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Erie, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | SELF | AFM

Erie, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2019
Solo Country Soul




"Exclusive Interview with Cookie"

Could you tell us what it was like Growing up in Erie Penn?

I actually grew up in Spring Creek Pennsylvania and currently reside in Erie. I honestly felt Spring Creek was the best place to experience my beginnings at. It is very small and country but a pretty tight knit community. Everyone knows EVERYTHING about everybody which at times can be suffocating, but when it matters most the people there have each other's backs and will help out in anyway they can in times of need. There's alot of farm grounds out where I grew up, and though that may not seem fun or exciting to some something about that type of upbringing humbles you.

From my understanding, you have been active in music since age 5, where do you find the inspiration?

From a very young age I just always remember music being played around the house, on car rides, and when visiting my grandmother and grandfather's farm. I always loved it and just began singing and dancing along to the various types of music that were played. At about five I had my own record player and would dance and sing with my Dad to Chubby checker, Sam Cooke, bobby McFerrin and many more of the greats. I also enjoy listening to Tammy Wynette, Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Parker McCollum, Miranda Lambert, and so many more.

Do you come from a music family?

I wouldn't say entirely. My family enjoys listening to music but no one else in the family sang or played instruments. I myself didn't play any instruments until more recent years. I've taught myself how to play acoustic guitar (enough to follow the songs I write), know a little keyboard, and am now trying to learn the banjo.

Do you remember your first gig? Were you nervous? I had small singing solos when in my elementary and highschool choruses, but my first actual gig I would have to say would have been when I was 15. There was just a small band that I was a part of back home that would come together to put a set list of Christmas music together. We would practice for 2-3 months and then when we sounded performance ready would travel to all the nursing homes around the area and spread the Christmas cheer for those who couldn't be home with their loved ones. I was nervous (and still get nervous to this day everytime I perform), but once I saw how much joy it brought to the residents faces to see and hear us, it eased up my nerves.

Opening for Lil Scrappy is huge! What was that experience like? Did you get a chance to talk to Lil Scrappy?

That was a great yet disappointing experience. I was at a local open mic night and after performing was approached by his agent. I was 17 then. Of course I jumped at the chance to open for him when presented the opportunity. There was a local college he was to perform at but on the day of the event him and his team switched venues. Because of the last minute change not as many people showed as they were expecting (naturally; they didn't get the memo). Due to this he was on stage no longer than 10 minutes. I would say myself and the other opening artist of the night were on stage longer than he was. Then he just left. I never got to speak to him and there was never an after party as promised on the tickets after the show. Of course I didn't have to pay being an opening act, but felt badly for those who paid for the tickets and needless to say didn't get their money's worth. My performance was great along with the other act. I truly had fun, but was just expecting more from him as a pretty big artist at that time.

Could you tell us about your latest single?

Rugged Cowboy is not the usual type of song I would do. But when I heard the beat of the song I thought I have just the lyrics for it! It was serendipity working at its finest because the beat had a voiceover previously recorded in it that spoke about being a rough around the edges type of character and basically how they had no time for anyone or anything. I had a different rendition of Rugged Cowboy already written, but knew it needed to go on that beat after hearing the theme of the voiceover. So after adjusting the lyrics a little bit, I got it so it fit perfectly with the already estranged, cold nature of the song. It is simply about the life of a cowboy and how they are their own keepers and answer to no one. Their freedom is always going to be leaving instead of loving. It also reminds one to not get too involved with them romantically, and if you do, be ready for heartbreak.

What is the typical day of creation like for Cookie?
I feel when I'm creating how it comes about is never really typical. When that writer's spark hits it comes to be in many different formats. I've dreamt of some of the songs I've written and remembered every part and composed it after waking. I've drank a few and have spontaneously written, and I've heard lines or phrases that sound catchy or see expressions on people's faces and see a phrase in my mind that gives me inspiration to write.

What do you have plan for the near future?

I will be performing at a poetry event here in town, three months from now at a friend's wedding, and hopefully soon will produce to the best of my ability, my next single.
If you could do anything else what would it be?

Well since I'm a struggling artist and have to have steady income to pay the bills, I am currently a teacher's aide working alongside children on the autism spectrum.

Any last remarks

I would love love love to meet and perform with Shania Twain! I love her music and love how she's always fought for her dreams even in the bleakest of times. She is true to who she is and gives no bones about what others have to say in regards to her being "country enough." She is beautiful, bold and just who she is and
I absolutely love and adore her for that. - Flyah Magazine

"Amber Otto Live Interview"
Listen to full interview on Rich Myers Podcast on Spotify

Watch full live video interview on - Rich Myers

"Oh Say Can you Sing (For Macker)"

Newspaper article:
Amber Cooke impresses the judges with a powerful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner during her audition. (Was chosen to sing the National Anthem at the Gus Macker basketball tournament after auditioning for judges). - Brian Ferry (Warren Times Observer)

"Just keep on singing"

Newspaper article highlighting artist cookie for making Erie Sem-finalists in the Erie Idol competition - Warren Times Observer

"Songs and Sonnets"

