AMPA Backstage with Ana Mateo

AMPA Backstage with Ana Mateo

(AMPA BMus Graduate)

Meet Ana Mateo. Ana is in her fourth year of study at AMPA and has completed a principal major in Contemporary Voice and is now studying piano pedagogy. She was the 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to AMPA Award, and can usually be found on campus playing with her band, ‘Ana & the Chickens’.

How long have you been studying at AMPA and what do you like about it?

Last year (2013) I finished a 3 year BMus degree in vocals but I'll be coming back for an extra year to do further study. So 2014 would be my 4th year at AMPA. I really love the support and encouragement that you get from everyone here. It's like we are one big family - at times dysfunctional, but you definitely feel the love.

What inspires you? What makes you want to sit down and write a song?

It's a number of things really. I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music and watching live performances. Sometimes it'll be from a really good read, or a piece of art that I really like. More recently I'm finding that I'm naturally drawing a lot of my music and lyrics from different situations in my life or other people's lives - situations that are serious, or silly, then straight up weird, and then there's the occasional mundane item. It's hard to explain so let's just say my mind wanders a lot.

You were recently selected out of all AMPA students to receive the 2013 Outstanding Contribution to AMPA Award at the AMPA Awards Night. How did it feel to win this prize?

That was a big surprise. I had a few people in mind who I thought would get it and I definitely didn't think it was going to be me. When they were reading the blurb about the person who was getting the award I sort of zoned out and the next thing I heard was my name! It felt amazing to walk up there and have the effort you put in be recognised. It was very humbling.

Tell me about your favourite artists and musicians.?

I like a mix of musicians. It's hard to list them all because I have so many, but the ones I have on repeat all the time would be Kristin Berardi, Incubus, Jill Scott, Imogen Heap, Fiona Apple, Jose James and Kimbra.

What’s been a stand out in your music career so far?

So far it would have to be bringing my original music to life with the help of my band and playing them in public. Essentially it's just pieces of paper with some dots and doodles then when you bring other people in to play with you, it's magic. I've been writing my own music for a while now but it took a while before I stepped out of my comfort zone and showed my songs to anyone, mainly because I was afraid. Now that I've gotten past that and feel comfortable performing them, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

If you could have written one song that someone else wrote, what song would it be and why?

Hands down, I'd have to go with something Fiona Apple wrote because I believe she has some of the best lyrics ever written. They are so dark and angst driven, all with music tailored to match. It's hard to pick a specific song because there are so many I could pick. From her most recent album, I would say I wish I wrote 'Every Single Night'. It's a weird little tune with slightly disturbing lyrics. You can't completely wrap your head around it but at the same time it really gets to you.

What’s been your highlight of studying at AMPA so far?

There are a few. I got the opportunity to be the assistant to PINK's band at last year's Rhythm Clinic - so that was pretty cool. Then there's also all the opportunities I've had to perform at various events, whether held by AMPA or by other places that have turned to AMPA looking for artists. Lastly, it's been so great meeting other musicians and getting to make music with them. Everyone is just so different, and it's always a new experience when you play with someone new.


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