Amber Mark for @irkmagazine | By @juliacomita | Hair @nikoweddle | make up @raisaflowers
Celebrities, Culture, Music

How Amber Mark’s cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” Did and Didn’t Surprise Me

It’s just too good.

I’m shocked that:

Heart-Shaped Box is a cover song from Nirvana.

This rock classic that apparently true rock heads would know is totally lost on me, but when I first heard it (just now) it felt like a home of sorts, musically. I had already embodied Smells Like Teen Spirit and heard countless reinterpretations. So this was nice to still be discovering something new from a band that has for years inspired me performance-wise.

I’m also delightfully surprised that

Amber Mark produced it.

In fact, she produces ALL her music.

That factoid totally blew me away. She’s only in her early 20’s and has produced two critically acclaimed albums. Yes, I said PRODUCED. She is a producer and engineer – proof that you CAN be good at more than one thing. “I enjoy working alone because I can be most creative,” she says, so that means there’s not one fucking with her vibe. Her sound and message come through so STRONG in her lyrics. She’s mysterious yet grounded, assertive yet vulnerable, and even apprehensive in the songs I love by her, like “Put You On,” “Love Me Right,” newer singles, the I wanna fuck you rat now level sexy trap-inspired R&B song “Generous,” and of course, although the lyrics aren’t her own, “Heart-Shaped Box.”


Here’s what I’m NOT surprised about:

Amber’s reinterpretation of the song is so DOPE!

I mean, it sounds nothing like the original but it still stays true to the sentiment of the original. And I’ve gotten used to the way she does her melodies, they are very pop-like, melodic, bouncy, catchy, and memorable. But this? This was something that was turned on its head. It will have you nodding your head with a stank face on. That BOUNCE though!


Amber’s turning world’s pain into a project.

I’m  not surprised that she’s doing what artists do sometimes, and taking this opportunity of the downtime of quarantine to create. COVERED-19, her self isolation playlist, will have a new upload every 2 weeks of covers. (So far it only has 2 songs, “Heart-Shaped Box,” and “Waiting,” so I won’t post it here because it’s not robust enough yet – but follow Amber’s COVID – 19 inspired playlist on Spotify.)

An ode to creating in solitude, I guess 2 heads are not better than one in this case.

Love you guys, and feel no pressure. Just work, live, and love at your own pace, but enjoy this shit. She also did a video for the song. Very much on the brand (including the twerk. I don’t see how you can have a homemade video without twerk at this point – I wouldn’t). Very much enjoyable, but still just a tease for the full track.