Born in Brampton, Ontario, Amy grew up in a family of musicians. Her grandfather is a skilled guitarist who sat in with such greats as Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, and family gatherings always featured the clan playing guitars and singing. Amy began writing poetry and in journals at an early age, and started playing guitar at 14.
To say that Amy Cunningham's passionate love affair with music is life-long is in fact no exaggeration. "My mom says I was singing before I was talking" says the Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter. My grandfather would play the guitar, and he said I started singing along in key when I was three years old. I don't remember consciously deciding to be a musician, it was just always there."
Amy has had a fascinating musical journey since then, one that last July, culminated in the release of a totally compelling debut album, To The Stars We'll Return. Cunningham most commonly performs solo or with just one accompanist, but To The Stars We'll Return is far from a sparse acoustic record. Armed with a cast of some of B.C.'s best instrumentalists, Amy and her co-producer Corwin Fox (Miss Emily Brown, Shane Koyczan) have carefully crafted a richly layered album utilizing a wide range of musical textures.
"The goal was to make a big album with a big message," Amy explains. "It's a record I can stand strong in and I'm still able to play these songs on acoustic guitar and just sing my heart out. I think that passion can stand in place of a full band, although touring with other musicians is definitely on the horizon".
Fox and the guest players add real atmosphere and drama to the sound of To The Stars, but the focus is always placed upon the potent combination of Cunningham's rich and powerful voice and emotionally eloquent songwriting. Amy's voice is more force of nature than instrument, possessing a natural intensity that immediately makes the listener take note.