Top New Talent Q&A: Amber Lawrence
Amber Lawrence needs little introduction, with the singer-songwriter having won multiple awards including multiple APRAs and Golden Guitars for her country stylings over the years.
Before her more recent stint at ARN’s iHeartRadio, Amber was already an experienced media personality, having been MC of the Golden Guitars, host of Foxtel’s CMC Music Awards and a presenter on Nine’s Getaway.
She began her foray into radio in 2018 when she began hosting the new iHeartRadio Country show ‘Amber Nights’ and has brought significant profile to the weekly show.
Get to know Amber with Radio Today‘s Top New Talent Q&A:
Who/what inspired you to choose a career in radio?
I love chatting to people (musicians mostly on my show) and finding out their motivation for songwriting, building a rapport, having a laugh and entertaining others.
What radio shows do you first recall listening to as a kid (or when you first started listening)?
Wendy Harmer – I was right into it!! Every morning on the way to school. I used to have my own made up radio show with my cousin – Ambo and Bozo on 250AM. Complete with our own radio jingle – “It’s 250 am and it’s time for the songs, every song you can imagine. We’ve got the oldies, the goodies, the modern, the loudies, all on 250am.” Wow – what a jingle. I also listen to late night ABC radio and call up occasionally.
How did you end up in your current gig?
The wonderful Nozz sent me an email one day asking if I was interested in hosting the new iHeartCountry Show – and since I was a country singer, with some presenting and radio hosting experience it made sense. I was thrilled to be asked.
We workshopped some show ideas, and we were off and running.
What’s been your most memorable on-air moment so far?
Interviewing Billy Ray Cyrus, casually mentioning that I too would be playing the same music festival as him, and then Billy invited me to do a duet with him at that festival. So we did. And guess what song it was? “Achy Breaky Heart” – career made!
What’s one skill that you’ve mastered, and what’s one skill that you’re currently working on?
I’m pretty happy with my ability to be natural, build a rapport with guests and make them feel comfortable in revealing all their secrets! I’m still learning the technical radio stuff like pointing to breaks and teasing what’s coming up – I try, but forget sometimes when I’m in the moment with an interview in progress.
How do you prepare for your shift on-air?
I love to know a lot about the guest I am interviewing so I’ll do research, prepare some questions and listen to their music. I feel it shows respect to have some idea of who I’m talking to and makes for a better chat. I do of course do some ‘Anchorman’ style vocal warm up’s too! (Red Leather, Yellow Leather!)
How does the person you are on air differ from the person you are off air?
As an interviewer I’m probably a tiny bit more serious than I am in real life. I like to joke around and be a bit more laid back but when I’m talking music, I guess I have to get to the nitty gritty and that requires being serious sometimes.
What advice do you wish you could give yourself when you were just starting out?
Same advice as I do every time I’m on air – Listen! The best interview is when I’m prepared, but also when I take care to listen to the artist.
What’s your dream radio job?
Working with Amanda Keller, isn’t that everyone’s dream radio job? She’s my entertainment girl crush.
If you weren’t working in radio, what would you be doing?
Well I’m a country singer/songwriter by day, so I’m busy juggling that side of my world with my radio show. Oh and being a new mum! So yeah ‘multi-tasking’ is probably my job description at the moment.