EntWise caught up with the lovely Amanda
Last year we just couldn’t get their incredibly infectious ‘Twilight’ out of our head for months and since then Cover Drive have gone on to become one of Barbados’ biggest musical exports since Rihanna. Even President Barack Obama’s a massive fan!
But now our favourite reggae pop foursome are back with a new EP and a cracking new single ‘Lovesick Riddim’ available September 23 and we couldn’t be happier to have them back.
And luckily for you we caught up with the beautiful (and insanely sweet) Amanda from the band to find out just what they’ve been up to since hitting the big time here in the UK.
Read below to find out how their second album’s coming along as well as what she really thought of Miley Cyrus’ now infamous performance at the VMAs and what Rihanna’s really like on tour.
Check out our interview with the lovely Amanda below…
Your new single ‘Lovesick Riddim’ comes out later this month, how would you describe the song for anyone who hasn’t heard it?
It’s a pop reggae ballad, it’s a really sad song about missing the love of your life and regretting whatever happened. It’s just a beautiful song that everyone should listen to at the end of the summer when you’re thinking of people you love.
Is it autobiographical?
I definitely pull from my own experiences in my life and I put that into my writing so it definitely has me in it.
It’s the first single to be taken from your new EP – is it a good reflection of what we can expect from your second album?
This single’s taken from our new EP, which is just coming out we’re still working on our new album. Our fans have been asking for music and we didn’t want to leave them waiting for too long so we’re releasing this EP while we’re still working on our second album. So the EP’s called ‘Liming in Limbo’ and it’s a good indication of what it sounds like. So it’s a really good intro single to the new EP, we’re really excited about it.
So it’s a bit of a taster for fans then?
Definitely, it’s a bit of reggae pop, a little more musically advanced from what we did last time. We’ve grown a lot and we’ve been through a lot since our last album so we put that into our music a little more.
Are you going to be releasing anymore music from the EP?
Definitely, so ‘Lovesick Riddim’ comes out on September 23 and that’s the first single and then there will be more singles and we’re going to be shooting the video for that one shortly. For the ‘Lovesick Riddim’ video we actually directed and edited that video ourselves. It was a challenge but it was totally worth it, we loved it.
How do you think you’ve grown as a band since your debut?
I think we’ve definitely grown as individuals. Obviously when we worked on our first album in Barbados we were just four kids, we hadn’t really experienced too much, we were literally just chilling on the island and making music. So the first album was just carefree it was fun, fun in the sun. But since then it’s been another three years and we’ve grown, we’ve been through a lot so we’ve definitely put that in the music.
When do you think we’ll be able to get to hear the album?
Oh my gosh, I wish I could give you some dates to be honest but we’re working on it and we want it to be perfect. We’ve worked hard on it. Our last album took over a year to write and we wrote over a hundred songs before we decided what songs were going to appear on the album and for this album the process has been kind of similar. So we’re still working on that, we can’t give you exact dates but it’s like our fans have been asking us and so we decided to just put out a few songs in the process.
Who have you been working with on the album?
We’ve been working with Boy Wonder and Supa Dup. We’ve also been working with Angela Hunt. Writing with ourselves here in Barbados and with some Bajan producers as well and we wanted to work with people we enjoyed working with last time on the album and people we had a connection with so that’s what we’re doing. The process mainly is, we write a few songs then we go into session and mainly write a few more songs.
How different was it working on the second album to the first now you’ve managed to establish yourself and your sound – did you have more control over this record?
Yes we definitely do, we have complete creative control over this record and we really want it to reflect who we are in this moment. Since the last album we’ve all grown as musicians and people and I think the songs on here definitely show that, show that evolution and working on the second album and working on the songs leading up to the second album reflect where we’re going lyrically, where we’re going musically.
Your second single ‘Twilight’ was a huge hit here going straight in at number one – did you expect it become such a success over here?
You know what we never expected it, it was really unexpected, it was really great. It was one of the first songs we wrote when we were writing the first album but it’s still a really special song for us. We still love playing it and people singing it. It was totally unexpected but we’re so happy when it went to number one. No matter where we are people always sing it. We just went on a summer camp tour in the US and even though it was the US there was still a lot of UK people there who know every word. It was incredible.
Your last album produced three top 10 records – does that add a lot of pressure second time round?
