Amber Lawrence is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose career keeps going from strength to strength. Each year seems to get better and busier for Amber, with 2016 seeing the engaging entertainer win Female Artist of the Year at the Country Music Channel Oz Awards, plus the people’s Choice Award for Female Artist of the Year, at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Amber was also extremely honoured to receive an Australia Day Bronze Achievement Award for her contribution to veterans and their families, via her work with DefenceCare. The awards keep rolling in for this hardworking Australian, who’s biggest career achievement to date was being awarded the iconic and prestigious ‘Female Artist of the Year’ award, at the 2015 CMAA Golden Guitar awards. This was quickly followed up with the Country Music Channel 2015 ‘Female Oz Artist of the Year’ Award. This is the first time in history that a female artist has won both awards in one year. In 2016, Amber has released not one, but two albums – the critically acclaimed 5th studio album “Happy Ever After”, and her high selling children’s album “The Kid’s Gone Country”. And 2017 is shaping up to be another big one for Amber, with two Golden Guitar nominations – for Female Artist of the Year and for Vocal Collaboration of the year for her hit song “Cheers to the Girls”, featuring Catherine Britt and Fanny Lumsden. This song has been the inspiration behind the girls hitting the road together next year for the Love & Lies Tour in the first half of 2017.
Amber has released 22 singles over the course of her career to-date that have either reached #1 or Top 5 on the Country Music Radio Chart and the CMC Video charts. She’s the winner of the “Telstra Horizon Award” (2010) and above all is well known for her fun and entertaining live shows!!
Amber is also a mentor to young artists in the Australian Country Music industry, each year she is one of the Group Leaders at the Australian Academy of Country Music. In addition, Amber has provided FREE entertainment and mentoring in over 300 schools Australia wide, as part of her ‘Be Your Own Superhero’ program. Amber has a strong connection and affiliation with children, with her first Children’s album “the Kid’s Gone Country” released with a number 1 itunes hit (“My Big Mack Truck”), in May 2016.
Amber has just been announced as the host of iHeart Country Australia’s new radio program ‘Amber Nights’ – where she takes you into the friend zone with Australia’s biggest country stars, plus is a guest presenter on Channel 9’s ‘Getaway’ and is a regular performer for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Telethon on 9.
Selling out shows, and converting people to her style of country music is nothing new for this Sydney city girl and former Qantas accountant. Her ability to engage audiences and tell stories has kept her on the road and working hard for the past 9 years.
She’s played all the major festivals, including The Gympie Muster, Deni Ute Muster and CMC Rocks the Hunter and CMC ROCKS Queensland, has entertained Australia’s Troops in East Timor, UAE and the Sinai, has toured Australia extensively and has one of the most loyal fan bases in the country!
“It’s real life. It’s a positive album, but I’m also saying there are hard times. If you take it one day at a time you can have your happy ever after.”
GOLDEN Guitar winner Amber Lawrence has released the most mature album of her career, Happy Ever After. Delving into dark places she’s not trawled before, the 12-track Happy Ever After, is not all about fairy tales – it’s a whole lot of positivity with a strong dose of reality that life is never perfect.
“I think all my albums have been written through the eyes of a 17-year-old and have been really hopeful, but it’s time to start looking at my life through the eyes of a woman in her thirties,” the singer-songwriter said. “It’s real life. It’s a positive album, but I’m also saying there are hard times that we go through. If you take it one day at a time you can have your happy ever after.”
With Shane Nicholson in the production seat (ARIA and Golden Guitar Winner), Happy Ever After comes from a place where the 2015 Female Artist of the Year and CMC Oz Artist of the Year is so comfortable that she made the album she wanted to make – a reflective album, an honest album with integrity. The songs are carried on a bed of modern and fresh country music that allows Lawrence’s vocals to shine without over-production impeding, giving the listener space to connect with the lyrics.
“This is about me purely going, ‘well, I don’t really care, this is what happened’,” she said. “You get older and the rose-coloured glasses come off. I wrote plenty of other lightweight poppy songs, but I felt the darker songs needed to be there.”