Musicians participating mentioned including Amber Cooke (aka Cookie) performing songs and sonnets written by Jim Morrison (The Doors) at the PACA theatre on Sept. 28th 2013. - Dave Richards (The Showcase)

"Festival of Trees"

Vocalist Amber Cooke performs during Festival of Trees at the Bayfront Convention Center on Wednesday, Nov. 27th 2013 - Lake Erie Lifestyles magazine

"Festival of Trees"

Singer Amber Cooke performs during the Festival of Trees - Erie-Times Newspaper


Performing during the Warren Buskers Festival are the summer school Show choir, Francesca Beuger (8) in an improvisational dance to When I Grow up; and singer Amber Cooke (aka Cookie) - Warren Times Observer (Brian Ferry)

"Performing at WASU"

As a fundraiser, live bands will play at the Warren Area Student Union on Friday Feb. 17th beginning at 7 p.m. The band line up will be Wake u, Wasteland, East Coast Rhythm, Amber Cooke, and Lab Mice Rebellion. At the end of the evening there will be a drawing for a cash door prize. - Warren Times Observer


Above, Amber Cooke's voice alters an interactive painting at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Inc. On East Third Street in Jamestown. A new Infinity course, called "ARTfusion: Experimenting Interactive Art infused with Colour-Changing LEDs," will begin Wednesday. Below Steve French, of Big Leg Emma, examines an interactive painting inspired by the band Smackdab. French will lead the new Infinity course with band mate Charity Nuse. The course, meant for children ages 8 through 18, will combine technology and art. - The Post Journal (newspaper article)

"Blues for Bruce"

Highlight of the Bruce Peterson Blues Project Band that included Amber Cooke, Cale Hawkins, Austin May, Steve Lunsten, Joe Liuzzo (Jr.), Daniel Witherspoon, Jeremy Bunce, Sean Berry, Kenny and one other member. At time band was putting on show for the "Blues for Bruce" memorial in honor of deceased Blues musician Bruce Peterson. - Joe Liuzzo

"Infinity is Helping Youth as Region's Only Community Music School"

"One by One they pick up just listening. Then they're all playing together. Saxaphone, electric organ, electriv guitars, and drums as Amber Cooke wails the lyrics to "Voodoo Woman." "Alright hold on a minute." Graham Infinity founder and executive director calls to cut the jam session for a minute. The purpose is to explain the style and rules for a Blues contest in Buffalo. "Voodoo Woman" comes close to the end and he wants them to transition smoothly out.

The students nod their understanding and pick up jamming again.
"If there was no Infinity, I doubt if any of us would be here," said Daniel Witherspoon Infinity's drummer. - Steven M. Sweeney (Post Journal)

"Erie Singer-Songwriter"


Erie Times News
Erie singer-songwriter Amber 'Cookie' Otto advances in national music competition
Erie Times-News
August 18, 2022, 9:45 am
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to fix the spelling of Otto's maiden name and the venue where she opened for Aaron Tippin.

Amber Otto began singing to friends and family at age 5. She tried her hand at songwriting at 9. Later, she performed in a blues band and, as a solo artist, opened for country music legend Aaron Tippin at Betts Park in Warren, and for other acts like Kool & The Gang and Lil Scrappy. She also sang before a NASCAR race in Watkins Glen.

Now Otto, 36, an Erie resident, hopes to take her talents to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Otto, who performs under the stage name "Cookie" — a nickname derived from her maiden name "Cooke" — is trying to advance to the quarterfinals of Audacy's Opening Act competition to play before a star-studded lineup and for a $10,000 cash prize.

Otto had to apply to be entered into the competition by submitting videos and digital music of her performances.

"That in and of itself to me was a feat because it's like, holy cow, somebody out there in the world, in the big, old world of California, thought that I was good enough to enter into this competition," Otto said.

Pursuing musical dreams: Erie's Matt Boland making name for himself playing gigs in Austin

A Spring Creek, Warren County native, Otto says her music is influenced by a range of genres: country, soul, blues, Motown and pop, though most of her lyrics are in the vein of country music. She told Audacy that the artist she'd most like to collaborate with is Shania Twain.

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

Audacy, formerly, is a "multi-platform audio content and entertainment company." It has yet to announce the date or lineup for its We Can Survive concert, which benefits the American Society of Suicide Prevention, but the Oct. 23, 2021, show lineup featured the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Doja Cat, Maroon 5, Saweetie, Shawn Mendes and Kid Laroi.

Otto, who works as an in-home personal care assistant, found out about the competition from an ad on social media.

"It kind of pulled my interest because it said if you're a singer or songwriter and trying to get your music out there, enter the competition and if you're selected as the opening act, then you'd have the chance to open at the Hollywood Bowl, which is out in LA and it's their big amphitheater stage right in front of that Hollywood sign," she said. "I was like, 'oh my God, that would be an amazing opportunity.' I am a singer-songwriter and that would be an even better way to get my music out that far, to have that much of a reach."

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

To advance, Cookie needs the votes of fans. She's already advanced through four rounds. To vote for Cookie, go to her Opening Act page at Voting in the current round ends at 11 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) Thursday.

