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SINGER Amy Montgomery has revealed how she used songwriting and performing to cope with losing the mum she adored to suicide due to depression.

"Music played a big role in how I dealt with mum's passing," Amy tells Shuffle. "It wasn't so much that I consciously made the decision to use music as a means of bringing me some healing, it's something that happened naturally, whether that was in songwriting or going out busking and meeting people.

"Another huge thing that helped me deal with it was the empathy I gained for other people.

"That may seem a little strange after experiencing something so traumatic, but the empathy I gained and the curiosity for wanting to understand other people's stories, or even hear other people's stories and the experiences that they've had in their lives, as well as sharing my story with people, brought me a lot of healing."

Amy, who comes from Co Antrim, played Glastonbury and the Electric Picnic in recent years, and says performing live has been a personal blessing.

"There was a moment when I realised on stage that if I totally give myself to the performance, almost surrender to the performance and just completely let myself go, it's after those kind of shows I feel such a relief and a release in myself."

Amy told how both her parents were always hugely supportive of her passion for music and performing.

"If I hadn't had my mum in my life I probably wouldn't have been a musician," Amy tells me.

"She was always the catalyst for making sure I turned up for singing competitions. When I was 10 she even took me over to Wales to audition for Britain's Got Talent.

"Before I found my feet as an artist I went through a load of years from the age of eight to 16 where I was auditioning for all those TV shows, including The X Factor and The Voice.

"Eventually, of course, I realised that none of them was for me."

Although he isn't a professional musician, Amy says her dad had several guitars in the house that he loved to play when she was a child, and he gave his daughter her first lessons on the instrument.

"I remember a lot of nights listening to my dad on guitar and I asked for one for Christmas," she says.

"He taught me the chords, so I owe it all to my mum and dad. He is absolutely over the moon the way things are working out for me in music.

"I think a big part of that for Dad and for everybody in my family, is knowing that my mum was completely for me being a musician and singer.

"She would not want anything more than what I have right now. She would be so stoked with everything that's happening in my life."

Amy, who has drawn comparisons to everyone from Janis Joplin to Alanis Morissette, says one of the highlights of her career so far has been playing Glastonbury.

"It's bizarre to think about how many people were at Glastonbury last year," she says. "I'll never forget the moment of arriving on the festival site and just this overwhelmingly huge amount of people. Last year there were 320,000 people at this one festival!

"It's just crazy to think of that with what's been happening this year. That was my first time at Glastonbury and I was so grateful to get the opportunity.

"We played the Acoustic Stage and the capacity of the tent was 7,000, so it was a pretty big stage to play for the first time.

"All the guys in the band really wanted to spend some time at Glasto, so I made sure that we could pitch our tents and really enjoy it."

H AMY Montgomery's EP, Intangible, is out now.

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