Ontario-based singer-songwriter Amanda Kind released the music video to accompany her newest single, “Slow Dance”, last week, and the reception has been absolutely incredible.
I had the opportunity to talk to Amanda about the song, the video, and what’s next for her.
An Interview With Country Artist Amanda Kind
Jason: I want to thank you for joining me on the Front Porch once again! First of all, if you could just quickly introduce yourself for readers who may not have read our last interview back in July.
Amanda: I’m Amanda Kind, and I’m a singer and songwriter, and also a voice coach in commercial music and country. I’m from Waterloo, Ontario, but I grew up in White Rock, British Columbia. So I’m a real Canadian girl.
J: Ending the last year with the release of “Slow Dance” and then quickly following it up with the music video at the beginning of this one must have been a whirlwind. How are you feeling about everything?
A: I’m feeling great! You know, I did that on purpose.
“Slow Dance” really feels like a winter song to me, and I kind of wanted to kind of see how it would do on streaming before we released it for radio and put out a music video. So it felt like the right time to put it out in early November.
And right away, you know, people have been reacting to that song. Anytime I sing it in public, at least one stranger will either come up to me at the gig and ask me about it, or they’ll message me on a social media platform and say they can’t find it on Spotify.
I was originally planning on waiting on that song for a couple more months and doing a different song first. But given the reaction that people were having to the song when I was playing gigs… Matt Koebel, who’s my producer, and I just completely changed the plan and decided to put that one out next.
I always find it interesting when a slow song is super popular. But that song just always has a really strong reaction, which is really lovely.
J: Yeah, gauging the audience reaction like that definitely makes a difference.
I know last time we talked, you said that you do have a plan, but there’s always opportunities to mix up what you’re doing.
A: Yeah, well, definitely.
I mean, I really believe that music is kind of a shared experience between artists and audiences. Your music, you write it for yourself, but then when you put it out, it’s not really yours anymore. And even when you’re not really just singing it live, it’s not yours anymore.
I feel so grateful when anyone says they’re going to spend time listening to me sing. There’s something really respectful and profound about that when someone says I’m going to spend time and I’m going to even pay money to hear you.
I just have a lot of respect for my audience with anyone who wants to listen to what I’m doing.
J: About the music video, is there anything you can tell us about the creative process behind the shoot for the video? Was there anything that surprised you about the process?
A: There was a lot that surprised me.
This video was a bit of a tricky thing.
Roadhouse – I’ve never worked with them before. And I was really excited to work with them.
I kind of hummed and hawed about whether or not I would personally star in the music video. I’m a plus size woman and I was a bit concerned about how people would take a love story with someone of my shape and size and age.
So I was kind of considering doing what every kind of plus size singer always considers doing, which is like having somebody else act out the story and then having them shoot me from the neck up kind of emoting the song, kind of as a narrator.
But I’ve been following a lot of the movements related to inclusion regarding bodies, and other types of inclusion. And I felt like if I do that, I’m saying that there’s only one type of love out there. You know, that only girls who look like Barbie belong in romantic stories.
Watch The Music Video For “Slow Dance”
And so I kind of said to Roadhouse, I think I’m going to be in it myself, but I’m super terrified. It’s not my comfort zone at all. And those guys were great, you know, they really helped me.
I was extremely nervous and concerned when the day started for shooting, but AJ and Johnny, and Patrick Stiles, who appears in the video with me, were just such great people.
We laughed our brains out. The music video is full of silly rom com moments.
The song’s kind of big and sweeping, and I wanted the video to be a little more lighthearted. And so it’s got everything from like the moment from that John Cusack movie, Say Anything, where the stereos above his head. And Risky Business, that moment where Tom Cruise slides in his underwear, we got Patrick doing that.
So we did our best to make it a fluffy, romantic comedy. And I put myself in it as kind of the romantic lead, which is a very new thing for me.
Before the video came out, I posted this reel about how I was a bit nervous about it. And the reaction to that reel was unbelievable. Literally hundreds of women sent private messages to me. Hundreds.
I actually cried quite a bit that night, like the number of people who were like, “Oh, my God, this resonates with me so much. Thank you for not putting yourself in the background. I see myself in this video.”
So in retrospect, I feel really proud of that choice, even though it scared the living daylights out of me. Because it’s obviously a very touchy subject for a lot of people. And it obviously resonates with tons of women my age.