It definitely does. It’s one of those things where the last record did so well and produced all these singles so that gets in your head. But I think we’re just going to focus on the music like we did last time. Once you do that and you focus on giving fans what they want because fans are the most important thing, once they like the music then we’re happy, that’s the most important thing. And so far our fans have been loving, loving, loving them so that makes us really happy.
You’ve gained a massive following here in the UK, why do you think Britain in particular has really taken you under their wing?
I think because everyone loves a bit of Barbados and a bit of sunshine, the UK can be kind of grey and rainy sometimes so bringing the sunshine with our music is really why Britain warned to us so well because we brought the sunshine.
Are you going to be coming back to the UK anytime soon?
We’re going to be in the UK at the end of October and it’s been a while, a few months actually. But we can’t wait to get back to the UK and go to Nando’s!
On your last album you worked with UK rapper Dappy – are there any other collaborations on this record?
At this moment we haven’t decided on collaborations yet but like I said we’re still in the writing process. But it’s the same with ‘Explode’ and Dappy, the song already existed and we decided Dappy would sound great on the track and he agreed so we did it. It’s the same process with this album. We write the song and then if we feel like a song needs a collaboration or there’s some one we really want to collaborate with then we’ll do it that way.
Are there any UK artists you would love to work with?
Oh yeah, Ed Sheeran being on the top of my list, we love his music and we love him. We’ve met him a few times and he’s just the nicest guy and we love what he does so we’d love to work with him.
You previously toured with fellow Bajan superstar Rihanna – what was she like on tour?
Oh my gosh that was our first gig! Opening for her was our first gig, it was in Barbados in front of 25,000 people who came to see her and it was her first gig in Barbados too on that tour. We were so scared, we didn’t even want to speak we were so scared what would come out. I mean we’re not even talking words we were that nervous.
All of us had never played a gig as a band before, we were backstage shaking, we didn’t know what was going to happen. But as soon as we got on stage we had the time of our lives. I think it was that moment we knew that was it for us, this is what we have to do forever because we had the best time doing it and it was so much fun and Rihanna told us after the show she enjoyed it and she loved what we did so it was definitely a great experience and something we’ll never forget.
She’s been criticised for cancelling shows and partying too hard recently– did you see evidence of that when you were on the road with her?
I think if she cancels a show she has good reason, I don’t think anyone would want to cancel a show. I think she wouldn’t do that you know… just because… I think if anyone’s cancelling a show it’s probably for something very serious. No one wants to cancel their shows and let down their fans so it must have been very hard for her to do that. Also she’s living her life, she likes to have fun and she does what she does, you can’t really fault some one for living their life.
You recently appeared on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model when the girls went over to Barbados – how was that?
That was so much fun actually, meeting the girls and teaching them how to dance. It was definitely a challenge because most of them had never experienced how to dance like that before so it took a minute to learn it. But it was fun, we got to show the girls around a bit. It was a great experience, it was great to spread our Bajan culture a little further.
Who was your favourite?
Oh, the red head of course! I thought she was really good!
Barack Obama included your hit ‘Turn Up The Love’ on his inaugural playlist – how did you react when you find out he was a big Cover Drive fan?
We were freaking out actually. We were wondering just how many times he must have said that of our band but like actually said it. But that was a great feeling for us, you know it was a big deal for us because it was President Obama so it’s incredible. We’re really proud of that, it’s something we’re really proud of and we hope to make more songs he likes in the future.
Unlike so many other female artists out there at the moment you haven’t relied on being overtly sexual to sell records – for instance did you watch Miley Cyrus at the VMAs?
I think she’s definitely trying something new. She definitely has fun on stage and I think she’s having fun and trying something new and you can really fault some one for that. I think she’ll figure out exactly what it is, if she found herself there then I think she should continue to do whatever feels good to her like anyone should. If it’s true to her then she should continue to do it.
Could you ever see yourself going down that route?
Me personally? No, I don’t think so no.
You’re the only girl in the band – how do you find it out on the road with the guys? Are they like overly protective brothers?
You know what, when we started the band I thought it was going to be really hard but they’ve become my best friends. I think I’m actually too much of a tom boy actually. Hanging with my boys is totally the best. They make touring fun and they’re always looking out for me like when we go shopping they’ll stop me from buying things because I have a show shopping problem and I’m also really stubborn. I always do what I want to do so I hate it when people stop so that frustrates me. And also boys won’t approach me that often.
Really? I don’t believe that!
No because I’m always surrounded by these guys so they won’t even want to come hug me! So yeah I haven’t met anyone new.