NewTracks New Artist: Amila

NewTracks New Artist: Amila

Singer/songwriter Camila Antonia Roa Núñez, aka Amila, was born in Chile but has been living in NZ for a decade now. Still attending high school in West Auckland she sent a demo of the first song she’d ever written to local record labels, which led to her being signed by Sony Music NZ. After working with songwriter and producer Alexander Wildwood her light and bright debut single Owe It All To You was released whilst she was in the middle of final school exams and featured on NZ On Air Music’s NewTracks compilation this November.

What’s the background story to you getting major label support so early on in your career?

My music teacher had brought a music producer into my music class at school. This was the first time I had been exposed to the industry side of music. He set a task for all of us to write a song and show him the next day. I went home and I began to write about my experiences at the time. At school the next day he picked my song to be recorded like a demo – that was the first song I had ever written!

I asked him what I could do with my song and he suggested sending it out to record labels. To be completely honest I never expected a call back from Sony Music, I was so completely overwhelmed that my first song had been listened to. Sony began developing me as an artist and helped me find my ground until I was ready to release my first songs.

How has your music evolve from that first beginning in songwriting to right now?

The best thing about my journey is I never thought I’d become a songwriter, but once I discovered I loved to write songs I became exposed to this whole new world. I like my songs to tell stories and to have meaning. I can definitely tell that I’ve improved in my writing by learning from others and using their experiences and knowledge.

What makes Owe It All To You stand out for you as a single?

I think what made Owe It All To You stand out was that it’s about family when usually most songs out there are about love and relationships, especially in pop music. I also think that because many people can relate if they’ve migrated to a different country and your family becomes everything you have. I really like the message of Owe It All To You focusing on my family who are very important to me.

What’s the story behind the song?

I wrote Owe It All To You for my parents. It was a way of saying thank you for all the sacrifices they have made for me and my sister.

What’s your favourite moment in it, musical or lyrical?

I think my favourite part is the second verse when it switches to Spanish. It was very special to have Spanish included because it’s my first language and a language my parents and I grew speaking.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? Got a fun story about the making-of?

Alex Wildwood and I co-wrote Owe It All To You and he also produced it. Alex’s studio is at Page 1 Management, it’s a nice and homely environment. We started the session by setting a song style, for example, “dance song, acoustic, happy or angry.” But I had this idea in my head of wanting to say thank you. I’m really grateful for being a musician, but it has been with the support of my parents that I’ve become who I am today. I wanted to make them a song.

What you want listeners to take away from this song.

To appreciate the ones around you. Our families may look very different, they could be small or big, but in the end they’re the ones that love us and we need to treasure them.

In general, how do you work out what song would make a good single?

Once you make a good song and it gets stuck in your head, you can’t get it out and when you go back to listen you love it more and more. I would say that you can feel a good song because you connect to it – it feels honest and true.

Are you working on anything new that we should keep an eye out for?

Yes, my new song Somebody Like You has recently been released. It’s different to Owe It All To You. I went for a different sound and a more produced finish.

Can you tell us three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside your song.

Oh, that’s a hard one. I’m definitely loving Old News by Mitch James, I like Woke Up Late by Drax Project and Drift Away by Sons of Zion.

Who did you make the music video with?

I did the music video with Thievery Studio, they were amazing at helping me out, especially because it was my first time filming a video. I found it a nice environment and the end production of the video turned out amazing.

How can we find you on social media?

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as Amilamusic.