AMY Vee had big plans for 2020.
There was gonna be an extensive national tour to support her 2019 album Same Skin and she was to star in Chess The Musical at the Civic Theatre, which featured New York-based actor David Harris and Australian theatre star Silvie Paladino.
The Newcastle singer-songwriter was expecting to be so overwhelmed with musical projects she resigned from her job of 13 years as a senior project manager with mental health organisation, Everymind, in February.
Then COVID-19 hit. Almost overnight Vee saw months of work evaporate.
"When it all first hit around March, when all the big cancellations started happening, I was supposed to be doing a theatre production at the end of March," Vee says.
"We got to two weeks out from actually staging it and the whole thing collapsed. I felt a little bit paralysed to begin with.
"It was that thing of, 'What do I do now?' Literally everything I had was now gone."
Vee certainly had plenty to occupy her time. She had to home-school her daughter, who had just started kindergarten, and there was her three-year-old son to care for, plus post-graduate study.
Without any gigs, she relied on JobKeeper and freelance work copy writing and teaching at TAFE.
But what Vee really needed was to remain creative. An outlet to funnel the feelings of stress and loss she was experiencing as her industry collapsed under COVID-19 restrictions.
So Vee began writing and the result was the single Forget Me, which was recorded by long-time producer Gareth Hudson at Hazy Cosmic Jive studio.
"It took a while to feel like I was capable of creating something," she says. "I needed that time to process it all. That's when I felt like my head was spiralling a little bit.
"As I emerged from it, that's when that song began and evolved from that."
Forget Me with its chorus of "Help me to forget me" is one of Vee's darkest compositions, exploring her own mental health struggles during the pandemic, coloured with her typically lush brand of indie-folk.
"It was really based on my own experience, but I feel people will really relate to it because this time has been so challenging for everyone," she says. "Even people who may be mentally well, I imagine everybody has had some difficult time during all of this.
"I think for people who live with mental health challenges it must be just a whole other layer having to cope with daily life."
Vee says she feels uncomfortable scheduling any capped live shows due to the current situation, but plans a live-stream performance to launch Forget Me in the coming weeks.
Amy Vee's single Forget Me is out on August 21.