Amanda: I started piano when I was 5 years old, flute when I was in forth grade and guitar 4 years ago. I have been singing since I was very little-singing with my sisters-and then took voice lessons all my life.
Cindy: And you’re also a songwriter, so do you compose your own music as well then?
Amanda: Yes I do. I usually write my own songs and sometimes I collaborate with other songwriting friends, depending on the song that I am feeling. I have been writing songs for the last 8 years, but always wrote in my diary all my life, not realizing I was a songwriter.
Cindy: You also have 4 elder sisters who sing as well. Do you ever perform together?
Amanda: We used to perform in Lebanon when I was little, and through elementary school to friends and little events. This is how I learned to sing harmonies.
Cindy: Do you and your family still have family in Lebanon and do you ever get to travel to see them?
Amanda: I do still have family in Lebanon and I have not been there in 20 years to visit, but hope that I can very soon in the future.
Cindy: I see you’ve also studied Drama? Wow, you are one talented lady. Are you or have you considered a career on film, as well then?
Amanda: Yes. I used to do a lot of commercials for South America when I lived in Miami, FL, and then came to LA and met my husband. I am currently starring in his short film, "Facing The Lion", (movie trailer http://www.amandaabizaid.com/movie.html) a supernatural thriller - love story, Directed/Written/Edited by Joe Plonsky and Executive Producer Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead 2, Hostel). We do collaborate together with his films and my music. My song, "Facing The Lion" (The Great Plan Vol. II) and "Timeless", (The Great Plan Vol. 1) are both in and written for the film.
Cindy: You’ve released 5 albums: Undivided - 2007, The Great Plan Vol. 1&2 - 2007, In The Loop - 2008 and Lebanon - 2008. Are there any new releases in the works?
Amanda: Undivided was just a two song CD which is out of stock now. Those two songs are now on the CD called, "In The Loop" 2009, The Great Plan Vol. I-2004, Lebanon-2005, The Great Plan Vol. II- 2006. I am working on new songs for an upcoming CD. The styles vary. The philosophy behind it is to bring sounds from the East and West together in song. I am getting back to my roots and writing different types of stories and dealing with different issues now in my life.
Cindy: But your music releases aren’t your only accomplishments. You’ve also been the voice behind some hit TV show themes, such as Charmed, Smallville, and my favorite, The 4400 (A Place In Time), and also Odd Girl Out (Lifetime Network) and Dreams in Ashes, plus performed with some really well known talent as well. Were you excited to land these opportunities and what might we hope to “hear” from you next—TV shows, movies, etc?
Amanda: I was very lucky to have all the songs I have sang for on TV. I was very excited when I got these opportunities. This is not easy to do and it just came to me. I was at the right place at the right time. The 4400 was a blessing for sure. I have placed some of my own songs in films, two theme songs and one recently in a Lebanese short film—a love story. That song is a new release called "Iza Aktar", "If I Could Only"—a poem written by my father that I translated and put to music. It is in Arabic and English and will be released on the next CD. I do have plans for TV/Film placement, for sure, and can only hope for my success with that, with my songs this time around. I am a very visual writer, so it is really fun for me to watch a show or movie, and hear my music story in the background. That's what I love about writing songs.
Cindy: You recently finished a coast-to-coast tour and I really enjoyed your newsletters keeping us all updated on how much fun you girls were having! For my readers, where can they go to learn more about you, your music, upcoming appearances and of course, sign up for your newsletter?
Amanda: My tour was a blast and the best way to get on my newsletter and be a fan is to sign up on my website at http://www.amandaabizaid.com.
You can purchase my music at CDbaby.com or Earbuzz.com, Amazon.com, i-tunes, Rhapsody for CD's and digital downloads. I have radio play on the internet at jango.com and womensradio.com, and other stations you will find online.
I have a show with LA Woman Summer Tour friend, Stephanie Erdel, December 10th to recap our tour and play in LA. This will be recorded live and then sold on the internet soon after for the holidays.
Cindy: Do you have another tour in the works now?
Amanda: Right now I am focusing on song placement for TV/Film and writing/recording the next CD and looking for an investor who might be interested in my message of peace and inspiration through my songs. I really would like to go to Asia and Europe next year if I can. My goal is to travel the world. for sure.
Cindy: You’ve accomplished many wonderful goals so far, once again proving this is such a great country! Do you have any new goals you’d like to share with us?
Amanda: This is a great country where you really can live your dreams and accomplish whatever you put your mind to. This is such a beautiful thing. I really want to inspire people to be happy with my music and I have a dream of reaching people and children less fortunate around the world to play for them so they can have hope to do what ever their dreams are. It's important to be determined in whatever you do and through that, you can accomplish anything.
Cindy: Your albums are available in music stores and also online stores, including Amazon. Where else can we find your music to add to our own personal libraries?
Amanda: My website of course, Amoeba Music and stores across the U.S.; my website has all the store locations listed; MySpace, Facebook; my IMDB page (industry information resume) has a listing of all the TV shows and Films that the songs are on so you can rent them from the video store.
Cindy: Amanda, I would like to thank you so much for taking the time for this interview with me and my Writer’s Block fans. Is there anything else you would like to add that I may not have touched base on?
Amanda: My new songs are focused on bringing the sounds of the east and west together in song and music with the hope of inspiring peace and happiness. This is a big part of my musical direction now and why I want to travel the world and have more song placements so that this message will hopefully be portrayed in a musical way visually and by meeting new people everywhere.
Cindy: Again thank you and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year with your hubby, family and friends. You rock, girlfriend! And I’ve added your albums to my Christmas list this year! (I had to throw that in there, you know—just in case Santa is reading this, too—wink, wink)
Amanda: Thank you very much for asking me to be interviewed. I am very appreciative and excited to read your review and to be able to have the opportunity to have new people and fans in my music life.
Of course, send me your address and I will talk to Santa. ☺ We are very close. Big smiles to you and your family. Thank you very much, Cindy.