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Artist Aux Interview: Amaarae

Written by: Eno Okon

Amaarae stands as a voice for the youth, you can see it from the way she dresses to her many eccentric hairstyles. Amaarae is paving the way for young people everywhere to live in their truth and be their authentic selves. You can see this in her new project ‘THE ANGEL YOU DON’T KNOW’ that’s paving its own way in the African music scene.

Amaarae got her name from the Neo-Soul artist Corinne Bailey Rae, with her first name being Ama she blended it with Rae, and Amaarae was created. Surprisingly, Amaarae didn’t originally start off singing; she was actually a rapper. She stopped once a friend heard her voice and pushed her to go down that route instead. “Singing gives you so much variety when it comes to music, there’s more to work with. Most rappers started singing later on in their career like 50 Cent, Drake, Ja Rule, etc…”

Amaarae’s initially was producing her own songs. “Everything you hear on Passionfruit Summers was me producing those tracks. As an artist sometimes only you can understand your vision, which is why I started producing my own songs in the beginning”

She then went on to start executive producing and collaborating with other producers who understood her vision. Amaarae gives credit to artists like Kelis, Billie Holiday, Young Thug, and D’Angelo for having an influence on her artistry. Having lived in Atlanta, she credits the Trap music scene for influencing her music taste as she listened to everyone from T.I. to D4L.

Amaarae told us some of her plans for the future. She wants to help young African women by building learning centers. “They can come and learn science, technology, music, have access to lawyers and help them build better lives for themselves”. Amaarae encourages people to live in their truth. “As a human being, you retain the right to your freedom - mental, physical, emotional, financial, sexual, etc. Being a young African we’ve been bred with our core values out of fear.”

‘THE ANGEL YOU DON’T KNOW’ caters to all people worldwide, and she gives us another perspective on what it means to be an African artist. Amaarae is also introducing other well-known artists on beats we’ve never heard them on before. Listening to songs like ‘FANTASY’, one wouldn’t usually hear a CKay on that type of record. Amaarae is a prime example of the fact that there’s not just one way to make African music. Amaarae’s high pitched angelic voice over these Alternative sounds incorporating elements of Pop & Rock is what make ‘THE ANGEL YOU KNOW’ such a unique project. On this project Amaarae unapologetically as herself and you can’t help but love it, it’s nothing the African music scene has ever heard before.

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