• Jordan Millar

"I’m seeing so many women now taking absolutely no nonsense from anyone!" - Amie Huckstep Interview

Hello everyone! Welcome back to our blog! I am so excited to share this week's interview, featuring the amazing Amie Huckstep! I have been a fan of Amie's for a while now and absolutely love her new EP 'Moving Mountains'! We chatted all things songwriting, her career so far and of course, women in music!

Let's jump right into it...

Hey Amie! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me! I absolutely love your new EP ‘Moving Mountains’, Each track is so beautifully written and performed! Could you tell me about the inspiration behind each of the tracks?

Hey! Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited! I’m really glad you like it, I was super nervous for this release so it’s been lovely to get such positive feedback. When I initially wrote the tracks over the course of the past year, I hadn’t even thought of releasing them together but they just seemed to click! I wrote the first track, “Moving Mountains”, a few months ago during winter lockdown. I spent a lot of time on my own during January and it made me realise how much we all value connections with those around us. Although, sometimes it can be really hard to admit that as we’ve been told that independence is something we should strive for! “Forgot How To Breathe” came about after I was given the word whiskey as a writing prompt. I think the main feeling in this one is disappointment. A feeling of being let down by someone who you expected more from and entirely put your trust into! Bit of a sad one haha. The last track, “They Lay Down By The River” is actually inspired by my favourite movie of all time: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”. The song is a story of the heartbreaking scenario where there is so much love between two people but it’s just not possible for them to stay together. I wanted all of the songs to be folk-inspired and tell a story!

I would love to hear about your songwriting process! Do you have a set way that you always go about writing?

Sure! I use a couple of different techniques but i’ve found that the best one for me is using a word prompt! I love going to instagram and asking people to send me a word and going off of those. I then pick a few chords, set up my camera to record and improv for a little while to see if anything good comes out. Usually i’ll get a couple of lines that I think aren’t too terrible and i’ll type up some more lyrics! My notes app is also full of lyrics i’ve thought of at like 2am so i’ll sometimes come back to those haha!

I was wondering how you think that the local music scene has changed over the years you have been active in regards to the treatment and representation of women in the local community? Do you think we are heading in a positive direction?

I’m still fairly new on the music scene in terms of gigging etc. and I unfortunately wasn’t in Glasgow too long before covid hit, but i’ve definitely noticed changes since I started a couple of years ago! Particularly attitudes online. I think the past year has really given people a lot of time to take a step back and reevaluate the music industry and it’s treatment of marginalised people. I’m seeing a much wider conversation now about things like festival lineups, women in production, imbalances in radio coverage etc! We’re definitely moving in the right direction. I’m seeing so many women now taking absolutely no nonsense from anyone! There’s also some incredible people on the scene who are really pushing for better representation, such as yourselves and Fiona Liddell and Naomi Head. I worked with Fiona and Naomi on the Cover To Cover project which involved 13 women and non binary artists and we raised money for Scottish Women Inventing Music!

How did you first get involved in music? Was this always a career path you desired to follow?

I first got involved properly after watching a school concert band I decided I wanted to play clarinet haha! From there I just absolutely fell in love. I was always singing as a kid but it wasn't till I was around 15/16 that I started writing my own music and learning other instruments etc. I actually fell out of it for a while as I went to uni to study psychology. I quickly realised that wasn’t for me at all and went back to music haha. Even when I've gone off to try other things, I've always found myself coming back to music eventually. Can’t live without it!

Is there a way that you think that as a society and a community that we can work towards creating a more equal and diverse environment within the Scottish music industries?

I know this is very much a basic answer but people have to start booking more diverse artists! I’ve been to so many gigs that have huge lineups where you’ll maybe see one woman, and often there are no artists that aren’t white, cisgender or able-bodied. The music community itself is so vibrant and full of people from every background so there’s no excuse in my eyes haha! We have to make room for everyone! A lot of spaces can also be super intimidating for marginalised people and that has to change. There needs to be a push for safer and inclusive spaces for everyone.

Is there a moment within your career that you would say was your most rewarding experience or something that you are significantly proud of out of all your achievements?

Oh gosh there’s been so many moments haha! I’m still kind of in shock anytime something exciting happens. I think my proudest moment was releasing my song “Puddles” and watching it grow. I only wanted to release that song to have something there for people to listen to if they wanted to hear what I do. So to see it crawling towards 300,000 streams on Spotify still makes me a bit dizzy haha!

Lastly, I was wondering what female or non-binary Scottish artists are you most excited about right now?

Ahhh so many!!! I’m so excited by how much sheer talent there is! Of course, some of my best friends are doing wonderful things in music right now: Olivia Thom and Jen Ella. Katie Gregson-MacLeod has just released an amazing EP. I’d also like to mention the wonderful musicians I had the pleasure of working with on “Cover to Cover”: Gefahrgeist, Sarya, Ceiti, Mima Merrow, Post Coal Prom Queen, Chiara Baillie, PINLIGHT, Jen Athan, Francesca Ortisi, Aurora Engine and also Jen and Olivia who I mentioned before! They’re all super talented and lovely!

There you have it! Thanks so much to Amie for taking the time to chat with me! Make sure to go and show her some love over on her socials to stay up to date with future releases and gig announcements! Also make sure to check out 'Cover to Cover'

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