Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Who Do You Think You Are - Amanda Calleja

Meet our Facebook liker of the week, Amanda! She's secretly Bonnie Tyler. What?

First things first... Amanda; I love your last name. Calleja. Wow. Secondly... Amanda; I love you. "What?" you cry out in shock laced with a tinge of fear. "But we've never even met in the real world." This is true, but your answers as this week's featured Facebook liker are just so great that I can't help it. Now that everyone reading is a little anxious (especially Amanda), let's find out the musical tastes of Amanda Calleja. Enjoy!

Q. What are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve recently downloaded Josh Pyke’s Only Sparrows and have been playing that every evening to wind down. I love the soothing sound of his voice and the story telling of his lyrics – perfect for bedtime! I’m also going through a Björk phase and have a couple of her older albums on high rotation in the car – Debut and Post. Nothing starts my work day out like 'Hyperballad' on full volume! (Editor - "Marry me!") Rightly or wrongly, I’ve been unduly influenced by my addiction to The Voice. Kate Bush is making a reappearance on the playlist, as is Regina Spektor and Stevie Wright’s 'Evie.'

Q. Do you remember the first album/cassette/CD you bought and do you still have it AND do you still love it?

My first album was the LP Make It Big by Wham, when I was 9 or 10 years old. Sigh. I spent countless hours lying on the couch listening to the most perfect pop music I’d ever heard and holding the cover, staring into the eyes of my first true love, George Michael. I’m hopeful that the LP is at my parents’ place (surely they wouldn’t have done anything to it after listening to it daily for years?). Do I still love it today? 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' is guaranteed to get me on a dance floor every time, and 'Careless Whisper' will make me all emotional (whilst taking me straight back to Sunday evenings watching Countdown on telly!). I just bought my tickets to see George play at the BEC this November, and you can bet that a little tear will fall when he does ' Careless Whisper.' Swoon.

Q. Your favourite gig/festival experience and who is on your musical bucket list to see live?

My favourite ever gig would have to be U2 at Slane Castle in September 2001. It was a huge moment in time for me – living out one of my dreams to see U2 in Ireland. To get tickets I had a team of friends set up at my flat in Galway, all mobile phones on the go, hoping to get through! The previous show had sold out in 15 minutes, so the pressure was on! The support acts were Ash, Nelly Furtado and Moby who were all brilliant in their own right, but to see the sunset over the Castle and share the anticipation of 80,000 people waiting for U2 to burst into life on stage was one of those moments that will always be so easy to recall.
I love to see John Butler Trio at the Kuranda Amphitheatre (near Cairns in Far North Qld) – it feels like the perfect match between artist and venue. Thankfully they head this way pretty frequently! Such a great chilled vibe.

One of the first gigs I saw was Joe Cocker at Expo ‘88 in Brisbane. It was a defining moment, because up until then I’d been firmly in the teen pop camp. That evening, my 13 year old self was reduced to tears as he sang 'You Are So Beautiful' and I recognised that even the old guys could put on a show and that possibly I’d been missing out on some fabulous stuff. My parents’ record collections weren’t safe from that moment on (and still aren’t!).

My musical bucket list is not so long these days. I’d love to see Madonna live. I’ve had a girl-crush on her for as long as I can remember! I would love to go to Byron Blues Festival. Paul Simon has always been someone I’ve admired and would love to see live. To be honest, I can’t think of an artist I wouldn’t want to see. Distance, finances and children (Editor - You're married? Scandal and disappointment!) have led to some changes in how frequently I get to see any live shows, but if I’m fortunate enough to have the stars and planets align so I’m able to get there, I’ll be there!

Q. What musical influence/s do you hope to have on your children?

I really don’t know if there is terribly much hope for either of them! Both of my children were put to sleep with a combination of Jack Johnson, Enya and Ministry of Sound Chillout Sessions for the first few years of their lives, and we danced and played musical instruments to Bollywood soundtracks and Triple J Hottest 100 albums.

My 5yo girlchild is currently obsessed with Nicki Minaj (thank goodness for the cleaned-up versions!) and Timomatic. Pure pop all the way for her. My 3yo boychild enjoys The Wiggles, LMFAO and ABBA in equal measure, and can often be heard insisting that we put Beyoncé’s 'Who Runs The World (Girls)' on so he can sing and dance along.

Ultimately I am fine with whatever music they like (at least I will try really, really hard to be) and I hope that I will continue to encourage them to embrace it. I want them to feel that passion and joy that comes with the love of music. I want them to know what it’s like to not be able to sit still or stay quiet when their favourite song comes on, to sing along at a gig til their voice is gone, to enjoy the atmosphere that comes with the great live shows. All of my memories have a soundtrack, and it makes them so much richer. I hope I can share that gift with them. That, and my killer steering wheel drumming abilities.

Q. Any artist living or dead you'd love to have a cup of tea/glass of bourbon/pint of beer with?

I’d love to sit down over a beverage with Bob Marley – a herbal tea? – and just discuss life and the world in general. Michael Jackson (Pepsi, right?), just to see what he was really like. Stevie Nicks, for some whimsy - I’m guessing we’d have Ambrosia. And of course Bono. We could both indulge our love for fixing all the worlds’ problems over a fine single malt.

Q. What song can you not resist singing in the car when it comes on?

'Total Eclipse of the Heart.' I am totes Bonnie Tyler when that comes on. I even wind down the windows for the full effect.

An amazing read from an amazing music fan. Thanks for stopping by, Amanda!

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiring read! I especially love the line "All of my memories have a soundtrack..."

    Mandy, you make me want to go and raid the far reaches of my music collection for musical memories of my own. What lucky, lucky kids you have! xx


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