By HAZEL REID
Australian group Sheppard, led by siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard have been storming the music charts for the past few years with their hits Geronimo & Coming Home, which they have performed all over the world including the half-time show at the AFL Grand Final last year. They have now released an epic new album with full production to match, we caught up with Amy to chat creating during the pandemic, working on special projects and (accidentally) forming a body-positivity movement.
Kaleidoscope Eyes has a whopping 16 tracks featuring M.I.A., Learning to Fly, Die Young and Animals plus if that mega playlist wasn’t enough, they also levelled up by dropping a new song with a music video to match every month for the past year in the lead up to the album release. Amy shared that it was before the pandemic that the band decided they were going to challenge themselves to do this but when COVID hit, this threw a spanner in the works.
Instead of letting the situation get them down, the Sheppard siblings moved under the same roof and converted a room into a home studio, which Amy says “is the best thing we’ve ever done as we were able to go to work everyday, really focus on creating the album – it was really nice not to have to jump on a plane, do any promo, there were no distractions. Everyday we were able to really hone in and write.” Creating the music videos were a challenge due to the restrictions but the group pulled off some wonderful visuals, Amy even mentioned that they were able to utilise a local space, the Brisbane Gardens to look like L.A. in Catalina.
While Amy’s musical inspiration can spark from anywhere, she told us that the group’s three core writers (Amy, George and Jason) have been getting into their groove with collaborations and pre-pandemic took a writing trip out to L.A., “we’re really open to collaborating on our music – I think that sparks inspiration and you see music in a different way when you’re open to [it].” They were also able to collaborate in a different way, with the best production crew for a special evening to celebrate their album launching at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall. “We’re not really going to be able to tour this album so I love that we had a bit of extra budget to put into the production – having everything was a highlight for us,” Amy shared.
Speaking about special moments, Amy shared that performing during half-time of the AFL Grand Final last year was a highlight for Sheppard, “that was a dream come true, for any band to do that in any era, let alone in a pandemic so we were grateful for the opportunity.” I watched the video of the performance online – it looked and sounded incredible plus I’m not even sure if you would have known we were in the middle of COVID chaos if you didn’t look at the date! Amy revealed that they only had two rehearsals without getting to rehearse the pyro and all, “we just had to go for the real thing – when the lights went off, it was a really surreal experience.”
We also had to speak about how she accidentally started a body-positivity moment off the back of the band’s 2019 song Kiss My Fat Ass. “I posted a picture of myself in a bikini with cellulite on the back of my legs and basically ‘kiss my fat ass’ if you have anything negative to say about it” Amy shared, which sparked a lot of people’s interest and the messages and tags started rolling in. “It’s just been amazing to heal my own insecurities in this as well, it’s been lovely creating this community, giving women a safe space to talk about it and really shed any insecurities, I’m just trying to be the role model I never had. In pop music especially you never see a defection, it was all sequins and toned legs so I’m here to say you can be successful, and can be loved even if you do have cellulite” Amy said. I’m so glad to see people with a platform like this spreading positivity.
After taking some time to recharge, Amy shared the band will get back into songwriting following some requests and would love to get back on tour with even more new tunes. We are all (Amy included) crossing our fingers for that bubble so we can welcome Sheppard to our shores! Kaleidoscope Eyes is available now in store & online, check out their incredible line-up of videos on their YouTube channel and follow Amy (@amysheppardpie) for more #KissMyFatAss.
From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, HAZEL REID is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.
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