The pop artist Mark Ambor, stage name of Mark Damboragian ‘20, has really taken off. When I first talked with Ambor six months ago, he was about to release his latest single, “Fever.” Now, “Fever” has 50,000 plays on Spotify. His next show is at The Well in Brooklyn on Oct. 3, with two artists performing before Ambor’s performance at 9:00 p.m. He will be performing songs from his latest EP, “Colorful”, which was released on Sept. 25, last week.
Recently, I interviewed Ambor again about his EP. Ambor sported an outfit which he said was “athleisure” – white shirt, black track pants with white stripes on the sides and slightly scuffed white Vans. He has a quiet demeanor paired with a slightly disarming tendency to laugh before he answers difficult questions in interviews.
After listening to Ambor’s current EP, it’s clear that he has an affinity for creating catchy, musically upbeat songs that hit home at the core of listeners’ emotions.
One of the most notable songs on the EP is “Paige.” As Ambor explained,‘“Paige” isn’t about a specific person, but about growing into adulthood, moving on from the past to face the future, and about the hope of finding someone who can support you and grow with you.”
“Paige” is also like a blank page: Ambor is writing his own future as a musician into existence with his songs.
Ambor further elaborated on “Paige” by discussing his tough transition between high school and college. He had a near idyllic existence in his hometown, but when he went to college, he had a hard time adjusting.
Ambor sings about this transition in the third verse of Paige: “Help/I’m feeling stuck/Save me from this…darkened hour… that’s hidden behind love/This old town has held me by its strings.” These lyrics are reminiscent of the Beatles and Bob Dylan in their portrayal of the transience of the human condition.
Ambor said that he kept pushing himself to keep going, and he was able to forge true friendships at school. He also said his songwriting process developed as a result of these friendships, as he was able to become more open and honest in his music with a strong support system of friends at school and family and friends at home.
My overall favorite song on the “Colorful” EP is “Your Perfect Memory,” because it is both upbeat and emotionally evocative, a stadium song and a song to blast when one is feeling sad over a breakup. It is a reminder that as time goes by, memories often mask the truth, hiding flaws and imperfections, leaving only perfect memories.
On “The Story We All Chase,” which Ambor said is about the stress of senior year and more broadly, the ideal of achieving the American dream, his voice is reminiscent of John Mayer and Lauv’s in “I Like Me Better.” He is writing about what many of us feel: the fear of failure, the need to succeed after graduation, the stress of finding a job.
Ambor also said that the beginning of “The Story We all Chase” touches upon the reason why he makes music at all: “I’m just kicking ‘cause I’m trying to vent.”
As Ambor said in our interview, he makes music because, “I’m trying to vent, I’m trying to make sense of all the things that bother me, confuse me, make me happy. All the things that bring about insecurity. That’s why I write music.”
You can catch Mark Ambor’s latest concert at The Well, 272 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY, on Oct. 3 at 9 p.m.! The Well is a 21+ venue.
For more information about Mark Ambor, visit his website: https://www.markambor.com/