Amanda Black's #MMA16 silver lining: I can only stay true to myself
She has slowly won the hearts of fans across the country but soul pop princess Amanda Black tells TshisaLIVE that she has only just begun.
The star was one of the big winners at the Metro FM Music Awards (MMAs) winning Best RnB Album and the prestigious Listener’s Choice Award. She may have lost in the other categories she was nominated in but she said that she was still happy with her wins.
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“It was my first album and I walked away with two Metro FM Awards. That alone is amazing. I am a new artist and to get this kind of recognition already is an honour. Sure, people might be disappointed that I didn't win more, but I can only stay true to myself. I can’t wait for fans to see what is next,” she said.
"I’ve always wanted to just make music"
Most people were introduced to Amanda through her experience on the popular TV music reality show Idols South Africa, where she was eliminated from the competition's top 16, only to return when another hopeful bowed out and then finish seventh.
It was a bitter disappointment for Amanda, but instead of throwing in the towel, she used it as a life lesson.
“I’ve always wanted to just make music. I made peace with the fact that Idols was just a stepping stone on the path to making music. I grew from the experience and it taught me some amazing lessons. It taught me about the kind of artist I wanted to be. The kind of artist I really am inside.
“What kept me strong in the dark days after Idols was always knowing my end goal. It wasn’t a case of, ‘damn it, Ididn’t win. Let me go and sit down now and maybe try something else’. It was more a case of, ‘Okay, well this sucks that I didn’t win but maybe there’s another path to my goal,’” Amanda said.
"A lot has happened over the last year "
The last year has been a great one for Amanda. Not only did she release her debut album Amazulu to general acclaim but the album went platinum within three months of its release, selling well over 30,000 copies. She went into this year’s Metro FM Music Awards as its most nominated artist and certainly one of its most popular.
“A lot has happened over the last year and it has all happened so quickly. There were a lot of highlights for me but honestly the most important one for me was that people really connected with my music, they found their voice through my music and supported me the whole way,” Amanda said.
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Amanda believed that it was this “sacred connection” with fans that gave her a reason to make music.
“It’s amazing how South Africa has embraced my art. I am what I am because of my fans. They have walked with me this entire journey so far and they are the reason I make music,” Amanda said.
"Everyone makes their own decisions"
Amanda is signed to record label Ambitiouz Entertainment, a company seemingly at war with itself. Three acts from the label recently left the company under a cloud of accusations about money and contract disputes.
The war between the artist who left and those who remained seemed to further spill onto the public stage at the Metro FM Music Awards when some of the remaining artists did not acknowledge those who had left the label but contributed to their music, in their acceptance speeches.
Despite the seemingly frosty relationship between the two camps, Amanda said that everyone at Ambitiouz was just focusing on themselves and their craft.
“Look, everyone makes their own decisions and good luck to those who have left. Those of us who have stayed behind are just pushing our music. We all have our different paths to walk and we have made ours. There’s no hard feelings between us, at least not between me and them, and if I saw them I would still be cool with them,” Amanda said.
Amanda is able to maintain such a focus because she is determined to let nothing distract her from her destiny.
“My dream is music and this is just the beginning of it,” she said.