AMY Gilgunn isn’t your average young lady. This 17-year-old has already recorded and released a country single, ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’, and sang alongside the likes of Robert Mizzell and The Country Kings.

Amy, who is from Glenfarne in County Leitrim, started singing around the age of 11 and loved listening to Country music at home and on the radio.

Speaking on her love of country music, Amy said: “My siblings would have went to the dances in the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran on a regular basis, and after they would come home after a night out, Country music would be playing non-stop for almost a week in both the house and the car.”

Amy said she grew to love the sound of Country music and she believes singing the genre was the only way for her to go after listening to it for so many years.

As a young girl, Amy was a huge Nathan Carter fan. She said: “Mum used to always drive me to his concerts when he played locally in the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran.

“I always loved the buzz of his shows, and seeing him and the band on stage enjoying themselves made me realise that I wanted to be like them, and to stand on a stage, singing to people.”

Along with Nathan Carter, Amy said she was hugely influenced by the likes of Dolly Parton, Lisa McHugh, Cliona Hagan, Robert Mizzell and Derek Ryan.

Amy performed with Robert Mizzell and The Country Kings at the Manorhamilton International Wild Rose Festival in July, 2019.

“Robert and the band invited me up to sing a few songs, and it is a night I will never forget. The street was packed and the atmosphere was something I had never experienced before.”

She continued: “Another performance I really enjoyed was with The Tumbling Paddies at a drive-in gig in Enniskillen last August.

“The lads were kind enough to invite me up to sing a song with them, and it was great fun performing with them, but also a very different experience with Covid-19.

“Instead of seeing faces in front of us, we were surrounded by cars, which was something I never thought I’d see, but nevertheless, I really enjoyed it and hopefully I will be back on stage with the lads for a sing-song sometime soon again.”

Amy’s new single, ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’, was written by two American songwriters ¬– Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz – and it was recorded by the world-famous American Country singer Randy Travis in 1987.

It is a song where the Country singer is promising their love to someone for eternal life.

Amy decided to choose the track as her first single as it is a song she has loved for years.

“I had never heard a female version of the song, so when I saw a gap in the industry for a female version of the song, I decided to take the risk and record and release it.”

Amy continued: “I love both the music and the words, and I am delighted with the public reaction to my version.”

With 5,298 steams on Spotify and counting. Amy said an album is definitely on the horizon in the not so distant future.

Amy, who is gearing up for her Leaving Certificate exams next June, said she will certainly be realising more singles as soon as possible. At the minute, she hasn’t got any gigs planned for Fermanagh, but agrees it is something she would love to do.

She did say that there will be a gig in the famous Rainbow Ballroom of Romance in Glenfarne in September, where she will be performing with a host of Country singers.

“I am really looking forward to that, but hopefully I will be on stage somewhere before then.”

Amy ended on her ambition for the future: “I would love to go on tour and become a successful singer here in Ireland and other parts of the world and get my name out there.

“I hope to continue releasing songs and hopefully a few original tracks very soon.”

You can keep up to date with all of Amy’s latest news across all of her social media platforms, using the tag @amygilgunnmusic.