Arts

Ambitious U of O student opens for Craig Cardiff

Photo: Rémi Yuan

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen Amanda Lowe. You may have seen her at various fundraising events on campus, or as the Gee-Gees’ national anthem singer last year. You may recognize her as a local musician or a fellow student.

The singer-songwriter, artist management agent, and full-time psychology student says her attraction to the stage—whether it’s at a bar, a coffee shop, or campus fundraiser—comes from a desire to push herself out of her comfort zone and into the spotlight.

Growing up, Lowe’s had her fair share of lucky charms to give herself motivation. “But not anymore,” she says. “Now it’s just more like ‘It’s all on you.’’”

Lowe’s music teacher recognized her talents at a young age. Lowe kept singing for fun, taking every opportunity to perform at school, with a band, or at Christmas concerts. She even started writing her own original songs when she was 12 years old.

Lowe has since performed at venues like Ever Afters, Café Alt, Pressed Café, Umi Café, SAW Gallery, and multiple house concerts.

“I learned a bunch of instruments throughout every experience I had,” she says.

Along the way, she’s also developed a relationship with Juno Award-winner and fan favourite Craig Cardiff.

Lowe first met Cardiff two years ago when she opened for him at a Shinerama fundraiser. She made a great first impression, and Cardiff asked her to work with him at Patrick Artists, a booking and artist management agency.

She even helped him with a last-minute scramble, when she filled in the opening slot at one of Cardiff’s shows at the Black Sheep Inn a year later, and then rushed to an exam immediately afterward. She says the chaotic experience was well worth it.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this really happening?’” she says.

This time, her hobby, schooling, and work have come full circle as she prepares to open for Cardiff again, this time at the University of Ottawa for a Relay for Life fundraiser.

Lowe says it’s a meaningful show because she’s known people who passed away from cancer. “It’s something that’s dear to my heart, dear to whoever’s going to be attending,” she says.

The multi-instrumentalist learned to sing and play the guitar and piano on her own, learned the saxophone and clarinet in her school band, and picked up the glockenspiel and snare drum while she was a sea cadet.

Lowe hopes to encourage other artists to get involved in the music scene by performing at events like the open mic nights she hosts at Café Nostalgica on Thursday evenings.

“You never know who is scouting,” she says. “There are so many resources, especially with the Internet these days, it’s super easy to put yourself out there. You just have to give an extra push.”

Lowe dreams of going to medical school, but says she’ll still continue with her music.

“I’m always going to try to find a way to have performing incorporated into my life, no matter how busy it is.”

Lowe and Cardiff perform on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at 1848. All proceeds benefit Relay for Life