and wait for people to find you or work for free. Producing has actually been such a great way to find my own voice and style while acknowledging that I can pick and choose from different genres then call it my own.
The new EP that I’m preparing to put out is inspired by the live essence of music. For my new project, it’s more what I’ve played live or what I’ve had someone come record for me guitar-wise. It’s such a journey! Also, the fact that I can produce demos myself and bring them to someone else to put their spark or essence on it. You should be able to do as much as you can yourself. The same goes with instruments, you don’t have to play them perfectly, but if you know the basics you’ll go so much further.
I believe that for musicians, being alone allows them to create some of their most vulnerable work without outside opinions influencing how the music sounds.
It does, but it does feel quite lonely! I hope that the next music that I put out, I get to collaborate with more people. It’s been a beautiful journey though and I made this entire EP during COVID. The lyrics also show that, especially in my song called “Stranger Inside.” You feel the loneliness in that song so it definitely comes with being alone a lot. It gives me a lot of freedom, but I do love the ping-pong where you bounce ideas back and forth while working with other people.
Congratulations on your new single “Love Again,” was there anything in particular that inspired the song, and what is it about songwriting that helps you to explore difficult themes such as desire and love?
I was swiping the beep out of all of these apps, trying to meet new people because it was kind of the way you can meet new people during lockdown. It was just that feeling of “why is it so hard to be in love?” I was going through that frustration in my head while I was in a session with James Bennett who did the guitar. That frustration all came out while we were working on this song.
The fact that you have to simplify your thinking. It can be in my journal or in my head, and then you have to simplify what is actually going on. What am I thinking in a few words? That’s how you write a good song: find the core of the subject which is “Love Again” or wanting to feel love again. In the grand scheme of things, what do I want to put into this song that I’m writing? Sometimes your thoughts are very simple and other times it’s complicated.
How does the record set the tone for your forthcoming offerings this year?
It definitely sets the tone for how I want to be more transparent and vulnerable. I believe that just being my authentic self, that happens organically. These songs show that I can be strong and sexy, especially with the guitars, but also the whole EP is about being confident whether it be in yourself or in other people. I just want to own it and I’m very pleased that social media is becoming a bit more real where you get to see the other side of people. It’s more raw and if you’re not feeling good about yourself, you can show that side.
Your Lay Down EP will be turning one a few months from now—what was your favorite memory releasing that particular project and how often do you reflect on your older works for inspiration?
Yes, May is one year! One of my favorite memories was probably the “Lay Down” music video. We shot it in Manchester and we were a crew of fifteen people so it felt amazing to see so many people work together. We had so much fun and I’m not going to lie, I felt like a superstar. It was one of those moments where you see the result and it’s exactly what you imagined it would be. Getting it out was pretty awesome alone because it took a long time to get done. I’m hoping that it’ll continue to touch people and spread around the world, especially with my new music coming out.
Who are some of your musical idols? What do you listen to in your downtime?
First comes to mind is Erykah Badu, no doubt! I studied her way of performing and vocal performance. Then I have D’Angelo and JLO! For this new EP, my greatest inspiration for it was JLO’s album This is Me… Then. it’s the first album that I’ve ever had physical and I still listen to it today. That was my reference for this EP, just a little fun fact!
Music aside, what are a few goals you are set on achieving within this year?
Right now, it’s collaboration and working with other artists! I would like to have a headline show both in London and Denmark; I’m definitely prioritizing Denmark because I haven’t been home. I really miss my Danish fans! I hope for maybe some festivals, who knows, maybe it’s too soon. Last but not least, management! As an independent artist, that’s definitely on my list.