Amaarae’s debut full-length ‘The Angel You Don’t Know’ introduces itself with scuzzy guitars and caustic words, before flowing into the dreamy pop tones of empowerment anthem ‘Fancy’. It’s a confident opening statement befitting of an artist who values freedom of expression and making art on her own terms.
Born in New York City and growing up cross-continentally in Accra, Atlanta and New Jersey, the Ghanaian-American artist has been exposed to a melting pot of cultural inspirations, and has explored further beyond her own surroundings to discover all manner of different sounds and scenes. Her resulting music is a distinct fusion that’s intrinsically Amaarae as it deftly skips through Afrobeats, Baile Funk, amapiano, pop-punk, dancehall, r’n’b, progressive house and more.
‘The Angel You Don’t Know’ features collaborators such as Kojey Radical, Cruel Santino, Kyu Steed, 6ix, Moliy, Princess Adjua and KZ among its 14 tracks, all circling the orbit of Amaarae’s boundary breaking vision.
Speaking about the album, she said: “With this new project, this new chapter in my musical journey, I feel so incredibly alive. I strived to colour outside of the afro-pop parameters and re-define for myself what it means to create African music.
“What I loved most about this album is that I get to take all the influences that have shaped me and translate them into a completely new way to demonstrate my skill set. In many ways people are getting to know a really delicate, multifaceted version of me - my mission is that they meditate on it, enjoy it for what it is and allow some of these records to be the soundtrack to some beautiful memories in their lives.”
To coincide with the release, Amaarae has curated us a special playlist. Ever the master of fusion, she’s chosen the theme of acid jazz for the selections. Check it out below, alongside the video for new single ‘Jumping Ship’.
Stream ‘The Angel You Don’t Know’ here
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter
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