The songs, written between Nashville and Australia, are personal, but the themes are universal, allowing listeners to relate the tracks to their own lives. The most personal track on the album is ‘The Lucky One’, which has Lawrence delving into the dark times her family has experienced with the loss of her father to leukaemia, but recognising her family will always live in her songs.
“People my age have experienced the sadness of packing up a parent’s stuff or a grandparent’s stuff and not wanted to throw it all away, but the happy part is that I’ll always have them in my life and my songs,” she said. “It comes back to that feeling that life is not perfect, but I’m still thankful for all the imperfections and family being the reason you can keep on keeping on.”
Lawrence celebrates strong women with Catherine Britt and Fanny Lumsden in ‘Cheers to the Girls’ – a rousing track that deals with bullying and domestic violence, but also empowerment without resorting to man-bashing. “I felt they (Catherine and Fanny) carried the message in the same way I do,” she said.
Another uplifting track is ‘Champion’, a love song based around the metaphor of a boxer. In the song, Lawrence is the boxer, and in her corner is her biggest supporter. “We all have one of these people in our lives, whether it’s our friend, our partner, our mother, father or anyone – it’s the person you rely on to help you ‘go another round’,” she said.
One of the lighter themed tracks is ‘Un-complicate Me’, a fun and free-flowing song. Lawrence wrote this with her Nashville co-writers, Bobby Huff and James Slater, about how a great relationship can see you feeling like life is less complicated. The beat behind this track celebrates all that’s good about modern country. Other stand out tracks on the album include ‘Drive By Breakup’ (which likens a breakup to a drive by shooting), ‘Cash’ (pure country rock) and ‘Get Me Out of This’ (Lawrence’s first attempt at addressing lapsed religion in a song).
This is Lawrence’s fifth studio album and her third release in the past 12 months. Most artists believe in releasing an album every two years, but the hard working singer-songwriter has released her live album Hometown Girl, children’s album The Kid’s Gone Country and rounded it off with Happy Ever After in the past 12 months. She credits her hardworking nature to having spent 9 years working in the corporate world before ‘throwing it all in’ to become a full time singer. “I work hard because I know how lucky I am, I have the world’s best job, and I never take that for granted.”
Through her music, Lawrence continues to inspire and encourage people to chase their dreams.
“I’m an example of someone who didn’t have this career path given to them easily – I wasn’t necessarily born to do what I am doing now. It came about through reflection and self-belief that I don’t have to do what other people think I should.”
Lawrence is spreading the message that people don’t have to do what they think they’re meant to do, but have the choice to do what drives them to get out of bed in the morning. The former Qantas accountant said she’d be earning more money if she had stayed in the business world, but she would still be wondering if she could make it as an artist.
“People say to me they wish they could change their lives and you actually can, it just takes facing that fear,” she said. “I’m just passionate about that – it’s your choice, not because you were born lucky.”
The defining moment for the singer-songwriter was when her first album was a Golden Guitar finalist in 2008. “That was validation for me that maybe I’m not just a hobbyist, maybe I could be good at it,” Lawrence said.
As well as making new music, Lawrence is spreading her message via a new radio initiative and as the family ambassador for the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The award-winning artist is hosting the country arm of iHeart Radio in Australia doing a one-hour program each week that goes behind-the-scenes uncovering things listeners may not know about artists. In her ambassadorial role, the proud Sydney girl is spreading the word that the Tamworth festival is a family-friendly event and encouraging families to spend a few days in the country, check out the award-winning Tamworth Regional Playground and to soak up country music. “It’s a great role for me and exactly where I want to be,” she said.
Following the Tamworth Country Music Festival, Lawrence will hit the road with Catherine Britt and special guest, Fanny Lumsden to travel the nation in the first half of 2017.
For an artist who wants to be the one people think of when they think ‘Australian country music’, Lawrence is headed in the right direction to create her own Happy Ever After. Positive, deep, dark, light and mature, Happy Ever After is out September 30 and available for pre-order from August 22.
For further information and/or to book an interview, please contact:
National PR & Label Manager | Social Family Records M: 0403 016 069