Erie singer hopes to win music contest and perform at Hollywood Bowl

Amber Otto started singing with her friends and family when she was 5 years old. She tried her hand at songwriting when she was 9 years old. She later performed in a blues band and, as a solo artist, opened for country music legend Aaron Tippin at the Warren County Fair, then sang before a NASCAR race at Watkins Glen.

Now, 36-year-old Erie resident Otto hopes to bring her talents to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Otto, who performs under the stage name “Cookie” – a nickname derived from his maiden name “Cook” – is trying to qualify for the quarterfinals of Audacy’s opening competition to perform in front of a star-studded lineup. and for a cash prize of $10,000.

Otto had to apply to enter the contest by submitting videos and digital music of his performances.

“That in itself was an achievement for me because it’s like, holy cow, somebody out there in the world, in the big, old world of California, thought I was good enough to compete. to this competition,” Otto said.

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Hailing from Spring Creek, Warren County, Otto says his music is influenced by a range of genres: country, soul, blues and R&B, although most of his lyrics are in the vein of country music. She told Audacy that the artist she would most like to collaborate with is Shania Twain.

Otto is a self-taught guitarist, who learned by ear in 2017 and has since undergone professional training. She also occasionally plays the keyboard.

Audacy, formerly, is a “cross-platform audio content and entertainment company”. He has yet to announce the date or lineup for his We Can Survive concert, which benefits the American Society of Suicide Prevention, but the October 23, 2021 lineup included the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Doja Cat, Maroon 5 , Saweetie, Shawn Mendes and Kid Laroi.

Otto, who works as a home health aide, discovered the competition through a social media ad.


“It kind of caught my interest because it said if you’re a singer or a songwriter and you’re trying to get your music out there, enter the contest and if you’re selected as the opening act, you’d have a chance to open at the Hollywood Bowl, which is in Los Angeles and that’s their big amphitheater stage right across from that Hollywood sign,” she said. “I was like, ‘oh my God, that would be an amazing opportunity.’ I’m a singer-songwriter and it would be a better way to get my music out this far, to have this reach.”

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Cookie’s music is available on most streaming platforms including Amazon Music, Apple Music, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube. In fact, his music has been “playlisted” on ReverbNation and Spotify, meaning the platforms have included his music in playlists that they have recommended to listeners.

To move forward, Cookie needs fan votes. She has already advanced through four rounds. To vote for Cookie, go to its login page at Voting for the current round ends at 11 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) Thursday.

If she wins, Otto said she would use the $10,000 prize to pay off a car loan and other small debts, then buy new music and recording equipment.

“I know it’s there, but that’s not even the main reason I want to do this,” she said of the prize money. “I know I have it in me to do this. It would be an even more amazing opportunity to be on a stage like this in front of so many different people, to expose who you are as well as what your music and what it means to you.”

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