South African award winning musician Amanda Black is yet again bringing us soulful R&B and pop music. Having always touched on personal topics and social issues, Amanda explains that she takes her fans through her mental health journey with this album.
Amanda said, “It’s my most personal. The album was created in isolation. It’s literally about me processing what’s happening in my life, processing everything that I have been running away from and not dealing with.
“I got the time to get in touch with me. And that is what this album takes you through. It speaks to my mental health because it’s conversations with myself.
“When I wrote this album, it was the first time where it had nothing to do with proving that I can do it, it was about me and my mental process and ultimately my mental health because I allowed myself to be vulnerable and face the things that I normally would distract myself from. These are the conversations I’ve been having with myself.”
Amanda rose to fame when she released her platinum selling single, Amazulu.
When she sings, she mixes both her vernac and English, just as most Xhosa people do when they speak.
“I remember when I started out, I decided that because they were looking for a Xhosa singer and a Xhosa writer, and I remember saying that I am gonna write how I speak because then it’s more genuine to me”
The upcoming album, titled Mnyama, is set to release today on the 6th of August. She has already released 2 singles from this 10-tracklist album. These are Let it go and Kutheni na, featuring Ngud’ hitmaker, Kwesta.
“I also have Christer on the album, who is my long term producer. I have Berita, my all time favourite and then I have J Something,” said Amanda.
The Kahle hitmaker has been working on the album since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I started working on the songs last year, but I wasn’t working on an album. I only decided this year that I am gonna release these songs that I made,” said Amanda.
The album opens with Amanda beautifully humming at the beginning of ‘Ndandihleli, a song that bears resemblance to an old Xhosa hymn she sang growing up.
On the track Amanda speaks about longing for her partner, not regretting all the beautiful moments that they shared, but standing firm in her decision to not return to the relationship.
She concludes the album with a haunting ballad titled ‘Away’ where she speaks about longing to be home, in the Eastern Cape, where her heart, family and peace are.
“This album is a real representation of how the emotional process goes. Self love is a journey and we always expect to get to the final destination quickly, but the final destination is you. You have to be okay with yourself. It’s the biggest part of the journey.”
Amanda has been vocal about the recent events that had a lot of us questioning our government’s leadership skills, and their lack of compassion for black South Africans. Twitter called for all celebrities to take a stand and Amanda Black is among those artists who shared their thoughts on how SA can turn things around.
“In the way that we operate right now, there is so much inequality. We haven’t redressed. Poverty is something that was created. That is always the starting point if we are to move on. The government is not actively trying to deal with it.
Right now we are landless, disenfranchised, unemployed and hungry.”
Apart from the politics, Amanda has shared her most recent self-taught skill that helps her relax and recenter.
“I just learnt how to bead and I realised that I am actually good at it. I make chokers and rings. I do it just to unwind”
I am looking to see how I can share this part of myself with people. In the future, I am looking to make it into a brand.”
Amanda gave us 2 projects that we will forever cherish. This time she shares her most personal feelings with Mnyama as her latest project.
Follow her on her socials for updates on projects she is working on.