We come across many multi-talented individuals in our search through the independent music underground. Unfortunately, many of them lack the business acumen to achieve the success that their talents deserve. An artist that does seem to have the knowledge and dedication needed is our recent find Amaru.
We had the chance to chat with him and get into his mind. There is some great wisdom in his philosophy. Enjoy the interview below:
First off, What made you decide to go with the singular Amaru as your artist name?
Well, AMARU is my real name and while it is a very common name in Latin culture, it’s still a relatively unknown name to many, so hence.
How would you describe your sound?
I always describe my music as “adult contemporary pop music with a dash of Latin soul”. I am originally from South America, I am bi-racial and I was influenced by many different genres of music. Now that I’m an artist myself, I wanted that to reflect in my music too.
You are a truly multi-talented individual. What draws you to create music?
Thank you kindly. My late grandmother was very instrumental in this whole process. She was the lead singer and choir director at our local church and since I am her first grandchild, she would take me upstairs with her after the Sunday morning church service and she would play something on her guitar or organ, she would sing and encourage me to sing too. I wasn’t really interested at the time, but years after her passing I remember seeing Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (of all people) on TV singing “Islands In The Stream”. And that was my jam back then, mind you. That’s was my trigger… I said someday I am to do exactly what they do… so here we are. I am a very creative person and writing music, producing music, writing lyrics, creating a little 3-minute musical story about something meaningful, personal or frivolous brings me tremendous joy. Not only do I enjoy the creative process, when I’m working on new music, I cannot wait to hear the finished product! Music is a universal language, so they say and I think that’s true. Which is why I spend a lot of time writing lyrics that I know people will be able to understand and identify with.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of different artists, but some of my musical heroes are definitely Donny Hathaway, Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Bob Marley, El Debarge, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Patti Labelle, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, George Michael… too many to mention!
What do you hope listeners get from an Amaru track?
I hope my audience will feel empowered and uplifted, inspired and motivated after listening to my music. I have recently released my first album ‘Champagne Attitude’ and while I have been a recording and performing artist since 2007, I am unknown to many, which is why I made sure to include a short description of each track on my website. Just so people could better understand the thought process behind each track.
Tell us about your new album ‘Champagne Attitude’
‘Champagne Attitude’ is a dream that came true, to say the very least! When I moved to Europe in the early nineties I almost immediately got on this pursuit of my artistic life. That pursuit took me to Los Angeles, New York, and Amsterdam, studying acting for almost 8 years while working on films, TV shows, (international) commercials, print ads… I even did a play, a short-lived one, but still (lol)! So the acting work was piling up and I love doing it, but my passion for music was and always will be number one. Nothing happens before its time and I know a lot more about the business aspect of showbusiness now than I did when I first started in 2007. And I am always writing lyrics and melodies, but it wasn’t until the music video for my single ‘Independence Day’ (which tells the story of the relationship that never was between me and my biological father) won an award at the Global Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2016 that I realized that it may be time to work on an album instead of releasing singles all the time. And prior to releasing the album I already had 5 singles out, some of which are also on the album, albeit as alternative versions of the single versions. The songs on ‘Champagne Attitude’ are an eclectic mix of easy to sing along pop songs with a very thick layer of personal circumstances, poignant lyrics that everybody will be able to understand and relate to, topped with a tremendous layer of love, understanding, FUN and a pinch of naughtiness!
What advice would you give to other artists pursuing their passion?
Being able to sing is half the job, learning about the business is KEY! I had to learn the hard way and I am in no way, shape or form suggesting that I know everything, but I know a lot more now. And I had to learn because I started my own label AMARU MUSIC back in 2007 and the formalities are tremendous! So yes, learn about the business, think ahead of time… I find that a lot of (mostly) young singers these days wanna be ‘famous’ instead of having longevity in their careers. ‘Fame’ is not something one could add on a resumé. Work hard, and let me tell you, it IS hard work! Never sit still, always be on the grind, especially if you’re an indie like myself and persevere. Be tenacious and never keep your eye off the prize!
What is next on the road to success for Amaru?
I am busy promoting the album right now as well as the new single ‘Low On The Dough (Radio Mix)’, which differs from the album version by the way. This single is about a very toxic relationship I was in and the lyrics are all about that, materialism, my empty wallet and adultery… I’m very much a lover of contrasts, so I decided to turn an otherwise sad story into a dance track fit for the summer and any dance floor for that matter! This is also one of my personal favorites on the album and the single is available on digital download on many platforms of digital music. In addition to that, I will start shooting my first international feature film in July, which will take me to Germany and I’m quite looking forward to that. My role in this new film is not a very large one, but it’s an important one in the story. Exciting times!
Keep up with more news from Amaru on his label WEBSITE.