At first glance, you might assume that Amanda is a typical teen. When asked what she likes to do, she admits, "I love going to the movies, hanging out with my friends卭h, and shopping!" Typical teen? Not quite. Sweden's latest exciting musical export may enjoy the same pursuits as her friends, but these days, she has precious little time to do so. As the first young female pop artist signed to Maverick Recording Company, the vivacious, energetic and vibrant performer has been hard at work completing EVERYBODY DOESN'T, her sizzling label debut, to be released in early summer of 2001.
Produced by Swedish hitmakers BAG and Arnthor (known for their work with 98 Degrees, Samantha Mumba and Jennifer Lopez), Bloodshy (Vitamin C, LFO, 98 Degrees) and other producers from the Murlyn Music camp, EVERYBODY DOESN'T is, in the young artist's own words, "pop music with R&B influences." While many of the tracks - such as the infectious title track "Everybody Doesn't" (which is also the first single), "You Don't Stand A Chance" (a key cut featured on the 2000 Maverick soundtrack for "Rugrats In Paris") and "Can't Stop My Love" - are strong dance grooves, Amanda displays another side of her burgeoning talent on the heartfelt ballad "If I Open My Heart" and the acoustic "Start It All Over Again."
"All of the songs have subjects that people of my generation can relate to," says the upbeat singer. "They're based on experiences that teenagers go through." It's no surprise then, that Amanda co-wrote two of the tunes, "Everybody Doesn't" and the head-boppin' "Not The One (For Me)" and indeed, can validate the lyrical themes on a number of the album's twelve tracks. "I can relate to "Can't Stop My Love," which is about having control of a romantic situation and "The Way I Am," a song that definitely expresses me well. It's all about not letting others put you down and fully being yourself. "Not The One (For Me)" is talking about honesty - be honest with me or we don't have a relationship! I can relate to "Everybody Doesn't" because I went through that. It's about not being rushed into anything, not going too fast too soon?
One thing's for sure: life has been moving quite fast in recent years for the French-born Amanda, who has lived in Sweden since she was very young. Her first musical inspiration, she remembers, came when her mother brought home a tape of Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album. "I loved it and I spent hours in front of the mirror imitating him while I was singing along with the songs!" she smiles. By the age of six, Amanda was attending dance classes and, at the suggestion of her dance teacher, she auditioned for a local production of "The Sound Of Music."
Playing the part of Brigitta in the musical, Amanda got her first chance to sing in public. After appearing as one of the opening artists for the World Athletic Games in Gottenburg, she performed on the Swedish T.V. show "Little Stars. While she wanted to do a Michael Jackson song, "I ended up doing a Janet [Jackson] song, "If," and I won?
It was while preparing to do Janet's "The Best Things In Life Are Free" for a local show in her home town of Taby that Amanda met choreographer Laila Bagge who happened to be the wife of music producer Anders Bagge (or "BAG"). "He heard me sing and wanted to sign me to his production company, Murlyn Music," she recalls. "He asked me to spend some time practicing. Then in 1998, he felt I was ready so I started doing some demos with him and his production partner, Arnthor."
Arnthor produced "Everybody Doesn't" on Amanda's demo and this collaboration was the catalyst that led to a deal with Maverick. "I was very excited about being with the label," says Amanda, who says her favorite artists include Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Brian McKnight and both Janet and Michael Jackson. "Madonna has always been one of my influences not only because of her music but because she is such a trendsetter."
Work on her all-important first Maverick album began in Murlyn Music's state-of-the-art recording studios in 2000. By the end of the year, Amanda had put the finishing touches to the record. "Of course, I'm aware that there are other young female artists who have been very successful, like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, but I like to think that I'm my own person," she says candidly, "and I bring a European flavor and style to my music."
Indeed, Amanda's Swedish 'connection' is a strong asset at a time when superstar groups like 'Nsync and Backstreet Boys have been creating their own share of hits with Swedish producers and songwriters. "We like to make music that's fun," says Amanda, "and I think that's why artists are coming to Sweden to record."
Fully utilizing the resources of Murlyn Music's hitmaking team, Amanda has created an album that represents the very best of contemporary pop and dance music. Whether she is talking about the importance of true friendship in "Call Me" or going through familiar teen issues with the pulsating groove of "Crush On You," Amanda brings excitement and energy to her Maverick debut. "I want to have a long career in music," she smiles,"recording, performing all over the world and developing myself as a songwriter." One listen to EVERYBODY DOESN'T and there's no doubt that Amanda is ready and right on target for reaching those goals卆nd more.