Underground Spotlight: Amaria
Monthly Listeners: 56,774 (January 2021)
Musical Comparisons: Serena Isioma, Kali Uchis, Solange, SZA
My Favorite Project: N/A (But when she drops her debut, I guarantee I will be a fan)
My Favorite Tracks: “Moon,” “Roses,” “Morning,” “Waiting,” “Twilight”
Even though I haven’t written one of these articles in about as much time as it takes for an ACL to fully recover, I still am always looking for new artists to cover. It takes a perfect storm of enjoyment, production quality, and undergroundness (I don’t know if that’s a word, but we’re rolling with it) for me to write a full-length piece on them. I have been meaning to write about this artist for a while now, but for some reason, it has always slipped through the cracks. On the Underground Spotlight, I usually only focus on rappers, but there was absolutely no way I could shy away from writing about this artist; her music consistency is just as polished as her production and vocal performances. So, without further ado, let’s move on to artist number eight!!
On today’s spotlight, I have chosen the prolific singer and songwriter, Amaria. Amaria is a Tampa native who started her cinematography journey way before music was even in consideration. She started making videos on YouTube when she was 11, and she eventually started to learn film and video production. Eventually, she began photographing and recording various artists. This then led to musicians recommending that she start making music herself. She gave it a try, and a star was born. Since this musical awakening, she has dropped quite a few fantastic singles produced by herself or various other producers. Amaria is known for her funky and relaxing instrumentals that complement her delicate voice.
Last summer, while scrolling through Twitter one day, I saw a video liked by a few artists I enjoy. Since I spend countless hours mind-numbingly letting pointless videos enter my psyche, my expectations weren't exactly the highest. Once I clicked the video, I heard something familiar. The classic and catchy phrase, “I remember when, I remember remember when I lost my mind...” zig-zagged into my ears so beautifully that I had to pause the video. While paused, I sat there and acknowledged the pure charm the song contained. The bass-heavy and softer cover of Gnarls Barkey’s immensely successful hit “Crazy” was creative, unique, and something that piqued my interest. After listening to this cover quite a few times and giving it a retweet, I went to her Spotify account to find out she somehow was super underappreciated and super fucking good. At the time I looked at her account, she only had three songs on there. Each song was as good as the next.
The first aspect of Amaria’s music I noticed was how the instrumentals acted like a massage. If we are looking at her instrumentals specifically, the undertone of the instrumental descends you happily into your sofa. Whether it's the soft, translucent drums or the creamy bass chords that sparkle off her fingers, the meat and potatoes of the song graciously hypnotize you to having an infinite soft smile. As that alone can gravitate listeners to one’s music, what really makes Amaria’s music everlasting is the dash of spice she adds to every tune. This “spice” can simply be the echoing synth in “Morning” or the ever-slow building twinkles in “Waiting.” Every particular instrument she chooses coats the song in a layer of sparkling gold and DMT. By doing this, the song is enhanced to its full potential. So, when the whole track comes together, it leaves every listener floating on a cloud of music heaven.
But, this musical heaven doesn't strictly come from the instrumentals. On top of the glossy instrumentals, Amaria’s voice is on caliber with some of my favorite female singers. Her celestial voice makes my body slip happily into the clouds above. Each vocal inflection is substantial and heavy, yet as fragile as a cup made of sand. Even though one might think that fragility is a weakness, it is actually a purposeful strength as it correlates with the subject matter of her songs. Her voice is a mixed concoction of confidence and vulnerability portrayed in a way so vividly that anyone can find something to love about it. If you and your significant other are on the brink of a breakup, you can relate to that vulnerability. If you and your significant other just ate some of the best-cooked meals you two could ever fathom creating, you can both grab your forks and confidently sing “Roses” into them like they are microphones. Each listener can relate to this subject matter and find something to love about it.
Even if the voice or the music somehow isn’t your cup of tea, Amaria adds one of her core interests to almost every track: cinematography. A lot of Amaria’s music isn’t even on any streaming platforms because she takes the time to put a visual onto it and throw it on Instagram. The list of covers and snippets are endless. These covers or snippets can be a “Crazy” cover I talked about at the beginning of this article. It can be a random beat she decided to make when she was bored. Hell, it can even be the remix to a Christmas carol she made during the Christmas season! All of these intricacies Amaria adds to her music makes her art as layered as an onion. On top of that, she recently even opened a Twilight/Moon merch collection. Each piece of cinematography or merchandise she creates gives her an enriched portfolio of artistry. This versatility gives her a broader audience and will only help her inevitable explosion onto the pop scene.
If I were a betting man, I would say that she will be at the top of the music world in the near future. Her angelic voice compliments her instrumentals at a rate that I rarely see. On top of that, her versatility and background as not only a musician but as an artist is admirable and contains explosive imagination. Her mind reminds me of Tyler, the Creator with the amount of imagination and ideas she has. I cannot wait for her upcoming EP that is set to drop, as well as for her future endeavors in not just the musical world, but also the film world. Her most recent song “Roses” just came out, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. The only thing I can say is: Hop on the bandwagon before she is on the billboards ballin’. Well, that’s all I got. Peace!!