AME interview: Amy on the 90s, TV talent shows and female role models

Posted on 29 April 2012
By Amber Tan
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Bright new talent Amy Kabba aka A*M*E is causing a scene in the pop world and winning new fans with her infectious, 90’s-inspired, quirky pop.

Amy, 17, fled war-torn Sierra Leone with her family aged eight and grew up in South London. She finished school last year to pursue her pop career and has created her own fanzine The A*M*E.

Halfway between Just 17 and SuperSuper the magazine is all about A*M*E’s take on the world and her love of fashion, music, the 90’s and everything in between and with the first issue a resounding success, the second is due to hit the streets.

How did you get into music?
Amy: I grew up surrounded by music and was inspired by my dad who is in a band in Sierra Leone where I’d watch him and learn from his band rehearsing and touring. It was hard to dip my toe in where I could, singing at my age, I couldn’t get in anywhere as I was too young.
I joined the school choir Music For Youth and progressed to lead singer.

Do you play any instruments?
I have dabbled in learning the drums, guitar and keyboards but have stuck to singing! I used to steal some of my dad’s chords and re-write his lyrics.

Which female artists do you look to for inspiration?
My music heroines are Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Adele, Rhianna for her attitude, she isn’t bubblegum bullshit and it’s refreshing to see her honesty, Emeli Sande and Aretha Franklin. I love Beyonce – she has it all, the style, the voice and I’m very influenced by 90s. I wanna do pop music but break the stereotype and put my own stamp on it by taking 90s elements but giving it an A.M.E. flavour.

On her music career and longevity, Amy said I want my music career to be long and successful, not a one-hit wonder. I want to break the mould for pop and be different.

On The Voice TV talent show Amy said she thinks it’s a good concept and likes that the judges can’t see their faces, so they focus on just their voices alone., she said: “I’m not into Britain’s Got Talent or X-Factor, they’re both too staged.”

Upon reading uber zine 1993 Future Throwback, Amy said: “The 90s generation was a great time in music, it was more experimental, the fashion was great and it all coincided in one big melting pot. I think we’ve lost that with a lot of pop music today. Today everything sounds the same and all the new artists are sticking to a formula with Auto-tuned crap.”

The talented Amy then took to our Amy Winehouse tee-shirt and customised it with pop badges, disco balls and graffiti.