Amey was well on her way to a successful career in music in the mid-nineties when fate intervened. After giving birth to her daughter, Amey developed crippling postnatal depression and her band broke up, leading to a period of alcohol and drug addiction. Now free from her illness and addiction, she is able to commit herself to music once again. As well as singing, Amey is also an actor and has appeared in music videos for the likes of Krept & Konan and Big Narstie. She has also recently written and performed a theatrical piece with her daughter Zakia, called Voices Of The Motherland, exploring their relationship and touching upon issues of immigration, race, family and identity.
We got a chance to ask Amey some questions, here’s what she had to say.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“My musical influences growing up were really diverse. Artists like Bob Marley, Dillinger, Big Youth to Kate Bush, Grace Jones, Prefab Sprout and Barbra Streisand. LOL.”
You have had a varied career as a singer, songwriter, actor and model. You have featured in films and music videos, and most recently has been working on a theatrical piece with her daughter Zakia, how did you find working in Theatrical with your daughter?
“Working with my daughter on “Voices of the Motherland” was both wonderful and difficult in equal measures. The piece is about our relationship which has had its ups and downs. Working on the play was therapeutic but required quite a lot of emotional labour. Zakia and I have the best relationship we could hope for now, partly as a result of working together on the piece.”
You have provided vocals for several bands in the 1990s, including The Thompson Twins and Baby Ford, how did you find working with these artists?
“Both Baby Ford and The Thompson Twins were really good bands to work for. They were easy to get on with and very down to earth. They helped me to develop as an artist and made me feel part of. One of the tricks of the trade I learnt from Baby Ford was how to almost go into character while delivering a song. It’s a skill I use to this day.”
Do you feel there is enough help around your local music scene for people like yourself to get their name out there?
“These days there are many more opportunities for independent artists than there ever were. However, I believe it’s up to the individual artist to put in as much work as they can.
I’ve been on local radio promoting my work and contacted music bloggers. I’ve also emailed DJs who play music in my genre on internet radio stations and had a few plays on the radio.
Of course, now we can also pay for music PR.”
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“I make my music so that hopefully people will be able to sing along to the catchy melodies and lyrics and also shake a leg to the beat. I write positive, upbeat uplifting lyrics which are designed to encourage and empower. I have 5 songs which I have worked on recently which I intend to release as singles. after this release of “Life’s Too Short” I will release a song called “Do You Feel It Too” produced by Dan Clarke.”
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“Uplifting, positive and empowering.”
How do you find the process for song writing?
“My song writing process goes like this: I’m in bed on the verge of sleep when I start getting ideas in my head. I get up find my phone and record the ideas. a couple of days later I listen to the ideas then work on them.”
You started your amazing career in the 90’s, how much has the industry changed and how have you found it?
“In the 90s record companies ruled but nowadays independent artists are where it’s at. Former independent artists like Stormzy have made a success of themselves which is really encouraging for artists like me. There is hope for success if you work smart, believe in yourself and don’t give up.”
What makes your music stand out?
“I think my positive lyrics and the hypnotic beats are what make my music stand out.”
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
“I am hoping that after lockdown a friend will put me on somewhere in London. I was meant to play before but it was cancelled. I tend to sing a few songs at open mics to stay on top of my skills.”
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“I do a bit of performing on psychiatric wards to help lift the service users’ spirits. I would like to be remembered for making people less fortunate than myself happy.”
Do you have any gig’s coming up?
“I will have gigs lined up in 2021…Watch this space!!”
By Siân Parker