Hailing from North London, singer-songwriter Ama Louise infuses her sweet vocals with her expertly crafted lyrics to introduce a unique brand of contemporary R&B. Born to French and Ghanaian parents, she channels her love for late '90s R&B into sultry, velvety melodies. Coupled with her emotional depth and mastery of melody, she creates music that evokes a range of heartfelt emotions.
In this Time With piece, Ama Louise shares more about her musical journey, her inspirations, and her take on how to make the best music.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you, and what has your journey looked like so far?
Hi, I’m Ama Louise, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter from north London. I would say that my musical journey started quite late because even though I’ve been singing around the house from a young age, I didn’t think it could be possible for me to pursue singing as a career. I decided to go to university, and my friend actually encouraged me to start recording songs in the studio around the age of 20. It was difficult at first! I felt a bit lost in terms of finding producers, knowing how to record etc. but eventually, I found my feet a bit more. 4 years on I’ve released 6 singles, 3 music videos, and have done quite a few performances along the way all without having a manager and being a self-funded independent artist.
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
As a young girl, I used to listen to a lot of Alicia Keys who was an inspiration to me, a singer-songwriter and amazing pianist. She made me want to play the piano, I had lessons but unfortunately, it didn’t go very far! There are so many singers that inspire me, to name a few, Jazmine Sullivan, Mary J Blige, Whitney Houston, Faith Evans, Usher, and Brandy - from their vocal abilities to their songwriting to the way their songs are layered and constructed, I listen to a lot of old school rnb/soul, and I think that comes through in the music I make.
What is the creative process behind your music?
I usually start with finding an instrumental that makes me feel something, whether that’s through a production session or finding a beat online. Then I usually start with recording some melodies that come naturally (I usually end up with a lot of melodies to pick from), and then lastly I try to write lyrics to the melody and the inspiration for those lyrics can come from anywhere. The lyrics can be about how I feel at the time, something I’ve gone through in the past, a made-up story, or something someone else has gone through. That’s the beautiful thing about songwriting, I like to tell some kind of a story and this can be inspired by anything.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I like to surround myself with other creatives. I have a best friend who is a photographer and graphic designer and she always pushes me to be more visually creative I also have a super talented friend who is a makeup artist and stylist who pushes me creatively. It’s also nice to keep discovering new music and picking apart old songs that I like, that helps me creatively.
What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey?
To make music for myself and not for others. I think this is good advice because music is so subjective, which is a good thing but you can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t try to because you might end up sacrificing what you enjoy making for what you think others might like listening to. Keep it personal!
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
My passion for singing and my love for old-school music that makes you feel nostalgic. I like to make Lover Girl music because I’m very emotional, I like expressing my feelings through lyrics, and I think people will relate to that in my music.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
That’s a tough one because I don’t feel like I have all the answers myself but I would say to never give up! You never know what is around the corner, it could just take one moment that bring you the platform you’ve been waiting for and social media is your biggest friend.
Stream Ama Louise's new track 'Send Your Loving' below: