When did you decide to pursue music professionally? What was the driving factor that led you to the decision? Was music always part of the plan?
“Well, it was just a discovery that actually this is one thing that I really excel in and that I am great at. Also, it was like I was looking at the industry and I felt like there was no one like me cause I was always myself growing up and I knew that if I were to ever be in this industry I would fully be myself and that was a good enough reason for me to try it because if there is no one like you then that’s the best shot you can take to pursue your dreams so that was my leading motivation.
Even growing up I never fully was focused on music, I wasn’t a kid that said I was going to be a musician but I always had a love for it, for example, I would never miss any musical film or anything. It was just later on when I was 21 that I was like okay, I think I want to do this. That was it, that was when I had decided that I wanna do it professionally.
I did have a plan b, I did accounting, I didn’t finish it, however, I will go back and finish it but what I wanted to be – anything else on the side, I was fascinated by doctors or psychologists, just being in a space where you can help someone. My family were more supportive of my musical career than me, I was the reluctant one. I was like these people were crazy, they’re supportive over something that they don’t even know will work out. I was the one who never believed in myself, they were always there to push me and be like no Ami you can do this!”
After being in the top 16 of the voice, did you ever think that your career would be where it is today? What did you to after the voice and how did the experience help you as an artist?
I am grateful for the experience because I managed to get context whilst being on the show and it taught me that the industry is very difficult – it’s not only your voice that counts and it taught me a lot of confidence as well. when I got eliminated I was calm because I don’t like to stress or fight so I’m not gonna ball my eyes out and be depressed because at the end of the day these are just normal people, they cannot dictate my life. It’s like a random person telling you, you can’t sing, no this won’t happen, they can’t have so much power over you. I was okay but I was worried about my next step, that’s why made sure I spoke to James, that’s why I visited him in the studio after my elimination just to be in spaces where there we higher chances of people discovering me because I couldn’t keep recording from my home town.
Why did you decide to call your debut album “imali”? Does the world hold any significance in your life?
“It holds a huge significance in everyone’s lives, it’s a tool that we need to function every day. It just sucks that not all of us can have it, I just wanted people to find other ways to be happy, you know and sustain their emotional well being because money can be so depressing, its such a toxic thing but also good at the same time. That is what the song speaks about, I didn’t want people to forever be so hurt and broken because I know that not everyone finally gets a break-in life, not everyone gets to experience everything they want to. I wanted people to appreciate what they have, to try to build something that cannot be taken away and try to promote happiness because for me the music really made a difference in my life in terms of happiness, I found that although life may suck sometimes but going to the studio and recording music was one place where I could be in control and be happy, that’s what I want for people. Even when I wrote the song, I didn’t have money, at all so it’s like I just want people to find happiness.”
What is your favourite song from the album and why?
“All of them are my favourites, they all hold some sort of significance for me, I can choose just one. NEVER! I can’t.
But one song that I began with in my first ever single that I am forever proud of is Ndikethe Wena, I feel like it’s the start of it all and for that reason only it’s my favourite song. When we released it I never imagined that it could lead to this, so for me, it will always be special.”
You have collaborated with some of the best artists SA has to offer over the last year, which of them is your favourite and why. Also, if you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
“It’s obviously Sun El Musician, in the studio, we have a connection that is insane, I get ideas that I would not get elsewhere, he’s such a humble being and I learn so much from him. He has this urge to grow as a person and as an artist, I love that about him, nothing is ever enough for him and that’s why I love him – he’s not like those people who think they have made it and have nasty attitudes but personally, I could never work with those types of people anyway.
I am so thankful because he also invited me to the studio when hardly anyone knew me, it was after Ndikethe Wena and for him, no hype matters, you don’t have to prove yourself to him. He sees what you are without needing confirmation from the rest of the world. That is why I am such a fan of his.”
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? What is the big idea in terms of your career and personal life?
“Uhm 5 years, I don’t know in terms of my personal life, that one is tricky, it’s a hard one to manage, but in terms of work, I would say I just wanna grow more and grow, grow, grow. I want to collaborate more, not necessarily things we put out in the public – I could write more songs for artists and of course travel more, gig more and grow as a writer, performer, collectively as a band and as a person. Also, be able to take the journey of life and put it into music as I did it before because I am adjusting to this new life so I know that it will be more difficult than before but I will do my best to be able to put my life in paper for every song, album and single I do.”
If there is one thing that you want people to remember you for as a musical legend, what would it be?
“I would say my vocal approach in songs, my writing and my melody. I guess those are the three that people will remember me for.”
Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to make it in this industry? What are the dos and don’ts?
“Try not to be a superstar in your personal life, try to be as normal as possible, that’s important in order to keep your peace because, in the long run, it will mess with you so try to balance both lives. In this industry, you work with your brain and in order for it to work efficiently, you need peace.
Then the dos would be to collaborate more, listen to a lot of artists in order to get your inspiration, let’s say you listen to Rihanna a lot, you will end up creating an album that sounds like Rihanna. There’s so much to learn from taking something from different genres and different artists!”
Thank you so much Ami! I urge you all to go and listen to her debut album IMALI available EVERYWHERE
Follow her on social media;
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Ami_Faku