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

"That's not even like the main reason why I want to do this," she said about 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 that in front of so many different people, to expose who you are as well as what your music is and what it represents for you."

Vote for Cookie

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie singer hopes to win music contest, perform at Hollywood Bowl - Erie Times News

"Erie Singer & Songwriter Entered in the Opening Act Competition"

An Erie singer/songwriter has a chance to perform at the Hollywood Bowl, but she needs fan support to make it happen.

Amber Otto, or Cookie, as she's known, performed today at voices for Independence in Millcreek.

Cookie is among 10 finalists in the Opening Act competition, where fans vote choose an opening act the upcoming Hollywood Bowl.

Music is driving force in her life, and she wants to share her love of music with a huge audience in Hollywood.

"I just hope that whatever I share whether it's material that people are familiar with or if it's something that I've come up with on my own, I just I hope that people can connect and resonate with what I'm trying to say," said Cookie.

For more information on how to vote for Otto/Cookie visit here. - Erie News Now

"Erie Singer/Songwriter Top 10 Finalist in Opening Act Competition"

An Erie singer/songwriter has a chance to perform at the Hollywood Bowl, but she needs your support to make it happen.

Amber Otto also known as Cookie is among ten finalists in the "Opening Act" competition where fans vote choose an opening act for the upcoming Hollywood Bowl.

Ott came on Erie News Now Sunrise to perform on Monday morning.

To cast your vote for Otto, click here. - Erie News Now


Title: It is What it is
Primary artist: Cookie
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Publisher name & year Amber Lee Otto 2021
Release date: 17 Apr 2021Version: Original (Clean)
Copyright name & year Amber Lee Otto 2021

Title: Hurt Soul
Primary artist: Cookie
Version: Original (Clean)
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Copyright name & year Amber Lee Otto 2021
Publisher name & year Amber Lee Otto 2021
Release date: 07 Feb 2021

Title: Rugged Cowboy
Primary artist: Cookie
Version: Original (Clean)
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Copyright name & year Ganga Beats 2021
Publisher name & year Vanja Savcic 2021
Release date: 31 Aug 2021

Title: Christmas Time

Primary artist: Cookie
Version: Original (Clean)
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Copyright name & year Amber Otto 2021
Publisher name & year Amber Otto 2021
Release date: 10 Dec 2021

Title: Free

Primary artist: Cookie
Version: Original (Clean)
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Copyright name & year Amber Otto 2022
Publisher name & year Amber Otto 2022
Release date: 03 Mar 2022

Title: You're Home

Primary artist: Cookie
Version: Original (Clean)
Genre: Country
Label: Independent
Copyright name & year Cookie 2022
Publisher name & year Cookie 2022
Release date: 11 May 2022



Erie, Pennsylvania May. 23rd, 2022

On December 26th 2021, the new independent artist that goes by the name of Cookie was Number Two on the N1M charts (NumberOne Music charts) for local country music. Her single "Rugged Cowboy" which was released on August 31st, 2021 caught the attention of fans who follow her music on this site. She celebrated it becoming number one on the charts on December 5th for the first time since its release, and also another original of hers "Hurt Soul" slid into the number one spot on December 13th. She is also currently ranked as number 3 on Reverbnation charts for local country music and number 4 on regional charts. 

While still fairly new to music as a solo artist and singer/songwriter, Cookie (real name Amber Otto previously Amber Cooke), has been singing and performing since the tender age of five. While seeing her creative ability as a hobby upon its starts, she began taking music and what it could do for her more seriously after becoming  a vocalist in a blues band at the Infinity Performing Arts Cafe of Jamestown NY. Through Infinity, she was able to perform at several of the venues within the New York state region as well as perform at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, and compete in a blues music competition while at the Lafayette Tap Room of Buffalo New York. 

Aside from Infinity, her talent has been spotted by those watching and listening throughout her various music ventures, giving her opportunities to perform as an opening act for artists such as Lil' Scrappy (Hip-hop artist now on Love and Hip Hop), Aaron Tippin (Country artist), and Kool and the Gang (R&B funk band). She was also selected as one of the top "go to" vocalists within the Erie Pennsylvania area to contact for the singing of the National Anthem. This lead her to sing our country's anthem at two different Monster Jam events and in the summer of 2021 in August, was able to share her voice to kick off the "Go Bowling at the Glen NASCAR cup series"weekend event. 

Some of Cookie's musical influences are the soulful and sultry sounds of Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain, Tammy Wynette, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, Johnny Cash and many more. Though more familiar in performing cover songs, she has embraced her own sound and currently has her music available on all music platforms including SoundCloud, Spotify,Youtube Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Napster, itunes, Shazam etc.

She stays true to her powerhouse, soulful vocals but combines them with her new found love of playing acoustic guitar and country rooted background that came from several of her family members; closest being her Grandfather. She describes her sound as one where the "country ends and soul begins." She previously shared with a local newspaper that she hopes to one day be an artist that you hear on the radio and states to "Just keep singing," because you never know where it might lead. 

To listen to Cookie today follow her on:

Band Members