Junior Mark Damboragian, aka Mark Ambor, is a rising star.
He was recruited to join the cast of The Voice and spent a month in Los Angeles, California, in September 2018. He trained with music professionals and practiced his performance skills and vocal technique, and while the teams filled up before he could audition, he is grateful for his experience. His debut EP “All Ears” is on iTunes and Spotify, and his first single, “Waiting on Your Love,” has 18,400 plays and counting on Soundcloud.
When I met him at Fairfield University’s John A. Barone Campus Center, he was already at the interview spot, working on a project for his Business Analytics class. He is majoring in marketing with a business analytics minor. He was dressed in a laid-back blue hoodie, jeans and leather boots, looking every inch the folk-pop singer. Throughout the interview, he was thoughtful and honest, two things he considers to be tenants of songwriting.
Ambor is a self-taught guitarist and has been playing piano since he was seven years old, when his mom enrolled him in piano lessons.
As a child, he wasn’t a fan of the classical lessons, which lasted until he was fourteen, but he found that once they were over, he missed them, a bittersweet realization for the budding musician. Ambor continued to develop his craft over the years, teaching himself by watching contemporary piano videos on YouTube.
Ambor first began writing his own music in August 2016, the summer before his freshman year at Fairfield. He remembers that all of his friends at home had left for college already and that he was sad because he and his high school girlfriend had just broken up. But, instead of wallowing in negative emotions, he sat down at the piano and began writing songs; always a man of action.
“I felt really vulnerable. I never used to sing in front of anyone,” Ambor said.
He recorded his initial songs on the Voice Memo app on his phone and showed them to his brother, because he knew that he would never lie to him.
“I trust my brother, especially. He’s one of the most supporting people,” he said. When his brother responded enthusiastically, he knew he was onto something big.
Ambor produces all of his own music, a process he loves. When asked about the connections between songwriting and producing, he responded with an apt comparison.
“Songwriting is a very personal activity, while producing takes the whole picture into consideration. I have to quickly transfer from a very vulnerable place in songwriting, to a place where I look at the entire song holistically in production,” Ambor said.
His latest single, “Fever,” is coming out April 24 on Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and Google Play.
“The inspiration for Fever came last summer, when I developed a piano riff and immediately thought it sounded like a song that people would want to jump around and dance to. I tucked it away for a few months because I had no lyrics for it. During winter break, in the dead of winter, I wanted to brighten myself up, and that’s when I sat down, wrote and recorded Fever,” Ambor said.
Ambor hopes that people will find a source of strength and inspiration when they listen to Fever, as the song is about overcoming obstacles. His songs are soulful and upbeat, meaningful and uplifting, modern and timeless.
Come and see Class of 2020’s own Mark Ambor perform his songs at The Levee on Thursday, April 25 from 9:00- 11:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss this!