Amanda Nagurney: back to her roots - INTERVIEW
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • August 10, 2012 @ 1:22pm
Buffalo born and bred, Amanda Nagurney will return home this weekend for a highly anticipated performance at the Erie County Fair.
According to her fan page,
Amanda Nagurney, 23 year old singer, songwriter and musician has just released her album titled “Gone”. She has recently won Crossover Artist of the Year in the 2009 Independent Music Network Awards and Country Artist of the Year in the Upper State Independent Awards in 2010.
Amanda has won Best Female Vocalist 2010 & Best Acoustic Duo 2008-2009 in the Buffalo Music Awards. Amanda’s music has made it to the top of the charts throughout Europe and on many internet radio stations.
We got the chance to chat with Nagurney on her way back to Buffalo for the show on Saturday. She talked to us about making the move to Nashville, her favorite spots to hit up in Buffalo and what songs she loves to sing in the shower. Take a look at the interview below.
Are you looking forward to performing at the Fair this year?
Amanda Nagurney: Oh yes. I’m extremely excited about coming back. I try to make it back to Buffalo in the summer specifically for the Fair. It’s one of my favorite places to check out while I’m home.
Now you’re originally from Buffalo, where did you go to school?
AN: I grew up minutes from the Bills stadium. Really, I’ve done music my whole life and it’s hard to separate that from when I was younger. I went to West Seneca West high school and took part in a lot of sports, as well as music. Back then I did them all as a hobby, but I knew I wanted to give music a shot.
Once I was out of high school and grew out of my shyness, I decided to take music on full force. It’s funny how things change.
How did you first get started in music?
AN: I was about 6 or 7 when I started singing karaoke to Billy Ray Cyrus songs. My parents put me in piano and vocal lessons and then I started guitar when I was about 16. I just picked up the mandolin too and it’s a weird but awesome instrument. Kind of like a mix between violin and guitar, but not—and so fun to play.
When was the turning point in your career when you decided to make the move to Nashville?
AN: Well, it was about two and a half years ago. The main thing was that I had been to Nashville many times for shows and found out I could hold my own there. I was opening shows and made me realize I have a shot at doing this and could make it to the big time.
But in order to give myself a fair shot, I had to move out of Buffalo. Nashville is really where you’re going to make it.
What are some of your favorite places to go when you come back to Buffalo to visit?
AN: There’s a ton of places. I love coming home in the summer and fall when I can go to all the festivals and stop by the beer tent. There is not a lot of that kind of thing in the south. I love to get my Buffalo pizza and wings at La Nova, Anchor Bar and Santora’s. I miss home a lot and visiting the parks like Letchworth and Allegheny, although I just visited the Smokey Mountains here in the south.
It’s great to see my friends and family when I visit too. The hole-in-the-wall bars have a soft spot for me as well, for some strange reason.
Who are some artists that have influenced your own music?
AN: Currently, I’m a big fan of Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Keith for the music and especially Miranda because she’s so down to earth. I idolize her and she always remains herself. I don’t want to change for the industry and she is a great role model for that.
Are there any performances you’ve done that really stood out?
AN: There are two specific ones. I opened for Sara Evans at Artpark once and really felt like a star. People gave me the star treatment which was so nice and I had a really good time. It was just memorable with the people with me. I also opened for Gretchen Wilson which was amazing too.
She invited my whole family on her tour bus after the show for a little post-show party and I got a real taste of the musician life. I could picture myself there and it was great.
Besides Sara and Gretchen, who has been your favorite artist to work with or open a show for?
AN: A couple people really stand out for me. Jason Michael Carroll was real down to earth and a cool guy to meet. Phil Vassar was also extremely nice and his was the first opening show I ever had. I didn’t really know how things were supposed to go, but he was friendly and showed me the ropes a little bit.
I had actually met his keyboard player at Jam in the Valley and we stayed in touch. We’re very close friends now and he even sold me my house! I’ve opened up for a lot of people, but those two have really stuck out.
Are you a hot, medium or mild kind of wing girl?
AN: I always go to Duff’s and get the medium, since those are still pretty hot. I would say I’m a medium kind of girl, but I do love my wings.
What are some of your favorite songs to sing in the shower?
AN: That’s a great question. My answers are probably kind of weird. But I would have to say, “Hot & Cold” by Katy Perry, “Thunderstruck” by ACDC and “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. Such a strange mix but I love all those songs.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.