Five Questions with Amanyea
Music has historically been a celebrated mode of expression and storytelling. Oftentimes artistes use their craft to tell of their own experiences and delve into usually taboo or controversial topics. For dancer-turned-recording artiste Amanyea, her newest single, Friends + Tax, does just that.
Amanyea is no stranger to the industry, having worked as a full-time dancer with several celebrities, including Sean Paul and hip hop artiste Cardi B. But following a diagnosis of joint hypermobility syndrome, she made a full-time transition into music as it was a passion of hers for a long time. In 2018, she released her first single, Aye Aye, which was a fusion of Caribbean and international sounds. Now with more years of experience under her belt and a confident personality and strong sense of self, Amanyea is ready to make her mark on the local and international music scene.
For this week’s Five Questions, she speaks to The Gleaner about her new track and opens up about its inspiration, her journey as a singer, and her plans for the rest of the year.
1. Who exactly is a ‘friend + tax’?
Your ‘friend + tax’ is a platonic relationship that is intimately beneficial without the pressure of commitment.
2. What exactly was the inspiration for the track? How long did it take for you to write it and for it to be produced?
I had a friend that I started to share ‘intimate benefits’ with at the time, and I appreciated the relationship we had and decided to express this appreciation through writing. I wrote the song [same] time, so it took me one night to get the words down, but the production was done in two phases. It began with Koastal Kings, which transitioned into a collaboration with KALEX at Harry J studio.
3. This track is gearing up to be extremely edgy. And the video seems very intimate. As an artiste, is it ever difficult or intimidating to put on this kind of show for your fans/audience?
It’s neither difficult nor intimidating for me because I love to express my true feelings and be who I genuinely am, whether through movement or music. I just take myself back to the emotions I felt when I wrote the song. I used an actual friend in the video, and in the video, we did activities that were playful, and you will not see that part, but we laughed a lot at the mood we were portraying. It was a good energy and a nice vibe, which is what should happen when you have a ‘friend + tax’.
4) As a dancer-turned-recording artiste, what is the biggest lesson that this journey has taught you?
As you can imagine, dancing is [an] extremely different art form from singing. I had to understand and learn to use one art form to benefit the other, so my dance experience really contributed to how I write and perform. I write with [the] choreography in mind; my lyrics rhythmically contribute to how I imagine bodies would move to the song. For my performances, my experience with being a dancer has made me confident with how I present myself on stage as an artiste. I am comfortable with my body which makes me even more confident when I perform.
5) What other projects do you have coming up?
We are planning a performance showcase before the end of the year where I get to show everyone some really exciting songs that we have been working on. There is also a really interesting track that will be coming out of the Harry J & Trifactor Production Camp that is being executively produced by Tara Johnson that I absolutely can’t wait to release.