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Written by Donna Rishton-Potter

As if life couldn’t get any busier, Gold Coast’s favourite indie-pop powerhouse - Amy Shark - has started the year with a bang of inspiration by releasing what may just be her “favourite song she’s ever written.”

It’s a big call from Shark, whose catalogue of captivating tunes are already favourites the world over, but after listening to the dreamy and melodic ‘Beautiful Eyes’, you get it. A glorious ode to the artist’s life that was written during a monumental 42-date regional tour. “I wrote this on 30th June 2022 as a pure stream of consciousness,” she recalls. Coming to her, “after a lot of time alone thinking about the past and the future and my life and all the people in it.’’ Introspection may have been the catalyst for creating magic, but now Shark says releasing it into the world feels emotional. “It’s been a long process” she laughs. “I became obsessed with this song.”

The video release of the single is cinematic, sun-drenched and equally as beautiful. Filmed over two days in the scenic Northern Rivers by Hype Republic, it feels nostalgic and we can understand why the emotions kick in. Shark has a long history to reflect on.

From her beginnings as a student at Southport State High School and playing guitar in an all-female punk-band, Amy Louise Billings always had the grit to make it big. An overnight success by no means, Shark’s achievements have been well earned and the product of a lot of blood, sweat and perseverance, recalling in those early days that she was told to quit. "Please stop sending unsolicited material to me,” implored one music industry personnel, “your music is no good and it's not something we would be interested in anyway."

Going on to self-produce her music under the name Amy Cushwell (after her step-father), in 2013 the artist landed on the stage name ‘Shark’ - because sharks terrified her and Jaws happened to be her favourite film - typifying everything the Gold Coast native was about; a woman resolutely giving the middle finger to her fears (and critics) and transforming them into success. Shark finally got the recognition she deserved in 2016 when her single ‘Adore’ became a smash hit and won her an ARIA for Breakthrough Artist and Best Pop Release in the process - proving at last, just how formidable she was.

Since then, Shark’s star has risen and, from refined acoustic ballads to rousing beats, to a multitude of music awards and accolades the world over, she’s stayed the course and remained fiercely true to herself. Her talent and tenacity leading her to work with some of the biggest names in the biz, including pop heavyweight producers Jack Antonoff and Joel Little, as well as the likes of Ed Sheeran, Diplo, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Keith Urban and the Chainsmokers. World tours and US TV show performances may be a long way from her punk beginnings, but Shark hasn’t forgotten those early days.

As well as touring her home country and writing an epic list of singles, the last two years have shaped up to be some of Shark’s busiest yet. Signing on as a judge in 2023 for Channel Seven’s reboot of Australian Idol – for which she won the TV Week Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent and became part of the illustrious group of artists who have taken home both an ARIA and Logie Award. Amongst her new singles, in celebration of Mushroom Records’ 50th birthday, the year also saw Shark release a re-imagined version of the Kylie Minogue classic, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” into an unexpected acoustic melody shimmering with summer vibes. And, excuse me, she also supported Coldplay during the Perth leg of their recent tour.

2023 also saw Shark take to the radio mic, producing a special six-part series for Apple Music, aptly called ‘Feeding Time Radio’. For Shark, crossing to the other side of the radio desk and interviewing some of the local artists catching her attention has been an enjoyable change. “I’m a bit of a lone ranger when it comes to being an artist, I kind of just do the job and don’t need too many people around me. But doing this I’ve gotten to catch up with people. Talking to everyone has been so nice, hearing that we all have the same thing going on - the same pet peeves, the touring schedules. It’s been really nice to bro down with a few of them.”

She may have her fingers in a lot of pies, but Amy Shark is showing no signs of slowing down yet. Kicking the year off with ‘Beautiful Eyes’ she has whetted our appetite for more to come. And, after amassing close to 1 billion combined global streams she’s proven that she’s not going anywhere soon.


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