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Aspiring singer brings music career back to center stage

Amanda Schuh works in accounting in Rochester, New York. But she hopes to soon leave that behind and pursue country singing under her stage name, Amanda Rose, full time.

Amanda Schuh, who performs under the name Amanda Rose, performs her song "Little Girl's Dream" at her family reunion in Hanson County Aug. 12. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)
Amanda Schuh, who performs under the name Amanda Rose, performs her song "Little Girl's Dream" at her family reunion in Hanson County Aug. 12. (Ellen Bardash / Republic)

Amanda Schuh works in accounting in Rochester, New York. But she hopes to soon leave that behind and pursue country singing under her stage name, Amanda Rose, full time.

Schuh, who grew up a few miles east of Mitchell, moved to New York in 2005 in hopes of jump-starting her singing and songwriting career, but got sidetracked when she met her now-husband and had two children. Her kids are now 11 and six years old, and her husband encouraged her to get back into her music.

"I just want to make people happy," said Schuh, who performed several songs at a family reunion at her family's home on Sunday. "What I do, and the songs that I write, I just want people to feel something and to have a better life from it, have a better world from it."

Schuh said one person in particular has stuck in her mind for years.

When she was about 18, Schuh was singing in a coffee shop in Mitchell. During her performance, a woman sat down in the audience and started crying, and Schuh took an intermission to talk to her.

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"She said, 'I live in the apartments up above this coffeehouse. I was going to commit suicide. I heard your voice, and I just had to come down and see who it was.' And she said, 'you literally saved my life,'" Schuh said. "Somewhere in this world, there is a woman that is alive because I sang something. And that means something to me."

Schuh, who said she's been singing since she could hum, was approached by a local production company after winning her high school talent show. She later did some background vocals for a gospel album, and when the producer of the album heard her original work, he wanted to record it.

"So we recorded it, and we released it and it has done so well that we just decided, you know what, let's just do the whole album," Schuh said. "So we started working on song after song. We're releasing the singles one at a time."

She's now planning to release her album, titled "Almost Country," next summer, and is in the process of trying to get local radio stations to play some of her songs.

Schuh said she writes her own melodies and lyrics, while producer Midnight Beatz arranges the rest of the music. While living in New York, she collaborated with rapper Emmey Gramz, and she said that once she moves back home, she hopes to work with local artists, as well.

Most of Schuh's music is inspired by her own life. Her aunt, Beth Lillie, described Schuh's songs as a "musicography."

"A lot of those songs are just life experience," Schuh said. "I write about things that happen. I write about pain. I write about love. I write about everything that influences me in my daily life."

Schuh hopes that after her album is released, she'll be able to do some touring and perform at festivals and other venues. In the meantime, she said getting support both from her family in Mitchell and her husband's family in New York has been key in balancing her music with her job and her family.

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"It's not easy, but we just make it work," Schuh said. "It takes a lot of family support, both here and there, for everything to kind of fall together."

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