South London visionary Amani is a multidisciplinary performer. Composing her own songs, creating the artwork and involving herself in the production process, she takes control of her artistic narrative. Her music is rich and emotive, flowing with colourful sounds, vivid textures and captivating global concepts.
Releasing her new single “Power Games” back in March, the track is accompanied by a striking set of visuals directed by filmmaker Neal Howland. Using the natural landscape as his creative canvas, the video captures ephemeral moments of beauty as his lens weaves its way through India’s busy market stalls, across sweeping sand dunes and clustered brick buildings.
“In a land of sensory overload I’ve seen, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled more than I ever thought possible. Honestly, words fail me. So, this is my attempt to answer that question” Neal offers. Human beings are at the centre of his visual tale, capturing intimate interactions between the residents of this beautiful country.
Unearthing artistic inspiration from the world around her, Amani’s emotive vocals soar effortlessly over a rich tapestry of textured rhythms. “‘Power Games’ is about breaking the chains that hold you back” she explains, liberating herself from shackles that confined her – artistically and personally.
We spoke to Amani to learn a little more about the release of “Power Games” and why she feels art and music are essential tools during turbulent times.
Could you tell us a little more about your new track “Power Games”? You mention it’s about “breaking the chains that hold you back” – does this refer to a certain moment in your life in particular?
“Power Games” was a song I wrote with very few emotions attached. It’s about letting go of all the toxic people around me in the music industry, all those trying to push me into places and paths I wasn’t keen on going. I didn’t want to be managed or dictated to by anyone anymore, so sacked it all off where necessary.
The video is incredibly striking – what made you compliment the audio with this set of visuals?
The visual is stunning. I felt it was very grounding and it has a beautiful message about freedom, self sufficiency, exploration and spirituality – everything I was looking to achieve with my own music.
The video ends quite abruptly, plunging the viewer into darkness. What did you want to achieve with this effect?
The video ends with an individual walking into the distance and then it cuts to darkness. I wanted to give the viewer to absorb the visuals in front of them, confronted with nothing but their own thoughts – to set a place of stillness.
Can you talk us through your creative process in a little more detail?
Creativity is an impulse and an obsession – it’s hard to say how it all gets processed. It seems to find it’s own way most of the time.
How did you link up with Neal Howland for this release?
I contacted him via Vimeo – perfect way to meet some amazing people.
Why do you create?
I love it and I can get very passionate about it!
Your releases are usually accompanied by striking, arresting videos. Is it important for you to combine film and music?
Yes – I’m not one to be in my videos dancing around, I feel like there is more substance out there that people can connect to.
What are your plans for 2020?
I’m having a baby in a few weeks! So I will be spending time with my little one and when I get a free minute I’ll be creating more music and connecting with like-minded creatives and sharing our passion.
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photos / courtesy of the artist
story / Bryony Holdswoth