A naturally talented vocalist and songwriter, Amber Donoso was raised in Britain but frequently traveled between London and Chile throughout her formative years, developing a passion for both cultures. We caught up with the Latina artist following her latest production Candela. A single the artist feels is the most Latin sounding release she has done so far. “I grew up listening to both Latin music and western music. I wanted to showcase through my music feelings of empowerment and strength. I wanted to incorporate elements of music which inspired me”. The song finding influence through artists echoing from Selena, Bad Bunny, Nelly Furtado through to Gwen Stefani.
Inspiration through the Guitar
Amber begins by explaining that she started singing and playing the guitar when she was 10 years old. Highlighting how it became a trend in her school to be able to play an instrument- the guitar in particular. Her father passed away around the time she found her move towards writing music and singing. A move she found as her best way of healing at a very hard stage in her life.
The artist’s music is a mixture of Reggaeton and R&B. She explains that she has been working in the industry full time since the age of 18. Although her sound has changed throughout the years, Amber feels she has inadvertently developed more as an artist. Her belief that what makes her music stand out is the combination of her two cultures – being British and Latina.
The artist explains that she loves all of her songs for different reasons. All representing a different chapter of her artistic diary. Amber feels her songs can be a great healer referencing the different stages of her career, from personal loss to relationship heartbreak. “I think that’s a biggest blessing about being an artist, being able to share music to provoke an emotion in someone. Whether that’s happiness, excitement, empowerment etc”.
For the artist, the emotion which is most important to invoke on her listeners is the feeling of power and strength. Highlighting that we are all unique and that’s something to celebrate and showcase. Keen to have every one of her listeners feel empowered and beautiful through her music.
The artist grew up in a creative family she explains. With her mother coming from a background in fashion and her father a sportsman. “I came from two very driven parents who worked very hard. I was always supported and encouraged to follow my dreams and what makes me happy”. The artist credits some of her amazing friends and colleagues over the years who have taught her a lot of what she practices today.
The artist opens up how she was very different at her school. “I didn’t quite fit in and I found that very difficult. I was into music which a lot of my school friends weren’t into and I was also the only Latina in my year- I felt different”. Looking back on this experience, she points out it has shaped her as a person and taught her how to be comfortable in her own lane and be different to others. Viewing it as one of her biggest blessings. “I’d say the bullying I have encountered as I’ve gotten older has been more online. I think it’s easier now more than ever for people to write horrible comments and hide behind a screen. A big mentor of mine once told me ‘if you’re not in the arena, don’t judge the player’ and this is always something that has really stuck with me”. Amber feels it’s important to focus on your art and release projects which you are proud of. There are always going to be people who love and people who dislike what you do. The key is to embrace the positive feedback and to not pay too much attention to the negative comments.
Amber opens up about being a massive advocate for talking about mental health. She explains that she has always been a very anxious character and suffered with both anxiety and depression growing up. A combination that she admits has been very hard to battle. She points to therapy having helped tremendously along her journey and strongly recommends it for anyone whether you are struggling or just would like someone to talk to.
Looking to social media, the artist feels it is incredibly important for an artist. A belief that social media can be an absolute blessing if it’s used in the right way. The artist uses her social media to help share her music and speak about things which she feels are of importance like mental health, being a woman in the music industry etc. She explains that it has taken a great many years to find a team of people who she feel artistically understands her. “I feel I have found these people by working with different sorts of people in different genres, countries and walks of life. I think it’s really important to work with people who understand you not only as an artist but as a person”. These are the people who are going to be playing a part in transforming your experiences or thoughts into music, she explains. It’s important to trust and feel nurtured in that environment.
Amber feels it’s important to never give up. Highlighting that you will have a lot of people doubting you and telling you you’re not good enough. To keep your eyes on the prize and keep learning and expanding yourself as an artist. To be open to working with people in different genres to you as you can learn a lot from them. Although Amber does note a side of caution. To be careful who you trust. The music industry is cutthroat, and not everyone has your best intentions at heart, she sadly points out. To think about what you stand for and what message you would like to put out to your fans and listeners. What makes you different to everyone else? From the artist’s experience, the thing that makes you different is probably one of the things you’re most uncomfortable with or something which isn’t ‘popular’ now.
Ultimately, to be the one who makes the new ‘popular’ and totally embrace your differences, is what will make you stand out, and in doing so define what makes you beautiful. She highlights that she has had many different challenges over the years for different reasons. “I’m an incredibly driven and resilient person, saying that I’ve had moments within the past 6/ 7 years of working in the industry which I’ve really struggled. Whether that’s finding the right people to work with, dealing with ongoing and brutal rejection and spending a huge amount of time alone”. Amber explains that being a solo artist can be incredibly lonely, for example…traveling and doing her own studio sessions, performing shows alone and travel a lot of the time by herself.#watchthisspace