Westminster native Amanda Cunningham’s new single “Pattern” combines genuine lyrics and soulful vocals about being honest with oneself and reflecting on past experiences.
Cunningham, 29, described the single as a “mid-tempo chill pop acoustic” song that questions the pattern of relationships ending after Cunningham has shown her true self, from questioning the people who left without warning and realizing how much of it was negatively impacting her life.
The single will be released Feb. 5 on regular streaming platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
Cunningham moved back and forth between Westminster and Reisterstown to care for her grandfather for a few years and graduated from Franklin High School in 2009. She gave birth to her daughter, Gwen, in May 2012 and took time off after she was born prior to attending McDaniel College to study history.
“I was at a low point and I thought I was the common denominator, I figured it had to be something that I’m doing,” Cunningham said. “I figured I was picking a certain type of person and it just isn’t working out, that type of thing.
“I went to therapy and realized it was me looking for someone to attach myself to.”
Cunningham said she often ignored red flags in friendships and relationships that steered toward bad endings because she refused to believe it to be possible. The song was created to help the listener recognize negative patterns in their lives and break those patterns.
Cunningham joined a program hosted by celebrity vocal coach Cari Cole called Signature Songwriting Circle, designed to help artists find their sound and direction through music in Nov. 2019. The program allows its participants to write with other established songwriters who mentor them through the songwriting process.
Through the program, Cunningham formed a connection with Miranda Glory, a contestant from the second season of NBC’s “Songland,” and Glory co-wrote “Pattern” with Cunningham, relating some of her previous experiences to the writing process as well.
“I think it’s just a creative thing,” Cunningham said. “Sometimes it’s a lot on your mental health and you’re in your feelings to be creative and stuff. She [Glory] wanted to have real conversations and if you have real conversations, you have to make sure the person wants it because if they don’t, you’re a buzzkill.”
Cunningham said she plans to release an EP this year with another song co-written by Glory and more with the help of writers from Cole’s program who have worked with artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Jesse McCartney.
Cunningham didn’t study anything music-related in school and said she is still learning how to work as an independent artist. A lot of people give up after numerous failed attempts at getting signed to record labels, she said, but she’s using her own platform to promote and release the song.
“I’m putting the song out with an artist company I’m working with that I pay for to help me do it,” Cunningham said. “I paid for someone to produce the song by myself and with Miranda and there’s no label behind it, it’s just me.”
“Pattern” was written via a Google Doc while Cunningham and Glory collaborated over Zoom. Cunningham said she is trying to improve her songwriting skills through toplining, a process that involves writing a vocal part over a pre-made beat.
Cunningham, who now resides in Reston, Virginia, recently quit her job in digital marketing to pursue a full-time music career.
“I’m getting better at it,” Cunningham said. “Typically what I’ll do is start from scratch and it allows a little bit more creativity for me, but also the toplining part is quicker to get music out if the music is already made.
“It’s already done and I just have to add my vocals to it and ‘Bam.’”