There are many singers and musicians who have made their careers in West Village of New York on Cornelia Street. The street is legendary for the café’s and performances that have spawned generations of poets, jazz musicians, playwrights and singers. One of those singers, Amber Mark, saw her career kicked off at the Palma Italian Restaurant.
Home Town Girl – Big City Life
It is the godparents of Mark who own the Palma, and above it is where Mark lives and has since her days in high school. While visiting the restaurant, Mark appeared as so many of the hip generation do, in unconventional clothing many associate with the arts. On the way to chat, she introduces the may staff that are like family and the jokes that follow knowing she is to be interviewed.
As our conversion gets underway, she has chosen a room above the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. Mark explains that while in high school she chose to move and live with her godparents after the adopted her so as to allow her to go to a New York school. Prior to moving in with her godparents, she spent time travelling to with her mother, a painter who focuses on Tibetan Buddhism and makes no denial that her mother has had a large influence on her music. In 2013, her mother passed away, and it is the pain she felt, and the healing that is seen in the music of her debut album released last year.
While the subject matter of her album of one of dark places and emotion, she still shares other bits of her life in the songs that are found on her album. Her video shows her penchant for excessive drinking and influences of other artists such as Adel can be heard, more so in her sound that the art thanks to a musky voice. Yet, when she speaks in her music, it is clear she is like many and sings about things that are part of her culture. The quality behind her is she is not looking to be a vocal superstar, just a singer working through life’s journey through song.
Mark Writes Own Material
Early in Marks career, she turned to pen and paper preferring to write her own songs versus recording and singing those of others. While her latest album to be released includes a cover of “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” by Sade, the rest of the material is her own. She has an uncanny ability to portray the gentle side of love in her songs and incorporates different styles such as jazz, pop and R&B into her sound.
As we are wrapping up our chat, there is a steady stream of people walking by, many of whom look, smile and keep on moving. That is until Omar, her accountant walks by, and she stops him to give an introduction. Omar is proud of his friend and client and points out he has known her for ages and then says, “She will one day be famous”, and as we walk out to the busy Cornelia street, we stopped and that, he might just be right.