Exclusive Special Interview: Sheppard

theaussieword.com goes one on one with Amy Sheppard from Sheppard!

What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin? 
The Sheppard story actually begins in Papua New Guinea in the 90s! Long story short, 3 of us are siblings and we grew up in Port Moresby, PNG. I wanted to be a musician from a very young age and began singing and writing songs with our music teacher Buruka Tau. By the time I finished school, I was full steam ahead with my performing and writing. I wrote a song which called for a male vocal/harmony so I asked my brother George to record the parts. Since then, we have been writing, recording and performing with fellow members Emma Sheppard, Jay Bovino, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon.

What had you first interested in music? 
I think it was when I first found my dad’s old guitar in the storage room! I just thought it was the coolest thing. As the shy kid, music quickly became a way to express myself and stand out from the crowd. It felt special and confidence eventually followed. 

Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music? 
My biggest influence is Fleetwood Mac. Their harmonies just ooze into your soul. I’m also obsessed with the band “America”. I love music of legends, I mean, it’s timeless for a reason! We all have our own influences though, George’s being Coldplay and Jay’s being Elliot Smith. Ultimately, our influences mash together and form “Sheppard” sounding songs!  
Do you have any planned tours coming up?
We are planning to tour most of this year! We hope to make it back over to the USA, maybe New Zealand and definitely some charity shows in PNG. We will also be flying over to Bangkok to play the festival “Sonic Bang” with some big name artists. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Our biggest goal is to have a lasting career in music! We want our fans to continue to have access to our songs and live performances.

What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
A ton of shows, new music and more fun! We are also lucky enough to be featured in a Hollywood slasher called “Old 37”. We are the band in the party scene and they are using 4 of our tracks! It will be released later this year! 

Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far? 
It’s not secret that you have to put in hard work to be successful but you also have to be a good person! Nobody wants to work with someone with a bug head. Stay grounded, work hard, have fun! We have been fortunate enough to experience some very special moments some highlights which spring to mind include: Landing Chugg Entertainment as management, a world tour, appearance on Channel 9’s “Mornings”, PNG charity shows,  hitting #1 in the Aus Top 20.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Stevie Nicks, Chris Martin, Gotye, John Mayer! All the greats, musicians who have really pushed the boundaries and become legends for it. 

How would you best describe you and your music to your fans?
 It’s a bit like a beach party! I think growing up in PNG had an influence on us. Apparently we have “pacific harmonies”. We just want to incorporate a sense of fun with music which is genuine. 

What can you tell us about your latest album?Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
 Our latest release was our debut, self titled EP. The songs on the EP have a common theme of “Picking yourself up and dusting yourself off”. The songs often have somber lyrics which are contrasted with energetic, fun music. We are hoping to release another EP in the latter half of the year with some fresh hits! We hope to do another video clip or two as well! 

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
We would be so grateful to have a lasting career in performing. In a few years we plan to have a solid fan base in Australia and overseas. We hope to continue writing and performing around the world, reppin’ Australia all the way!

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
We are so lucky in Australia to have some incredible artists! Aussies know their music! Some of Sheppard’s favourites include: Birds of Tokyo, Lisa Mitchell, The Temper Trap, Gotye, Tame impala .All the good stuff!

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? 

At the moment we are feeling super lucky to be in the position we are. It’s a tough industry and we are ever so grateful for the opportunities we have been given. Social media is such a useful tool in reaching out to fans and sharing music. I love how anyone, anywhere has the ability to upload a song to social media and connect with fans or their favourite musician. We always try to reply to all our fans and its awesome having that one on one connection! 

Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
Thank you!! Be sure to head to our social media outlets to say hi!! We would love to chat! 

Website: www.wearesheppard.com
Facebook: facebook.com/wearesheppard
Twitter: @wearesheppard 
Instagram: @wearesheppard

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