five senses from my world: amy syed, singer-songwriter

Five senses from London-based singer-songwriter Amy Syed's world.

Following on from her musical beginnings as a session singer for the likes of Bat For Lashes and Florence and the Machine, London-based singer-songwriter Amy Syed recently decided to grace the front of stage with her own powerful presence and atmospheric dream pop sound. Her distinguishable musical style is informed by an amalgamation of influences, from Frank Sinatra and Daft Punk to the musicians she creates with and those she is surrounded by in London's thriving jazz community today. The genre-spanning nature of jazz is evident in Amy's approach to self-expression; collaborative and wholly individualistic. 

Watch the video to Amy's latest single Lonely Love below and discover five senses from her world. 

1

I spent most of my teenage years in Muscat, Oman, where my family now live.

Oman is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited and the Omani’s are some of the kindest and most welcoming people on the planet. I’ve never felt so safe in a country anywhere else in the world, and the people there enjoy a slower, calmer pace of life. 

2

I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as Greenland. 

I did the strangest gig of my life there last year with a couple of friends where we were asked to perform on a boat that was sailing around Greenland for three weeks. I didn’t think I would be blown away by the scenery, but when you see it up close, sailing past huge iceberg after huge iceberg really puts it all in perspective. They look like huge castles or palaces, all with ‘doors’, tunnels and caves where the ice has melted a little bit at sea level. It’s deathly silent up there, but you can almost hear the ice ‘ringing.’

3

I believe using ears over eyes is the most important thing if you want to be completely free within music.

Some of the best musicians I know are ear, not sight trained. I often have to use my ear to improvise with a band in jam sessions, or internally ‘hear’ where I would like the music to go next when I am writing. I can then spell it out with my voice and work out where it is on the piano. ’Seeing’ music, whether it be on the page or electronically in production is something that I struggle with more.

4

The musical community I am part of is probably 90% male and full of really wonderful people who never make you feel any different for being a girl.

There is a real sense of equality where I come from so I don’t ever have to worry too much about being in the minority. I can do the whole glamorous jazz thing as well as being the furthest thing from glamorous. Feminine glamour is something that I am completely fascinated by. I will never tire of seeing photos of the femme fatales from the 40s and 50s especially - they had such class and beauty. 

5

Big multi-coloured salads with things like carrots, nuts or any vegetables that make noise are my favourite thing to eat. 

Texture of food as well as smell is a big thing for me, it completely changes an eating experience. It never ceases to amaze me so many memories that are locked in forever even though you think they are gone, and can be brought back in an instant with something so simple as a smell. 

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