LYNN — With multiple television appearances and a signed studio contract, 16-year-old Amanda Mena has had more musical success than most. And she’s just getting started.
Eleven months ago, the Lynn resident auditioned for “America’s Got Talent,” before celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Spice Girls member Mel B, and finished as a semi-finalist. Last Wednesday, the St. Mary’s soon-to-be junior performed on stage with the Boston Pops Orchestra and, in a few weeks, she’ll begin training for her performance during their renowned July 4th show.
“It was absolutely amazing and the energy was insane,” said Mena. “The crowd was amazing, too. I definitely learned a lot about myself throughout the experience.”
Mena said there was something about hearing the orchestra on stage while she sang that made the performance different from anything else. She performed a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” the same song that got her a golden buzzer hit last June.
“It’s creepy how in sync and pitch perfect everything is,” she said. “It is definitely a different style of music, but when they were playing I could feel the vibrations through the floor.”
Other than performing, once again, with the Boston Pops Orchestra, what is the young vocal powerhouse most excited for? A chance to perform with her biggest idol, Queen Latifah, on July 4th, she said.
“I’m so excited,” said Mena. “I’ve looked up to her my entire life.”
The Lynner’s professional career really hit the ground running when she was 11 years old, after she won the 2014 season of “La Voz Kids,” the Spanish version of “The Voice Kids,” and scored a contract with Universal Studios, along with a hit song, “Alma Gemela.”
Last week’s performance taught Mena a variety of things about her vocal skills, she said. She learned how to use her voice and range to her advantage, perfect her stage presence, and tell a story through music.
The biggest lesson Mena learned, she said, was that she can do anything she puts her mind to, with a lot of work and even more support.
“I don’t ever want to stop doing what I do,” she said. “So many people have come into my life for the better and supported me unconditionally and I’m just so grateful.”