When I was asked to interview A-Mei, I was somewhat trepidatious at first. Anyone who's followed what I've done over the years knows that I tend to avoid anything Pop, let alone a Pop Diva. These things tend to be so removed from the lives and experiences of the average working musician that have been at the heart of what MusicDish is all about. But as the interview started, I realized that A-Mei is lightyears away from the pop queen caricature. Rather, I was facing an open, engaging and sincere person with a story at the heart of what life and music is all about.
What immediately connected us was our shared aboriginal roots (mine being Native American course), which has provided the inspiration to her music. While not professionally trained, she'd grown up surrounded by music her entire life. "I have never learnt to sing or dance, they are just ever-present parts of my native tribe, the Ami (from whence she derived her stage name)". Music is thus innate to her, not just a profession or career. "Singing is a way for me to express my feelings and emotions. Music is a critical part of my life."
Those Taiwanese aboriginal roots have also given A-Mei a truly unique and open approach to her singing and music, which is influenced by the people and experiences that have touched her. "If I was moved by something, I would choose to write a song about it. I like to observe life and learn from it. It is a constantly occurring inspiration." As such, her music is a recording of her own personal life, which draws power and energy from those close to her. "I frequently find inspiration from the people surrounding me, such as my family and friends. Their experiences always reflect distinct kinds of lives."
By Eric de Fontenay