If there’s one thing in the world we can all appreciate regardless of race, gender, or orientation, it’s a classic love song. Whether the lyrics of that song be about joy or pain, we still share a common bond through the force that is, love. Singer/songwriter/producer Amanda Perez created a number of songs as well as albums that have captured the essence of love and heartbreak. Her most well known song to date, ‘Angel‘, became the holy grail of love songs for our generation when it first surfaced in 2002. It was there that she created a fan base that 13 years later, would still be supporting her vision.
Lets rewind to yesterday when Fab Femme creator Aryka Randall had a chance to chat with the notable musician about her journey as an artist in a male dominated industry. Randall opened up the interview with a question about Perez’s childhood.
Amanda Perez: I was born and raised in Fort Wayne Indiana. I’ve lived in LA when I was touring a lot and at one point I had a house in Atlanta but I really never got a chance to live there. My mom was diagnosed with cancer and we were told she had three months to live. I dropped everything and went back to Indiana to spend all the time I could with her. She lived for another three years.
My childhood? I never had a horrible life. My parents were together for almost 33 years and we weren’t rich but they always made sure we had what we needed. They both worked and it wasn’t perfect but we made do. There was also a lot of music there. I come from a very musical family.
TFF: Perez then went into further detail about her families history with music and how it inspired her creatively.
AP: I’ve been doing music since I was little. My dad plays instruments and my Mom had a singing contract. All you heard in my house was music. There’s five kids in my family and i’m the baby. We all listened to different stuff so there was a little bit of everything playing in the house.
Music was everywhere. My mother always told me I was going to do things with music. When I was a baby I would play with my dads instruments and try to imitate the sounds I would hear them make when he’d play them.
Everything changed for me musically when I was about ten years old. When I hit about ten and my dad bought me key board. From there I started writing and producing my own tracks. I noticed I could hear things and play them the way they were on the radio. I could play anything by ear. The first song I ever wrote was a song called “You Are My Love”. *Laughs* My mother would tease me and say “Amanda what do you know about love? You’re only ten”! I told her I knew about love because I would watch what my older cousins and family would go through. I used their experiences to tell my stories.
TFF: After Perez dished on her childhood, the conversation shifted it’s focus onto the music industry and what she’s learned on her journey through music.
AP: This industry is harsh. Its everything that people say it is. You cant trust anyone because everyones goal is to get into your pockets. For an artist like me who writes and produces, we’re very limited in this industry. I had to learn the hard way not to trust just anyone and as a result, I had to let go of a manager of mine who tried to steal from me. Everything is extremely hard work. You have to stay on your grind. I remember when I was touring and got sick ad passed out at the Hard Rock Cafe in Tampa. That was a turning point for me. These major labels want you to perform no matter what’s going on. I worked through feeling sick and ended up with pneumonia.
After that I ended up on another label and that’s when I put out ‘Candy Kisses’. I wasn’t used to the slow process with a smaller label but I hung in there. As soon as it seemed like thins were about to get better, boom, my mom has gets cancer. That sh*t was devastating. She loved me, she kept me going and kept me going strong. It tore me up. I couldn’t even think of music. I forgot where the source was for me to be happy and I shut down. I just wanted to be with just her.
When I came back from my break I created my own label called Krazy A. The first single was called “Freak For the Weekend” and the album was called unexpected. I didn’t want the songs to go to waste from the labels i’d worked with in the past so I put them together on an album. It was a good response but it wasn’t enough. Its been crazy. Its like a maze but once you make it through you’ve made it. This new album is gonna be like no other album I’ve done.
TFF: The next topic of conversation pertained to the music Amanda Perez has been working on this year. Her new single ‘F*ck Your Feelings’ is set to be released this month on the 20th. From what we’ve gathered, her new music sounds nothing like the things we’ve heard previously.
AP: It kind of puts everything it in perspective for hard working people. How the fuck im working to provide for you and they cheat on you with someone who’s below you because they need attention. A lot of us in relationships make excuses for the people we love. When someone is meant for you they’re meant for you so fuck their feelings and fuck how you feel. Sometimes you just have to move on. You can’t keep trusting the person who keeps hurting you. That’s what that song is all about. I remember when people told me “oh you’ll never find anyone, you’re standards are too high”. But I found someone, and it was real, and she is my wife now. She holds me down and she comes to all of my shows. Believe that when something is meant for you, it’s meant for you.
Im working on another song called “Hurt No More”. It’s about when you try your hardest to be good with someone, but you just cant allow them to do certain things. Being your best to someone isn’t always about money. If you cant provide with money, you can provide with love.
TFF: Long time fans of Perez were astonished to see that in some of her newer videos like “Freak For the Weekend“, the singer was rocking a fade and much more masculine look. She was also outwardly discussing having relationships with women in her lyrics.
AP: When some people see me they’re like “what”? People will talk about gay people all the time but they need to stop that. These men out here need to stop acting like they like women when they like men and these women who like women need to stop acting like they don’t like women. Most women would mess with another woman if it’s the right one.
As far as my look goes, i’m a business woman. When I wore makeup and I came out on the first cover of Never when I was showing cleavage, I was like “you know what? The world isn’t ready to see me yet”. Im still gonna wear what I want to wear but I put a little makeup on and work it for the cameras. I wanted people to see me look good.
The way people dress should be about them. You have to be happy for yourself. When I came out I had every one of my family members at my house. I stood up real dramatic *laughs* and I said “I’m gay, and I don’t care what no one else says, and I don’t care if you all don’t like it. This is who I am.”I felt like anyone who didn’t accept me could go because I didn’t need that weight on me. I knew by the time I was six I was gay. I was born this way.
TFF: Perez also stated that her fans have been very supportive of her new look and that she hasn’t been slowed down by it at all.
AP: I haven’t had a problem with people criticizing me. I donated my braids after my mom passed. I always wanted to cut my hair anyway but it just wasn’t the right time. You couldn’t just be open like that like you can now. I’ve always been the type to cut my hair short. I wear caps, I don’t wear dresses. This is me. Im still the one who makes the music that is real. No matter what I am to you, I still go through what you go through in life. I still understand.