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Empowered Women Empowering Women: Spotlighting Singer/Songwriter Amanda McCarthy

"I don't ever want to JUST be known as an LGBTQ+ artist, or a young mom success story, or a trauma survivor, or etc. I hope one day, artists can just be artists and write/sing about whatever inspires them without needing a disclaimer or a label, and that's what I hope to remain true for myself through this release and others moving forward..."

Meet Amanda McCarthy, the fearless singer-songwriter who turned a spontaneous serenade for Steven Tyler into a thriving music career. With over 300 shows a year and a knack for storytelling, Amanda's journey from New England to Nashville is one filled with determination, talent, and unforgettable tunes. She's opened for big names like Imagine Dragons, Hunter Hayes, and OneRepublic, and her debut album "Road Trip" received high acclaim.

We're thrilled to feature Amanda in our new Empowered Women Empowering Women Series! As one of our favorite artists in Music City, Amanda's story is both uplifting and inspiring, and she's shattering every glass ceiling she encounters.

Hi, Amanda! Your newest song "Vodka" touches on personal truths and empowerment. How important is authenticity in your songwriting process when addressing sensitive topics?

I was particularly nervous about releasing Vodka because as the song describes - many of these topics are not things I would normally talk about publicly without alcohol aiding me! However, remaining authentic and sharing truth in my music has always been very important to me, and this song, while taking it to another level, was no different for me, although it did take a little extra bit of hyping myself up. The humorous (very much authentic and intended) approach to the song definitely helped with this.

From your perspective, how can music serve as a platform for discussing issues like LGBTQ+ identity and overcoming personal challenges, as you've explored in your music?

Music is such a powerful gift because representation is huge, when people can listen to a song and follow an artist and see/hear themselves in it, it makes the world a little less lonely. I think this is such an important gift for fans who need that support, but also for artists who can find that empowerment and support right back through various wonderful fan communities that relate to and enjoy their music.

That being said, when it comes to the artist side of things - I really just want to see music come to a point where it doesn't have to be a big deal, and the artist gets to decide how they want to be represented versus needing to fall into a certain set of boxes. In the case of "Vodka" it's my line about having crushes on girls, whereas my song "Normal" talks about becoming a parent at a young age, etc. I think it's so easy to accidentally get stuck in a label, but I don't ever want to JUST be known as an LGBTQ+ artist, or a young mom success story, or a trauma survivor, or etc. I hope one day, artists can just be artists and write/sing about whatever inspires them without needing a disclaimer or a label, and that's what I hope to remain true for myself through this release and others moving forward.

In what ways do you think the music industry can better support female artists, particularly in genres like pop-country where you shine?

I want to give credit to the industry as I have seen a great deal of progress in including more female artists! However, I can't help but feel like that is often covered up by really only featuring one -type- of female artist, usually skinny and blonde and looking like a supermodel. I do NOT say that to shame these artists, as they are talented and don't make these decisions, but to address that I still think there is a great deal of prejudice in the music industry on the business side of things. I have seen so many events "celebrating the diversity of women in music" where it's all blonde girls and maybe one brunette. But I think full diversity needs to also include different body types, WOC, women in the LGBTQ+ community, disabled women, etc. 

Can you share a pivotal moment in your career where you felt particularly empowered as a woman in the music industry?

On my album "Road Trip" from 2019, I had a song called "Folk Song" that describes my experiences as a woman in the music industry. That song was a fan favorite for a long time, and was nominated for "Song of the Year" at the New England Music Awards in 2019. That was a moment that really made me feel empowered and like my message was being heard and respected.

Who is a female role model that has had a significant impact on your life and career? How have their achievements or characteristics inspired you in your journey as a recording artist?

As cliche as this is, I always have and have continued to look up to Taylor Swift. Not only does she deal with critics - often rooted in sexist arguments - but she continues to make any kind of music she feels like and ignores the naysayers, focusing on cultivating the best art and experiences that she can for her fans. I also greatly respect Kalie Shorr, an independent singer/songwriter who has historically and continues to push boundaries of what is "appropriate" to share in a song. Listening to her music has made me braver and more vulnerable in my own songwriting.

As the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, how has parenthood influenced your perspective on female empowerment? What lessons or values do you hope toimpart to her through your experiences as a musician and as a woman in today's world?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I worked my butt off to secure my music career before she was born. This included long studio days/nights, investing in my career, and playing live almost every day, up until ten days before her birth. I want her to know that she can do anything, despite what anyone tells her - because Lord knows plenty of people gossipped about me when I was pregnant, saying it was the end of the road for me and I wouldn't be able to do it - but ten years later, here I am. I want her to know that while she will face challenges as a woman along with her own individual challenges, that she will always have a support network who will encourage her to pursue whatever interests and passions speak to her, be it as a hobby or a career. I have her back no matter what.

Amanda McCarthy is the embodiment of an empowered woman who lifts others up and her journey is a testament to determination and resilience. Both her commitment to breaking barriers in the music industry and her success in a male-dominated field serve as powerful examples for aspiring female artists.

As we celebrate Amanda's achievements and insights today, we're reminded of the importance of highlighting awesome women like her. This series aims to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders, showcasing stories of resilience, innovation, and boundless determination. Let us know who you'd like us to feature next!

​For more information, visit and follow Amanda on FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok and Spotify.


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