Indies And The Underground

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Artist Profile: Amatus

Brooklyn-based chanteuse Amatus’ path to music was one marked by incredible highs and lows. Born to a sharecropper and Imam, she spent her early years in Chicago, until her parents divorced and she relocated to Philadelphia’s Germantown area for high school. At 14, she began lurking around New York studios, sitting in on sessions with the Roots, Common and Erykah Badu. But her journey as an artist really began when MeShell Ndegeocello lent her her first sequencing keyboard.

Once settled in NYC, Amatus made ends meet by making clothes for small boutique shops and some of her favorite artists, creating her line 345prospect inc. The next few years were marred by loss; a brother was killed in Chicago in 2007, followed by a cousin in 2010 and a roommate in 2011. The trio of tragedies pushed her to take her art more seriously, leading to the creation of her debut EP “Broken Compass.”

A intoxicating, left-of-center blend of melodic synth pop, hip hop-influenced beats and indie R&B,  the five-song EP mixes both electronic production wizardry with live instrumentation.  ”Coming Home,” kicks things off, as Amatus’ voice effortlessly glides over the track’s bombastic drums, pleading with lines like “I am your broken wing/And I wanna love all I can hold.” “Messin’” takes a more confrontational approach, as she admonishes a lover to “get out her of head” as drums explode and smoky, electro-fused synths slither all around her.

“Run Fast,” with its slightly melancholy piano licks and knotty, near claustrophobic ball of effects, dials back the aggression a bit, while the haunting “Punk,” mines similar musical and lyrical territory, as Amatus finds herself vexed by the “smiles and shame” of a complicated love. The languid hazy synth pop  of “Cherish,” ends things on a subtle, meditative note.

Aside from her own tunes, Amatus is currently scoring a documentary for Al-Jazeera America “Daisy and Max.” Listen to ‘Broken Compass’ HERE.

 

 

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