Amanda Cunningham grew up moving between rural Carroll County and urban Baltimore County, Maryland. As a result there was a lot of diversity in the music she listened to and Amanda now describes her music as “if Mariah Carey and The Chicks had a baby and that baby grew up loving to overshare and sing.”
Others have described Amanda’s music as “combining deep, soulful vocals with raw, gritty honesty that allows her listeners to feel effortlessly understood and connected to the voice behind the music” and “the sultry sizzle in her vocalization has us craving the words that she offers up on a silver platter”—BuzzMusic
With the emotive, unfiltered singing talent and candid story-telling ability to express both vulnerability and strength, Amanda beautifully shares her struggles with mental health, heartache, working out who she is, and the struggles of young motherhood to listeners to say, “you are not alone, and it’s okay to not be okay sometimes."
Amanda's Superhero Origin Story
Amanda Cunningham Storytime: I had always been told I had a really good voice but I was never encouraged or discouraged from pursuing really anything in my childhood so I just followed the easy path and did nothing with singing and went to school like “normal.” The most I ever sang was lying on the floor in my bedroom as a teen belting Celine Dion’s “The Prayer” when I was feeling down.
Not normal is that I got pregnant a month before my 20th birthday and later found out that my baby daddy was married the whole time and I was actually a mistress...that was a fun, earth-shattering discovery that really helped my postpartum depression.
As a single mom living at home with a toddler I bucked up and finished school because it was the only way I knew to get a well paying job. I graduated with honors and a bachelor's degree in History—specifically focusing on slave-slaveholders race relations.
I actually didn’t do anything with music until I was out of college and got a marketing job. This led to crushing depressing because I was terrified that this was all that was left for me—sitting in a sad cubicle all day trying to sneeze as quietly as possible to not bother the person beside me...and getting excited for catered leftover sandwiches from meetings.
SO I applied to graduate school because I had no idea what to do but needed a purpose again. During this time I was asked during an icebreaker exercise on the first day of class “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
I said “I wanted to be a singer when I grew up, and that it just never really happened.” This next part sounds lame but is 1,000% true—this guy was sitting next to me and he innocently asked why I didn’t pursue it... and in that moment I realized I had never even tried, so then I decided to start.
I had no idea where to start though, so I looked up talent shows (because I had no idea what singing/music was like outside of the 6th grade talent show I competed and lost in). I surprisingly found a talent show open for adults nearby and registered.
I was extremely nervous and practiced like crazy leading up to the night after choosing an Adele song. I was terrible and lost. I had no vocal training, had obviously terrible stage fright, and just...plain not fun to listen to nor watch.
After the competition, I decided to take voice lessons and became increasingly serious about pursuing music. FLASH FORWARD: After 6 years of being a Digital Marketing Manager, I left in early 2021 to pursue music full time.
I used to say I was a pop/R&B singer but realized that wasn’t entirely true. I love pop and R&B but that didn’t feel “right” and I couldn’t figure out why. I would also often hear feedback from listeners and even unbiased song write ups that said things like “there’s clear soul and country influences in her music.”—TealCheese
Then on a 5 hour car trip to my in-laws, I randomly decided to listen to 2000s country music that I used to love. I was JAMMING. I had forgotten how much I loved The Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Shania, I could go on and on...
History internship I got to dress up like a nerd for :)
I had an epiphany that I was being stupid not just leaning into what my voice naturally intonated to and what my storytelling lyrics lent itself best to (side note: at one point in my early childhood I even lived in a trailer with an alcoholic father... I mean that’s just rife with country lyric inspo right there).
Open mic I sucked at in 2017
Which brings us to the present day. I’m still learning and growing everyday as a songwriter, singer, and as a normal human being. Being a “good” wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, singer, writer, etc., is hard and takes constant work to be aware of the person I’m being and asking myself “Is this who you want to be?” And sometimes it’s not and I have to force myself to pivot.
Some days I want to just take a nap but most days I push past that and get up and do the work that needs to be done by asking myself “What would Beyonce do?” She’d do the work...even if it’s begrudgingly.
Anyways, that’s my long story short-ish. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story because I hope that means you like my music enough to read through my rambling on and on. I’d love to stay in touch. Sign up for my VIP community using the link below and I can keep you up to date on the latest with me, behind the scenes stuff, early releases, free downloads, etc.
Cover gig I played in 2019
My little family at Disneyworld
My wedding day <3
What do you want to be known for?
I’d like to be known for my honesty and real stories. I want to be known for having a powerful voice and something to say and making it okay for others to overshare their feelings and thoughts so that there is no mystery. If the mystery is gone then we can connect honestly. And if the mystery and masks that you use are gone and some people don't connect with you then that's fine because finding the REAL people you can connect with is important. I’d also like to be known for helping other artists write/share their story. Honesty and realness that was unsurpassed in my art and life. Always growing and being open to new experiences and opportunities to learn and be better as a human being.
What makes you unique?
How important is it for you to be vulnerable with your audience?
What did you do before you were a full time singer/songwriter?
What are some of your favorite books?
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo (I’ve read this at least 10x)
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
“Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurty
“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell (yes the depecitions of slavery are troubling but Scarlett O’Hara is a badass and an awesome strong female lead character, especially for that time period. Also Rhett is amazing, swoon)
"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom