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Singer/songwriter: Amanda Zelina is "The Coppertone"

The Coppertone & Amanda Zelina
Amanda Zelina brings blues/rock to her new project, "The Coppertone".

Amanda Zelina (of "The Coppertone") is a complex soul. The Coppertone is not quite a band, but more a collaboration with Nick Skalkos (drums) although she does most of the songwriting and music for the project.

She is talented, and has been saddled with the "Artist to Watch" label with online buzz. She is getting the attention partly due to her innate ability to play and feel "The Blues".

Aside from "The Coppertone", Amanda has been active indie solo artist, whose new style is sharp left turn from her solo record. Her story is a long one, so I will leave relevant links to fill in the gaps in her complicated story. 

At the core, The Coppertone is blues band with soul, and folk rock. She has in described her musical style in 3 words, "Truthful. Raw. Real." She doesn't mess around and neither does this record. What makes her very interesting as an indie artist, is her brutal honesty with her life so far.

Amanda Zelina during the L.A. period.
Amanda Zelina in an earlier part of her career (L.A. experience?)

The short story goes...After high school, she left King City (near Toronto) for Hollywood writing and performing her music there for 3 years. That is probably where shed honed her "chops" and skills.

In an article by Joshna Khan of, he conducted a fascinating interview with Amanda. I quoted some of her answers from that article (below).

She explains her L.A. experience,

“When I moved to
, I still didn’t know what my musical niche was because I was just writing constantly. Then when I really got into playing guitar, and eventually slide guitar, it suddenly clicked that the blues and soul I’d been listening to my entire life was my true passion. I finally understood it.”

What happened next, was a dark period. Returning home to Toronto, she fell into depression and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. To share this in her PK's and bio's shows how honest she is about her life and music. Over time, she started to become herself again and recorded her first solo record "Love Me Till I'm Me Again".

She describes her discovery of John Lee Hooker's music as a revelation:

/*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

So anyway, I am sitting there on my futon and all of a sudden "Boom Boom" comes on and my life changed. I felt all the blood in my body start dancing around, my energy level skyrocketed, my feet started stomping and I was taken to another place. It was like God himself was speaking to me through John Lee Hooker. It was a beautiful moment.

I seriously just knew then and there, that was it. To describe the feeling of what it's like to be searching for what is essentially your musical "home" for seven years day in and day out and finally in one moment finding it is an intense experience. It was like finding my soulmate.

The Coppertone "Hidden Dreams" LP.
The Coppertone's new album, "Hidden Dreams" (2010).

And so we arrive at The Coppertone. This project all started through a recurring nightmare about death from an angry bull (for real, look at the album cover). She turned these dreams into the central theme for this record, which was about a "death and a rebirth".

The dream represented, " /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

In the dream she was killed by the bull and than came-to as a reincarnation of the animal...seeing through its eyes."

The meaning ofThe Coppertone and "Hidden Dreams" her new album, is not surprisingly personal and can best be described in her own words.

/*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

It seems abstract, and trust me it was...but I knew it meant something..I went to my guitar, cranked my amp, grabbed a slide and channeled my new found identity; The Coppertone. I believe it was for-telling, directing me to move into who I am... a re-birth into a woman who is strong and confident, trusting and honoring my creativity even if that meant going against the grain and writing a record that may or may not be well received... That's where (Hidden Dreams) the title of the record came from.

Let's now talk about the music. It's really interesting combination of contemporary blues music and vocals that pierce the gut with so much soul. It is definitely a mature sound that resonates with every repeated listen. It's what I would call bringing the blues for a new generation. 

P.S. Don’t forget she’ll be in Toronto for North By North East (NXNE) festival this year!

(Editor's note: This article was written before NXNE '10 festival; look forward to an interview article with Amanda Zelina of "The Coppertone" in the near future.).

Hidden Dreams Promo from The Coppertone on Vimeo.

Amanda Zelina///The Coppertone: Wood & Wires Productions from Adrian Vieni on Vimeo

Jason Chu ~

Upcoming Shows ( view all )
18 Jun 2010 21:00
NXNE//The Hide Out Toronto, Ontario, CA
25 Jun 2010 22:00
The Black Pirates Pub ThunderBay, Ontario , CA
1 Jul 2010 21:30
The Victoria Park Boathouse Kitchener, ON
2 Jul 2010 21:00
Not My Dog Toronto, Ontario , CA

For more info on Amanda Zelina:


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