With a variety of spellings and pronunciations, Amanie is a prominent name that exists in numerous languages and dialects around the world. Definitions of the common name include:
1) ‘peace’ in Swahili
2) ‘wishes’ in Arabic &
3) ‘to be hated against’ in the tribal language of Kakwa of South Sudan, Africa.
Oddly enough, hate was the intended meaning behind the singer and songwriter, who has also taken on roles as a producer, model, author, web designer and artist. Incorporating her dynamic word combinations with an eclectic sound, Amanie has been making her mark on the Canadian music scene and creating a growing buzz on international grounds. Her current success is a far cry from her stage name “amanie illfated”, and to that she says:
“It’s a sarcastic statement towards those that believe your passion will lead you to a bad future…”
Her latest self-titled release, “amanie illfated” (November 2015), is a candid expression of her paradox like nature, high fashion styling, metaphoric lyrics and her diary-like motif and clear toned, youthful voice. It contains 3 of her most popular singles, ballad “Letter to Myself”, upbeat pop track “Ultimate Candy” and the Afro-beat collaboration called “You & Me”. About this release, Amanie says:
“ This EP is a combination of feelings put into sound. The journey that it took to get to where I am today was filled with so many ups and downs that really pushed me lyrically and showed sides of myself that I didn’t know existed. I hope that listeners can relate to these feelings, words and sounds…”
Standing at 5’6”, the South Sudanese-born singer with a tiny frame and anomalous facial features has had her fair share of battles, including the battle of her lifetime. In 1992, Amanie’s family immigrated to Regina, Saskatchewan from the war-torn country of what is now South Sudan. Within the first few months of life in Canada, Amanie turned on the radio and made a decision that would create a massive war in her new home: music versus parents versus society.
Amanie has seen the murky side of life, but currently strides on the bright claiming notoriety for ‘being the killed and being the killer’. Music officially began after years of traditional dances for special events and even performing for Mayor Pat Fiacco at the Center of the Arts. After years of toying with the idea, Amanie wrote her first song as early as 9 years old. By 12 years old, Amanie had recorded in her make-shift basement studio and performed many songs in public, began playing piano and producing and was leading the South Sudanese children’s choir. It wasn’t long before she wrote enough material to produce and put out the promotional album “lost with directions”. Amanie’s parents direly hated the idea and Amanie found difficulty expressing her aspirations and making friends in schools where racism and classism were prevalent.
Her stubborn nature brought her out to Scarborough, Ontario, where she attended a digital music production class at SATEC. This led Amanie to numerous industry professionals and even landed her in the modeling industry, which boosted her local image and helped her stand out in the crowded industry. The modeling career brought her opportunities to open for artists such as P-Square at the Ricoh Coliseum and Kobo Town at the Gladstone Hotel. Her music also caught the attention of Yaba Angelosi, who collaborated with her for the dance/pop single “You & Me” in Nashville, Tennessee. This single was well received by radio stations such as CIUT FM in Toronto and SHMU FM in Scotland, and led her to even more industry professionals. She has since worked with many local and international producers and engineers, including Caroline Akwe of LKCollective and David Klotz.
In February, 2016, Amanie began working with reggae band Feeling the One Drop. Throughout the year they collaborated on an LP called ‘Titan’ and performed at the Central, Gladstone Hotel and the Cameron House in Toronto. The Ska-laced single ‘Screw It’ is featured on the band’s self-titled album. The next single to be released from the LP is “Make Up Your Mind”, a sexy dance-hall track.
Amanie is currently performing at events and festivals – such as Afrofest Toronto and Open Tuning Festival – throughout Canada and working on an EP called ‘Saturn’ set to be released in 2017.