Palpable uncertainty of issues like Brexit, immigration and women’s rights threatens to douse the flames of creativity in the next generation. But in times of hardship, authentic voices, stories and creativity can always thrive.
Hackney native Amahla is a prime example of this. After graduating with a 1st class degree from UCL with a thesis on African American brutality, Amahla was mentored by Songwriter Carla Marie Williams (Beyonce, Britney Spears) as a finalist in her songwriting competition.
A year later Amahla was awarded the PRS Lynsey De Paul Prize for outstanding emerging female songwriters.
Amahla then closed 2018 as a recipient of the second ever MOBO Awards X Help Musicians Grant for her exceptional voice. Making industrious use of her community Amahla has cemented her reputation as one to watch for 2019.
The young artist has already performed at legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and Camden Roundhouse, as well as a forthcoming show at The Royal Albert Hall.
She also featured on the co-written “Red Honey” alongside Bronswood future bubbler Shunaji. The track landed the #1 spot on Radio 1Xtra’s EP of the week, where Amahla was named “One to Watch”.
She then released her first solo single “Old Soul”, garnering support from BBC Radio 1Xtra, 6Music and a number of tastemaker online media.
Looking to 2019, Amahla is set to release her full EP mid-February, with a launch event at The Roundhouse on February 19th.
The first release from the EP is the affecting, soulful and exquisitely performed “Dorothy’s Verses”. The track tells the story of Amahla’s grandmother, a domestic abuse survivor who now suffers from Alzheimer’s.
“Dorothy’s Verses” explores what truth is, looking back at her life through the lens of the fragmented memories she has now. It’s a song that’s reflective in its nature, telling a personal story, while also speaking broadly about the need to amplify women’s stories in the era of Me Too, a sentiment all fans can take something from.
“Dorothy’s Verses” is my grandmother’s story of looking at her life through a new lens of Alzheimer’s. But it’s also about the need to hear women speak from their truths. We’re living through Me Too, a movement where women are reclaiming their stories and pushing them into our collective memories, this is but/just one verse.