Guest of the Month Oct 2012: Amplify Dot
London’s Amplify Dot, who received funding from us earlier in the year for writing and collaboration projects, grew up listening to Salt n Pepa, Bob Marley and the Carpenters. At age 14 she climbed on stage at a Missy Eliot gig, after Missy asked if anyone in the audience could rap, and blew the crowd away. She has now become the first UK female rapper in a decade to sign to a major label (Virgin/EMI).
She’s currently working on a mixtape called Spare Parts using a variety of producers from across the UK including Show n Prove, Nutty P and Wizzy Wow. The mixtape is a glimpse into her new catalogue of songs and a sneak peak at the various styles that will be heard on her album in 2013.
We asked her to tell us some more about the tracks she’s got on her playlist at the moment:
Frank Ocean – Pyramids
I’m a huge fan of Frank and his Channel Orange album is definitely a modern work of art. Pyramids immediately stood out to me when I first listened to the album, the unique composition and its epic length make this track feel like a short-film. The concept of ‘Cleopatra’ in this song is used beautifully to make quite a daring social observation. The structure of the track reminds me of Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’, another amazing song.
Angel Haze – New York
Angel Haze is a breath of fresh air right now. Globally, female rappers are having a bit of a renaissance in music at the moment and her ‘New York’ track is probably one of the strongest releases to come out of this movement along with Azealia Banks’ ‘212’. She flows effortlessly on this and I imagine she will have a very long and forward thinking career if this track is an indication of things to come.
Bauuer – Harlem Shake
This track has been getting a lot of heat lately and I remember first hearing it and being in awe of this new sound. It’s impossible to define it with a genre as it seems to span so many areas from Electro to Latin to Hip Hop. I love commanding music that defies categories and needs to be put in its own league by creating something completely new. On top of that, this track really goes off in the club which is always an upbeat song’s true test.
Jhene Aiko – 3:16am
Jhene Aiko is a singer songwriter who opted out of the major label route and signed to No I.D’s indie label Artium which has really afforded her a ridiculous amount of creative freedom and allowed her to release real hybrid music that switches elegantly forum soul to r’n’b to rap. Her 2011 mixtape ‘Sailing Souls’ was my favourite download of the year and featured some really amazing songs including ‘Higher’ and ‘Stranger’ with features from the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lemar and Kanye West which is unheard of for an emerging artist. Her most recent track 3:16am is one of my favourites at the moment, her tones, harmonies and song writing skills are unrivalled. Her voice has an angelic quality that literally hypnotises you on the first listen.
Popcaan – Stay Far
Jamaican music is a massive influence on me, stemming from my parents love of artists like Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs and Beres Hammond. ‘Stay Far’ is a standout reggae track for me at the moment, he talks about questioning the motives of others and realising who the nay sayers are. To me, the melodies used in reggae and bashment are amongst the strongest in music.