Catching Up with Amy Shark

Vortex Music Magazine

Last month, Australian songwriter Amy Shark brought her soulful pop stylings to The Old Church, along with Los Angeles songwriter MILCK. After more time on the road, Vortex caught up with Shark to look back and reminisce on her time in Portland and her sold-out show.

Amy Shark at the 2017 ARIA AwardsAmy Shark at the 2017 ARIA AwardsAmy Shark has been a name on the rise for well over a year. Though she has yet to release a full length, she has already taken the world by storm. Her song “Adore” reached #3 and #32 on the Australian and U.S. alternative charts, respectively; she was featured by Apple Music as one of their UPNEXT artists; and thanks to her debut EP, Night Thinker, she won both Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist at the ARIA Awards last year.

Back in November, as Shark was showcasing her talents to her own country, opening for Sia’s massive homecoming show, Portland got the news that the acclaimed songwriter would be coming through our city on her own tour, making a stop at The Old Church in February.

The Old Church in the heart of downtown Portland has been seeing a lot more shows come through its doors. It proved the perfect setting to watch as Amy Shark absolutely captivated the sold out crowd. Between songs off of her EP, older singles and even a cover of Eminem’s “Superman,” Shark wowed the Old Church crowd, demanding they stand up and dance when it counted, and striding the stage with confidence unmatched.

Alongside Shark was another artist who has been the rise, much thanks to her viral song, “Quiet,” that was dubbed the anthem of the Women’s March last year. Los Angeles songwriter MILCK opened the show for Shark, moving through powerful ballads off of her own EP, This Is Not The End, which showcased not only her powerful vocals, but her skill on the piano, summarizing her trials and tribulations in beautiful works of art. At the end of her set, she received a standing ovation.

Together, both Amy Shark and MILCK stole attention from the packed house. Though neither artist have an album to their name, everyone in attendance will be glad to say they saw them in such a beautiful, intimate setting. There’s no question that both names on the bill will be playing much bigger—and surely still sold-out—sets in the future.

Following the Portland show, Shark and MILCK hit the road again, continuing their U.S. tour. Between shows, Shark took some time out of her schedule to chat with us about her show in Portland, as well as what we can look forward to from here on out.

Amy Shark at The Old Church last month. Photo courtesy of Brendan Swogger.Amy Shark at The Old Church last month. Photo courtesy of Brendan Swogger.You played The Old Church in Portland last month, which was simply a beautiful setting to see you in. How did Portland treat you while you were here?

I love Portland so much: It’s got the best sushi and vintage clothing stores! The church was a cool vibe, very different but I think that’s what made it such a special show. I drank beer in a church! I’m going straight to hell [laughs].

You mentioned this was your third time here? When were your previous Portland visits?

I played at the Doug Fir Lounge last time. It was my first time and had a great show! And I was back in Portland supporting Vance Joy.

For this tour, you recruited MILCK to open for you, which was an amazing choice! Where did you come across her and her music, and what made you want to reach out to her to open for this tour?

My management sent me a bunch of musicians and she really stood out. It’s been a really fun tour having her here on the road.

During your set, you covered Eminem and said that you're a big fan of his. What is it that you like about his music, and where did the arrangement of “Superman” that you performed come about?

I love Eminem, always have. I was at a party once and everyone was rap battling and I started playing some chords and then busted out "Superman" and mashed it with "Pimp Like Me" by D12. I was very intoxicated but was also named a legend at that party for doing so [laughs].

What's the rest of your tour here and the rest of your 2018 looking like? What can we expect from Amy Shark?

I’ll be doing more shows all over the U.S. and Canada and will then wrap my tour up in Europe! It’s been incredible. I’ve sold out a few shows and it all feels good. Expect more music this year too.

When can Portland expect your return?

Very, very soon! Promise!

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