1. For those who still don't know you, who are you and what are you working on?
My real name is Amanda Friggieri, although many are more familiar with my stage name, Amelia Hope. I began singing 15 years ago, when I was still in Malta. It all started from a couple of casual karaoke nights with friends – people loved it and I had just discovered another talent (I used to dance at the time). Having decided to take it seriously and train my voice further, I performed a fair bit with a number of bands before I decided that I wanted to pursue music as a career.
I love Malta but I always felt limited by the lack of opportunities it has to offer in the music business, especially for my jazzy/soulful style. It didn’t take me too long until I wrote an email to the admissions department of a renowned music college in West London and flew to an open day with the aim of getting a taste of what I could gain by studying with music professionals in the metropolitan city. Needless to say, I fell in love. With a couple of heavy suitcases and lots of love for what I do, I moved to London to follow my dreams. It is now my 3rd anniversary since I took the big step and it is such an eye-opening experience being away from home and your loved ones, fending for yourself in a massive country, competing against world-class talent and saying YES to your dreams every single day. I am now a professional vocalist and songwriter, based in London and performing regularly in the City and all around the UK & Europe.
I’ve had the pleasure to perform at renowned music venues, such as The Troubadour in Earl's Court and The Borderline in Soho and perform in Chelsea on a weekly basis. I am now also managed by Alive Network UK who acts as my agent for live gigs as well as a private manager who represents me as a solo artist. Writing songs with jazz chords in mind, on which I could lay my soulful colours, I aim to keep my audience happy by delivering catchy tunes. This will be reflected in my upcoming soul album as part of a collaboration project with a producer and respected musician who has been producing for Sulene, main vocalist for the Brand New Heavies; which album went to No2 on the UK Soul Charts and No1 on the Sweet Rhythm Charts (Solar Radio). This project has been inspired by Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Jill Scott, Gretchen Parlato, Moonchild and Hiatus Kaiyote.
2. What were you doing before, and what inspired you change to doing something you love?
With the exception of some other small jobs, I always worked in the corporate field as an Administrator, an Executive Assistant and a Marketing Manager. Nothing wrong with these jobs but dreams are bigger than everything. I had to go through a number of rough times and 2 torturing years of mysterious, undiagnosed sickness to realise that life is too short and precious to waste on things that will never fulfil you as much as your ambitions. At the end of the day I realised that with all its challenges, living the life you do not want to live will be more painful and regrettable than leaving your loved ones to do what you love! It might sound wrong but these are the times in which you must be a bit selfish and take care of yourself, safeguard your own mental health and happiness.
3. What were the reactions of family/friends when you told them that you'll change the course of your life?
Some told me: “Are you crazy?!”, others: “You have a stable life here, why would you want to start all over?” or “I admire your guts”. These were the most common reactions I got for my decision to move to London and I do sympathise because it’s risky to start all over – you might fail and lose it all in the process but I would rather die trying than be on my death bed thinking “what if?” Luckily, despite the pain of being away from each other, my family has been very supportive and has always encouraged me to follow whatever makes me happy. They are very proud of me and I can’t be luckier to be surrounded by such a lovely bunch of people, especially my parents and sister.
4. What is your recipe for success?
4 words: DO NOT GIVE UP! You WILL fail, several times but every single time you fail is one step closer to living your dream. Why? Because you need to fail to learn and you need to fail more to stand out at what you do. If you want it, it’s worth achieving. If it’s worth having, it’s worth the risk! If it’s worth the risk, it’s worth a couple of failures. And if it’s worth the failure, it’s worth the success!
5. What is your message for anyone scared of following their dreams?
That it is much scarier living the life you don’t want than leaving everything for the life you want! It is simpler than you think. All you need to do is to take the first step, then hold on tight and persist because the storm will be potent but the calm always follows. You will have ups and downs like you have now – might as well have the ups and downs while you live the life you want! It’s all about comfort zones. Out of one comfort zone, into a new one. That’s all you have to say to yourself. Moving to London was out of the question for me 5 years ago. Two years later I found myself in the City, living my dream. Of course I wasn’t comfortable at first but after 3 years I’m so comfortable now that I’m ready to launch myself into new challenges. That’s the way to grow. Out of one comfort zone, into the other. Good luck!
Dare to Dream
It is always inspiring to follow people who have risked it all to achieve their dreams. if you want to know more about Amelia Hope, click here to visit her website.