Sheppard are doing what few Aussie bands have done before. After knocking Pharrell’s “Happy” off the top of the ARIA charts with their hit “Geronimo,” they have captured the attention of the US market. FDRMX had the chance to chat to Amy Sheppard about their epic rise to success, what is ahead for Sheppard, and their latest single, “A Grade Playa”.
Consisting of Amy as a lead singer, she is joined by brother George (Vocals/guitar) ,sister Amy(Bass) and friends Jay Bovino (Guitar and producer), Dean Gordon (Guitar) and Michael Butler (Drums); Sheppard’s journey to success has not come without a lot of work. “It has been a real roller coaster,” says Amy of their rise to fame. “Although we have had some out-of-this-world experiences however, we still work very hard. I think the hard work makes you appreciate the exciting times.”
Forming after Amy overheard George singing in the shower, the core trio of the Sheppard siblings lived in Papua New Guinea before moving to Brisbane, Queensland. Living on the northeast coast of Australia, it was here they established their sound.
After gaining the management of the esteemed Michael Chugg and appearing on national TV, they released their double platinum debut single, “Lay Me Down Easy” and quickly garnered a mass of fans with their quadruple platinum follow up “Geronimo”. Mixing their folk/acoustic sound with the lightness of the Sheppard family’s vocals and catchy hooks, their album Bombs Away went Gold. After signing with Scooter Braun’s School Boy Records, they also released the EP Geronimo in the US. Now after introducing their sound to the notoriously hard-to-crack market, they have quickly become a sought after act worldwide.
“It has been thrilling to see the album connecting with people from all around the globe,” shares Amy. “When we were writing Bombs Away we had no idea that it would reach so many people from all different cultures. It has been a nice surprise.”
Back with their latest single, “A-Grade Playa,” Sheppard give us a heartbroken pop anthem lead by the cutting edge vocals of Amy. “A-Grade Playa is most definitely a personal song.” She shares “I wrote it after a string of my close friends were being cheated on. Although I drew from personal experience as well, I wanted to write something that would help them heal and move on.”
A song that is full of conviction, the honesty found within the lyrics makes it a compelling addition the Sheppard discography. “I want people to feel empowered by this song,” she says. “Just because someone lets you down, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is your fault. The song invites listeners to feel upset and angry whilst giving them the realization that they can and will find someone better.”
A six piece, Sheppard continue to push the box on what a typical band looks like. Stepping away from the pop façade of so many upcoming bands and choosing to develop their own songwriting and musical stylings, she says the dynamic within the group has become stronger since they started touring. “The only thing which is difficult about having six members in the band is the luggage situation at airports.” She says. “We all get along really well.”
While it may be cliché, the future really is looking bright for Aussie pop sensation Sheppard. Dedicating this year to touring internationally, they will be hitting stages and festivals in the UK, USA, Europe, Asia and South America. Riding the rollercoaster of success, Sheppard are making their mark because they possess a distinct raw talent and continue to work tirelessly so they can share this with the world.
Finishing our interview with Amy, we ask her the question “In ten years, what do you want to be known for?” She drives home the heart of Sheppard and gives us a taste of the future when she says,
“We want to be known for fantastic live shows and honest music which people can connect to.”