Indie403 is thrilled to present Amy Thiessen as our Featured Artist of the Month!
Take the term “Singer/Songwriter”, add the divine powers of yoga, and that is where you will find Amy Thiessen. She is not your ordinary “Folk singer”, nor is she your ordinary “acoustic singer”. She has given a unique twist to these common terms with her powerful spirit and soul that make her stand out in the all-too-common culture of “Singer/Songwriter” in Calgary. With her debut album titled Give up the Fight, released in 2011, Amy has really given a new insight into the relationship between healing yoga and song. Realizing her two passions and bringing them together has given her musical career in Calgary a kick-start! There will sure be no stopping her from pursuing these passions in life.
The Artist, Influences, & Style
After growing up on a farm outside of Calgary, Amy moved to the city to join in the University life. A degree in Commerce was where she set her focus. Although she valued the education she received in the degree, she soon found herself a bit lost. At 23, she decided that going to university and working in night clubs wasn’t working for her, so she made a great escape to India. Here, she found herself delving into healing work, yoga, and buddhism. This opened a different path for her to follow. No more TV, no more magazines. She had discovered she wanted more. While finishing her degree at university, she had come up with the plan to become a musician. There was only one problem: she didn’t play an instrument. Amy has always been a singer since youth, but it wasn’t until her mid-twenties that she started to really hone the craft. After reaching the top 100 in Canadian Idol, she was given the confidence this was a possibility that she wanted to pursue. With the support of her family, friends, teachers and a lot of practice at open mics, Amy soon learned to play the guitar and began writing songs.
Amy has always been a writer. She’s always written lyrics and poetry, and now with her guitar in hand, she fell in love with the “singer/songwriter” folksy music style. She values stripping the music down to hear the intention in the words. After studying with a shaman in Peru, she was introduced to different types of spiritual music and Mantras that affected her in ways that were unexplainable: “[It] was as if the music was a magnet that drew out certain emotions within people”. This is where she truly discovered how much power music really has and that the combination of healing work and music is something that she wanted to share with others.
In her process of song writing, she has found that the art of yoga actually helps her to transcend her thoughts or clear her mind to a space where she can write songs. Being in this healing space helps her to be able to catch the ideas that are coming to her at the time and be able to articulate them into song. She explains: “When I write a song, I face myself. Every time I’m on stage I face myself. I face my fears. I face trying too hard because I’m nervous. I face being afraid and wanting to put something out there. But then there’s that other side of just trusting yourself, just being honest. Being authentic and not putting on a show and just being who you are in front of people. That’s yoga. It’s the same thing, just done in different context.” Making these discoveries, she knew she had found a solid path for herself to follow, and her musical career has been on the move ever since.
Her Debut Album
Give up the Fight encompasses all of Amy’s practices and experiences and shares them to the world through song. It bridges the gap between the spiritual world she lives in and connects it to the people listening. There is a combination of emotionally charged songs and spiritual mantras to make up the album. Give up the Fight is about giving up resistance to what is happening, being wherever you’re at, and trusting the space inside of you. You can buy it at www.amythiessen.com.
In 2011, Amy kept busy. With the release of her album, she toured Canada twice (West in the spring and East in the fall) and hopes to be able to tour at least once a year; however has every intention on staying in the Calgary community. As the music scene continues to grow, she believes that staying in a sweet, nurturing community like Calgary is more beneficial right now than moving to a place with an overwhelming amount of things going on. In the next couple of years, Amy plans to have a solid career as a musician along with the healing yoga work she does and is aiming to play 200 shows a year at folk and yoga festivals. She wants to expand on the idea that art can open you up to something deeper inside yourself and plans to use everything she has gained in life and be able to share with others through workshops and that is why she is Indie403’s Featured Artist of the Month.
Update: Nice promotional profile video by Banana Media Inc. on Amy: