Up-Coming Musician Amilli Tells Us About Her Rapidly Growing Music Career
She might not have a label, but she might be the next big thing.
At a gig organized by Amilli and her collective group of artsy friends, I met the up-coming musician for the first time. A special first time, her first ever little concert, her first time actually playing in front of people other than her friends, people whose faces she’s never seen before. Today she plays gigs in London, Zürich and hopefully more spots are about to come her way. I approached her to introduce myself and grab her attention for an interview. “Hi, I’m Amelie.” she said, and I’m like “Yeah, I know.” – five seconds of silence in which I realized how cringe my response was. I let my mind wander to Kanye introducing himself, and me replying with the exact words above. “Pretty unfair” I think to myself. We ended up postponing the interview to another day. Which turned out to be the day after her second little concert in Essen at a WDR Cosmo event with upcoming DJ Mercy Milano and other artists from the area. A cute little café in Bochum is the spot she chose for our chitty chat. Our tummies growling while we waited 45min for our hot chocolate and waffles…
Let’s begin with the basics. Since when do you make music?
My family is very musical and into Jazz. My father and brother play the piano. And I have played the piano for about 10 years now. I’ve always sang but rather to myself. I’ve never seen myself in the music industry until friends noticed “Hey, you can sing!”. That’s when I gave it a try. It’s been 2 years now.
Did this development bring change during your time in school?
Yes. That’s always the case in school. As soon as somebody starts something new like singing or whatever, people start gossiping about you.
That’s so relatable. How did you deal with gossip?
To be honest, I never cared since it was rather towards the end of my schooldays. My friends visited other schools, and I hardly had an intense relationship with the people from my school.
"My friends are always there, they share my songs and literally do the whole deal."
How do friends and family support you?
Friends and family definitely support me. Especially my best friend who always said “Amelie, sing!”. My friends are always there, they share my songs and literally do the whole deal. My mum, my dad, my aunt… they are all there when I perform. After my last performance in Essen at the WDR Cosmo event, I went to my mother and she started crying. That was such an intense moment. It was the first time my family heard me sing.
What was their reaction when you started making music?
They completely dig it, especially the calm and smooth songs. They are good with tracks like Rarri as well.
What are your plans now that you’ve graduated? Will you focus more on further education or completely concentrate on music?
It’s a bit tricky. My parents would like me to have a secure alternative, a backup plan just in case, you know? I am currently doing a gap year, volunteering in a kindergarten. I could imagine working with children in the future. I wanted to have a basis, and have a daily routine so I don’t just hang around all day. I’ve already noticed that doing both at the same time is exhausting. But if it gets super stressful, I’d choose music.
Do you have a management?
Yes, I do. I have two managers that I met when I started making music. I don’t have a label. Currently we are getting tons of requests from labels trying to get their hands on us. We don’t feel like we need one, we don’t even want a label. I am just another bargain for labels, they think the cute, 18 year old girl has no clue about the music industry and business. Without label, we are free to make the music we want. At the end of the day it works perfectly by itself.
"I am just another bargain for labels, they think the cute, 18 year old girl has no clue about the music industry and business."
Being from Bochum, do you feel connected to the Ruhr Area?
When I first heard Rarri I couldn’t believe you’re from here. Is it your mission to push the Ruhr Area ahead in terms of music?
Yes, totally. But generally, Germany. I’m not really feeling most of the German music. I feel like there are just a few youths my age who really make music and aim to promote the German music scene.
Do you read the comments under your video?
*laughs* I read all the comments. Always.
I read a comment under one of your videos complimenting you as “German Lana del Rey”.
Yeah… I don’t like being compared to other musicians. Of course, I’m influenced by many, but it’s kinda… you know, I’m me and everybody does their own thing in their own way.
Who influences your music?
I could name thousands of artists. I mainly listen to R&B, Soul and old school Hip-Hop. Tom Misch is amazing. And Masego. And FKJ, do you know him?
No, I don’t. What’s he like?
French Kiwi Juice, FKJ plays all instruments by himself. Sits in the studio and plays loops, the guitar, the piano, saxophone… Definitely check him out. He also uploads live sessions on YouTube.
Sounds good, I’ll definitely check him out. Talking about music session, what do your sessions look like?
The first things uploaded on my SoundCloud were recorded in the basement with some friends. Leo, one of my managers who is part of the band sie, does the beats. I listen to them, pick what I like, which is never easy. Finding melodies is easy for me. I just hum around weirdly in a language that doesn’t exist. *laugh* When I have the melody, I add my lyrics to it and we kick off recording. In the studio, we check out the outcome together to see where we can improve one or the other if necessary.
"Finding melodies is easy for me. I just hum around weirdly in a language that doesn’t exist."
Sounds easier said than done… Can we expect some new music from you any soon? An EP, album, anything?
I recently released my newest single 'Maybe' with a music video. It’s different from what I’ve done before… An EP or Album won’t come any time soon. If I release anything like that, it has to be perfect. I’d want to fully invest my time in it, also in terms of promotion and everything around it. So, the Singles are first and then we’ll see.
If you could do a feature with any artist you want, who would that be?
I think Tom Misch and Masego. Or probably also Anderson Paak. Something like that.
Are you honestly happy?
Yes, I am very happy. I’m experiencing such a beautiful time. I’m done with school and currently just doing what I like and making the exact music I want to make. And my music is being appreciated by so many people, I don’t have to do anything. I’m not spending huge amounts on promotion or anything. It’s just awesome.
That’s sounds great. Even though you are experiencing this state of happiness, what do you wish for the future?
I don’t think about the future at the moment. I just inhale everything as it is and live in the exact moment I am in. But sure, there are some basic things. For example, that my music keeps reaching people, that I can even do more with it.
Thank you so much for your time. I can’t wait to see what’s going to be next, and of course I wish you all the best!