• Claire S.

Upcoming Artists to Watch - Amari

Amari first got into music during his car rides home from school as a kid, where he listened to Stevie Wonder, The O’Jays, and other R&B artists. From there he began listening to hip hop and rock and roll. He was always open to hearing new sounds. In high school, one of his classmates wanted to write music but didn’t have a beatmaker, so Amari went into GarageBand and made beats for him. It wasn’t until college where Amari figured out that he could do more than that. He found that his willingness to listen to anything really opened him up to a lot of new possibilities, and he began chopping up old songs and playing around with that.

“I always had something to say,” said Amari of his transition to writing lyrics, too. He used to write poetry and short stories and wasn’t good at first, but he has grown a lot as a writer. He likes to tell a story with his music. His last EP, titled From: Me To: You, sent a message of confidence and hope to his listeners, that anything they set their minds to is possible. That’s why the album cover shows him giving a gift, because he is bestowing them with that knowledge.

Amari would describe his genre as alternative hip hop: like Tyler the Creator meets Kanye West. His music is not only fun but also inspires relief and promotes encouragement. He believes in himself and his fans, which is clear to understand when listening to his music.

In terms of his creative process, Amari would consider himself a beatmaker first and a lyricist second. He makes as many beats as he can, and then if he can get a solid melody or hook, he’ll stop and write it down before he keeps going. He keeps creating until something flows.

As an artist, Amari feels like he has a lot of individuality and confidence. The sounds he makes are completely him. He loves to grow and knows exactly how he wants himself to sound.

Childish Gambino is a huge role model for Amari because he is not only an actor, but a director, writer, and singer. He is someone who doesn’t want to fit into a box and has the opportunity to do that. He is also inspired a lot by Tyler the Creator, who he said, “wants to reach an unknown feeling,” and Russ, who had a great come up. He would love to just watch them create and take notes.

Amari has performed a couple of times. He used to have stage fright, but by the second time he performed it was gone. He remembered walking on and off stage, but the actual performance was the blur. He had been in a whole different zone and hadn’t messed up a single part.

Amari feels that the music the industry features isn’t always what’s needed. They “don’t always know what to give different communities.” Sometimes he thinks that they don’t promote certain artists to communities that would enjoy them or benefit from them the most.

Amari has a mixtape coming out in December, as well as the release of a few singles. Next year, he’s planning to come out with more singles and then an album. He has the next two years planned out with projects he wants to work on. Amari knows his sound is unique and is more concerned with building a loyal fanbase who appreciates his authentic sound rather than making something mainstream that might appeal to more people.