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The Amanda Jenssen Story (In English)

Posted by Roger Krook på 17 november 2009

This is an old text now, but it gives some information on her early years in showbiz

1. THE HIGHSCHOOL YEARS

Amanda Jenssen (aka Amanda Jensen) started singing and writing songs when she was a child. When she was twelve, she decided to become a singer-songwriter and professional artist. In highschool she was a vocalist in different bands, singing jazz, blues and rock. Amanda Jenssen was lead vocalist in the indie rock band Oh Hollie Neverdays and they rehearsed every Friday. It was hard to find highschool kids interested in oldies, so she played old-fashioned music with her father and his buddys in a group called Amanda And The Papas. They played at local stages, sometimes for old and homeless people.

The early recordings (they might be called demos) were  made during the same period. They were made at home with a cheap computer, a cheap microphone and a low-budget acoustic guitar. Amanda was 16-18 years old and only a couple of years later she would mix her second album in a famous studio in New York!

2. THE FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE

Swedish Idol 2007 was a popular program in Swedish television. About a million (or ten percent of the population) watched every week. Amanda and her parents did not watch, they thought the program was ”uncool” and not the right way to get famous. However, Amanda decided to give it a try.

The 18-year old bleach blonde was not the average contestant. Her unique voice, style and appearance made her controversial. Some said she was a superstar, some said she couldn’t sing. When Amanda performed Hallelujah and Suspicious Minds, the audience and the jury started to cry. Today, these two songs are the only covers she sings. The clip with Hallelujah has very fun interview material. Amanda was joking (a little naughty) and then she went straight to the stage and made everybody weep.  After the number, the speechless jury gave Amanda a standing ovation.

3. THE FIRST SINGLE

After the success in Swedish Idol, Amanda Jensen was signed by Sony BMG. Swedish hitmakers wrote her first single, Do You Love Me. It sky-rocketed to the top of the Swedish charts. Amanda performed it live at The Swedish Grammy Awards (Grammisgalan). It was a controversial performance, with Amanda dressed up as a honky-tonk woman in a westernmovie. At the end of the number, she went out in the audience and shook the hand of a recordcompany owner, that had said she couldn’t sing. Then she grabbed a glass of champagne on the table and took a drink. Cool was her middle name.

When Amanda posed for the press, she had changed her outfit to a little black dress. She looked and acted like a superstar, not a giggling teenage debutant. Then Amanda went to the studio, and for months we heard nothing from her.

4. THE FIRST ALBUM

Amanda Jenssens first album Killing My Darlings was released in may 2008, after five months of work in the studio. Amanda wrote most of the material herself or with guitarist Pär ”Pear” Wiksten. A new dresscode for the studio was invented by Amanda. She was wearing a cocktaildress and the guys were dressed up like Hollywood gangsters. Amanda believes you can perform better if you feel a little stylish.

The album got favourable reviews and the debutant became the reviewers sweetheart. She was even compared to Elvis Presley. Killing My Darlings went straight to the top of the Swedish charts and iTunes. It sold platinum.

5. THE FIRST TOUR

Following the success of the album, Amanda Jenssen was signed by Live Nation and she was touring in  Sweden in the summer of 2008. In the beginning the sound was a little ”unrehearsed”. After a few weeks the sound was very slick and Amanda proved she could sing and act live like a pro.

Later in the summer, she was voted The Best Swedish Female Live Artist (Turnédrottning) of 2008, by the readers of a big Swedish newspaper. One highlight was the live performance in Swedish Public Service Television (Allsång på Skansen). She performed the hitsingle Amarula Tree, Swing it, teacher!, a swedish jazztune from 1940 and Elvis Presleys first recording That’s alright mama.

She said that one year ago she lived with her mother, sitting in her little room writing music.

Then followed an autumn tour with performances at different theaters and concert halls, with Amanda Jenssen as the main act. This time the audience was indoors, sitting down and sober, but Amanda could handle that as good as the outdoor festivals.

6. THE FIRST AWARDS

Amanda Jenssen was nominated for several Swedish musical awards at the end of 2008:

Grammisgalan (Swedish Music Industry)
Female artist of the year
Song of the year
New artist of the year

Musikförläggarnas pris (To Swedish Composers)
New artist of the year
Swedish song of the year

P3 Guld (Swedish Public Service Radio)
New artist of the year
Song of the year

Rockbjörnen (Swedish Newspaper)
Female swedish artist of the year
Swedish new artist of the year

Gaygalan (Swedish Gay Community)
Artist of the year

7. SILENCE AND NEW ALBUM

Then nothing happened. Why? Soon we would know that Amanda Jenssen did not relax or rest, she was busy with her second album Happyland. The music was recorded in Stockholm and mixed in New York. Amanda was writing and producing the music herself, in fruitful cooperation with her lovely sidekick Pär Wiksten.

Obviously, Sony Music understood it was best to give the young composer creative control. Thus, the new album Happyland is all about Amanda. She said it was like exposing herself. If you don’t like the music, you don’t like Amanda Jenssen.

The second album got favourable reviews, in spite of being darker and more difficult than the first. Happyland went straight to the charts and in only a couple of weeks it sold gold.

 

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Ett svar to “The Amanda Jenssen Story (In English)”

  1. Alexis in Canada said

    Thank you! I use google translate too, to understand the Swedish reviews and blogs, but it was very nice to read something so detailed in English! Amanda continues to amaze me – I look forward to following her career for years to come.

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