Amy Rola’s come a long way from the Wellesley Idol stage.
The 2013 idol winner will host a CD release party for her first full album, The World Through My Eyes, next weekend.
The 19-year-old St. Agatha resident was second runner-up in Wellesley Idol in 2011 and won the title in 2013. Since then she’s been working on her album, which will be released at Kennedy’s Restaurant in St. Agatha on Oct. 15.
She says Wellesley Idol is where she started her music career.
“It gave me a little bit of a boost, that maybe I am good enough to do this. It got me motivated to start working on the album. It got my name out there for that region and it’s a good group of people over there. That really got me started for where I am now,” Rola said.
She originally expected the music to have a country feel, but decided country didn’t fit with what she wanted to sing. Rola wrote all the songs on the album except for one that was a collaboration. She wrote most of them within the past year.
“With my EP I was going for country-pop, but now it’s going to be pop-jazz. There’s one or two songs on the album that have a bluesy feel, but it’s mostly pop and jazz,” Rola said.
There’s one song called ‘Contagious’ which she wrote when she was in Grade 7. She fixed it up a bit and put it on the CD.
“The songs that I was writing seemed to match pop-jazz instead of country. That’s what I went with. It suits my voice more than country does,” Rola said.
She says the CD has been about two years in the making. She notes a $3,500 grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund helped make it possible. She recorded the album at Cedartree Recording Studio in Kitchener with Rick Hutt.
“He has been doing this for years and years and he’s won lots of awards and he’s really good at what he does. He knows what he’s doing. I had a good time,” Rola said.
She also credits Hilary Camilleri from One For The Wall Photography for her work on the album’s artwork and her manager, William Penn, for his help thus far.
“He’s been in the music industry for years and he has a lot of experience. He’s been helping me throughout the process and he’s given me a lot of good advice as to what I should do,” Rola said.
At the party she’ll be playing all the songs on the album, plus a handful of cover songs. Two fellow singer-songwriters will open for her – Quinton Barnes and Amanda Kind. Kind is the director and co-founder of KW Glee, as well as a vocal coach and aspiring artist. Rola finished her final term with KW Glee earlier this year.
She adds nothing could beat the feeling of holding her very own CD in her hands.
“It was crazy,” Rola said.
The CD is available for purchase from her directly, at the CD release party, at her performances and it will be on iTunes shortly.
“I definitely want to get a lot of people out. Anyone’s welcome,” Rola said of the release party.
Rola’s CD release party is Oct. 15 at Kennedy’s Restaurant in St. Agatha. Doors open at 7 p.m., with entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m. The cost to get in is $8 at the door or $15 to get in and receive a copy of her CD.