I’m in my early 40s. I’m making a different kind of music than maybe some other artists. My music is really for people in my age bracket, that 30 to 50 age bracket, who have been through some things in life and are maybe struggling to build their best life now that they’ve had some experience.
J: I think you anticipated one of my next questions, which is going to be about you calling yourself the “absolute antithesis of Barbie.”
I wanted to know, what does that mean to you in terms of the release of this video on this track, but I think you’ve definitely covered a lot of that already. Is there anything else you wanted to add?
A: I just felt like everybody has a very specific expectation of what female country singers are supposed to look like. And if we imagine what that is, I am the absolute opposite of that in many ways.
The truth is that lots of amazing artists don’t look or sound the way we expect. And the more we embrace those differences, the more cool music is out there.
I really love when I hear a voice and it’s completely different than what I would have expected, or if I see an artist and they don’t necessarily match what I thought they might be.
The more I do this, the more I realize that stereotypes are our enemy, and we have to stop uplifting them.
J: I had some questions about specific scenes in the music video.
You did mention the Risky Business “sliding in, in the underwear and the shirt” scene. How difficult was it to convince Patrick to do that? Or was it not a problem at all?
A: You would not believe it.
Well, Patrick is a professional dancer. So let’s put it this way: he got it on the first take.
AJ and Johnny were screaming and laughing, because not only did he slide in perfectly in balance, but he landed right in the middle of the doorway in the frame.
That’s a true professional.
When I asked him to do it, he was like, “boxers or briefs?” I was like, It’s your call. He’s like, “what did Tom Cruise do?” I said, Tom Cruise did tighty-whities, so whatever you are comfortable in, and I’ll be cool with it.
He comes out in tighty-whities, white shirt, white socks.
Patrick is a pretty good sport.
J: Yeah, seems like it.
There’s a scene where you guys are baking, and you get into a fight with the flour. Was that planned at all? Because I must say, if it was in the script, your acting is absolutely phenomenal.
A: It was in the script, but we didn’t script the moment that it would happen.
So we said, okay, I’m gonna bake some cookies and lay it out and you’re gonna come in. We only have one chance to shoot it because it’s so messy. We have to get it right the first time. The flour is going to be around this area, you do whatever feels right to you.
I will say, what shocked me was the amount of flour he threw at my face. It felt like it hit me like a baseball. Literally got annihilated. So my reaction is absolutely genuine.
J: The last time we spoke was at the beginning of summer last year. Is there anything you would say that’s changed dramatically in your life since then?
A: I feel more sure of my musical choices than I ever had.
I think last summer when we talked, I was still kind of figuring things out and trying to suss out what might be my path moving forward. But I’m feeling extremely excited.
I have an EP coming out in either late June or early July called The Good Fight. The songs are now all recorded. I’m really excited by the stuff I’m about to put out.
I have a new single coming out on International Women’s Day called Rebel Spirit. We just finished cutting the last vocals on it and I’m super excited about it, it’s super rock and roll and girl power in all the best ways.
I’m just feeling really excited about sharing my songs and feeling less afraid, if that makes sense. The more I do this, the less I worry about fitting in, and the more excited I get about just doing my thing and seeing what happens.
J: Is there any thought given to what comes after that?
A: Good question.
I mean, I’m gonna be writing a lot more, and hopefully heading down to Nashville to do some co-writes and things like that. So just expanding my network.
And I have been coaching other artists vocally, which has blown up for me over the last four months. So trying to balance those two worlds has been a bit challenging.
I guess what I’m looking forward to is finding the rhythm of that and balancing that. Because that is work that I do not because I have to but because I literally love it.
J: Well, thank you so much for chatting with me on the Front Porch. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.
A: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.
About Canadian Country Artist Amanda Kind
Amanda Kind was raised in the coastal community of White Rock, British Columbia, where she grew up in a musical family. She was strongly influenced by her mother, a recreational pianist, whose array of musical tastes ranged from The Andrew Sisters and Ella Fitzgerald to Patsy Cline, Enya, Queen, and more.
Now based in Ontario, Kind is known as much for her powerhouse vocals as she is for being one of the province’s most in-demand vocal coaches in commercial music. Kind marked a return to writing and recording original music in 2021 with four singles that year.
You can keep up with Amanda Kind on her website, amandakind.com. You can also follow her on Instagram.
Listen to “Slow Dance” by Amanda Kind
Jason Saunders is a graduate from both the English Literature program at Trent University and the Journalism program and Seneca College. He has a passion for music, writing, and all things creative.