Amanda Mena, just eight-year-old, was a little girl in an after-school program, who first walked into the music studio at the Lynn YMCA. Yet she wouldn’t be for long. Getting a “golden buzzer”, she started by performing in a broad way on America’s Got Talent where she got the chance to sing with Queen Latifah along with Boston Pops on the fourth of July.
The singer songwriter, born in Salem, spent her first few years in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, just before moving to Lynn, and now she currently lives with her family there.
She also said that she grew up by listening to merengue, bachata, salsa and that kind of music; so it was something which was always there in her life. Dominican Republic is her heart, in her soul and in her blood. She has found many opportunities here in the States, as she’s a bit more known in the Dominican.
Not only this, she won La Voz Kids, when she was just 11 years old. La Voz Kids, is just like The Voice, a Spanish language version. When she was 16, she got “golden buzzer” on America’s Got Talent, which means that she was nominated for the semi finals directly.
Moreover, she performed stunningly in Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year along with Boston’s Faneulli Hall Tree lightening. Besides this, she was also in Copley Square First Night celebration and Boston Pops Fourth of July concert of the Esplanade.
“Being at the Charles River on the Fourth of July, America’s birthday, and seeing half a million people in the crowd, and being able to feel their energy and their excitement,” says Mena of the night she shared a stage with Queen Latifah, Arlo Guthrie, and Keith Lockhart, “It was just amazing.”
With her enchanting stage presence, poise, astonishing range and a powerful voice, it might be surprising to know that she still gets butterflies in her stomach before any of her performances. But she has become accustomed to it.
Further, she said that it is all about being able to take the stage fright and putting it in your pocket. She takes those nerves; she feels and uses them to exude more energy into the crowd.
The favourite genres, which Mena like the most, is to perform in R&B and soul pop, “hands down” counting women like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Beyonce among her biggest inspirations.
Most recently, at Gillette last month, Mena sang the national anthem for the Patriots season opener.