It’s not every day a teenager graduates from a high school in a small town and moves across the country to pursue their dreams, except sometimes on television. It’s even less likely that the teenager succeeds in that scenario and that they’re from Ashland, Oregon.
But, in this case, Amy Corey — soon to be 21-years old, moved to Nashville three months after graduating high school in Ashland in 2015 — has just released her first single, “Stay Fierce.” She’s quickly moving up in the world of country-pop music.
She’s been working with Grammy-nominated producer Kent Wells, who has produced other notable musicians such as Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. Corey performed with Parton last fall at a concert honoring Kent Wells.
“To have someone that works with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, the biggest legends in the music industry, to have him believe in you and work with you, to want to make you into a legend, it just means the world,” Corey said. “There’s really no words to describe that feeling.”
Her single is the theme song for BMW Nashville’s marketing campaign by Drive 615. Corey calls that the “extra cherry on top of everything else” due to her lifelong love of cars and racing.
“It was one of the biggest highlights of my career just because I’m so passionate about cars and racing,” Corey said. “So, to me and my family it’s huge.”
She said her family inspired her to have a love for cars and racing because it was a prominent part of her life growing up. She said her dad raced autocross and was always working on cars or watching races.
“My mom was very into cars as well, she didn’t race, but she drove very fast,” Corey said laughing.
She’s sponsored by MAC cosmetics and JoJo Rings, a unique jewelry company that makes rings from recycled keys.
“I just think it’s a great idea, as far as recycling, and of course coming from Oregon, I’m all about that,” Corey said. “They both endorsed me when I had no music out which is pretty unheard of. I’m very honored that both of these companies have endorsed me.”
Corey said her parents are the reason she began singing when they bought her a karaoke machine at age 2. She became obsessed with singing and at age 8 began taking vocal lessons from neighbor Ken Orsow. She studied with him for 10 years.
“I always knew I wanted to be a singer,” Corey said. “As soon as I turned 18, I knew I was ready.”
She said looking back, moving across the country to live on her own and pursue her music career was scary, but at the time, she was so focused on her goals that she hardly even noticed.
“I kind of forced myself to become an adult at a young age,” Corey said. “I turned that pressure into inspiration and drive.”
Corey, born in Vietnam, lived in Ohio for a few years before her family settled in Ashland, where she’s lived since she was a young child.
“All of my songs are based on stories from my life,” Corey said. “‘Stay Fierce’ is kind of my anthem of my need to stay strong and stay fierce.”
The song was written in collaboration with Bill D’Luigi and was released March 14. It’s currently available on her website at amycorey.com. She said the song will also be available on all digital platforms in the near future.
“When we got together to write the song, we poured our hearts out into it and it’s so honest and real, and I think that’s what makes it so powerful,” Corey said. “I’m very honored to be a part of this song and have it as my first single.”
She said her plans are to continue building her music career and to start racing in the next five years.
“I’ve been so blessed with everything so far,” Corey said. “I’m just going to keep going.”
— Contact Ashland freelance writer Caitlin Fowlkes at Caitlin.fowlkes@gmail.com.