True artistic soul blended with an unlimited array of sonic flavors like hip hop, smooth R&B, and fresh rhymes are barely the tip the iceberg. Twenty-Four year old Virgin recording artist Amanda Perez has a voice that shines through every heartfelt soul groove and flows with every rhyme. Perez's musical gift couldn't be more evident on her new album and single entitled I Pray, which has been steadily climbing the charts.
Part of Perez's appeal is the honesty in her delivery; she's not you're typical fabricated pop singer. " The music is from my soul " Amanda describes. "I sang and performed since I was a little girl," she explains "All my family was into music, they all had played music most of their lives so it was part of my life growing up. My older sister Angie used to sing and I wanted to be just like her," she recalls.
Perez's musical passion was as apparent in 1982 as it is today when at the age of two Amanda grabbed her father's accordion for the sake of hearing music. It was simply natural. Growing up in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, her life was enriched with the music of The Sombra Chicana USA, whose members were, of course, her relatives. At four years old she was already singing and playing the keyboards by ear!
It wasn't long before Amanda would begin to create and produce music along with her cousin Mike. She was barely eleven but had the mind of a seasoned musician as she started writing songs and formed a band, The Sombra Chicana Chiquitos. Her group earned a loyal following with fans of The Sombra Chicana USA by performing during the intermissions of her uncle's band's shows. "It felt so good up there," Perez says. "The audience would rush the stage, amazed to hear and see such young kids playing together so well."
Excited by her developing musical talents, Perez joined the junior high and high school choirs and became enraptured by the pop & R&B albums her old sister would play in their house. Visits to her uncle's recording studio would serve as lessons where Perez taught herself the equipment and recorded a five-song demo. She then started performing at local talent shows and expos, winning over audiences with her undeniable singing skills and her endless energy on stage. In 1999, Amanda took a major step when she won the "Junior Vocalist of the Year Female" division of the Black Expo in Indianapolis. "It was an honor just to be invited," she says. "I was the only Latin performer in the whole thing. My whole family cried. The audience was taking pictures and coming down the aisles to get to the stage. When I saw the crowd's reaction, I thought, 'It's only gonna get better from here.'"
But, unfortunately, it didn't immediately get better. Her drive to succeed in the music industry led Amanda into selling drugs in order to support her musical aspirations. As she looks back on her drug dealing days, Perez says it was not worth it.
"Don't give up on your dreams and don't turn to somethin' that's only gonna get you in trouble," she explains. "You're eventually going to get caught and you're gonna be gone for a long time and then you're really not gonna accomplish your dreams."
Perez's legitimate hard work paid off in March 2001 when she agreed to sign her first recording contract under Powerhowse Records. In 2002 Perez released her debut Where You At? , which became a great success for Perez. In 2003, Amanda's career ascended to another level, as she released her self-titled album under Virgin Records, with the hit single "Angel", a tribute and memoir of her creative partner and cousin Mike.
With her second release I Pray, Amanda's journey takes you through the story of her past, present and future. Amanda proves to be a true sonic chameleon influenced by emotions and what she sees around her. While some of Amanda's music contains hip-hop flavor, it's her smooth, sexy and R&B harmonies that draw you closer. While "I Need Your Love" pays homage to an old school R&B classic, "Run With It" and "Make Me Feel" both provide the passionate side of Amanda. With "Dedicate" and "I Need You," it's love broken down to its simplest form. When all is said and done and the musical road of I Pray is traveled, you've experienced the world though Amanda's eyes and heart on a refreshing and earnest journey.
With an incredible new album waiting in the wings, first single "I Pray" buzzing at radio across the nation and a fresh new music video creating noise, Amanda Perez is ready to share her music with her fans once again. She is taking her tour bus on the road to give back to those that have been supportive from day one and to welcome those who will become her new fans with her truest love "Music from the Soul."