Six Questions With Amira B
Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is New York City-based R&B / Soul singer Amira B. We have not had the privilege of featuring Amira B here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with her, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
I was born in Cairo, Egypt but lived in Volgograd, Russia until I moved to NYC in 1998. In Russia, I started playing piano at four years old and continued my studies in classical piano at Special Music School in NYC. It wasn’t until I went to LaGuardia High School and joined a songwriting/production class led by Robert Apostle that I realized I could actually write songs and accompany myself while singing. I loved to sing, especially in musical productions, but never knew that I had a gift for writing. If I had to define my music, I would say it’s a mixture of R&B/Soul, funk, and pop. Growing up listening to American pop music in Russia, I didn’t understand what they were saying since I didn’t speak English, but if the hook was there, the words didn’t really matter and that has stuck with me since. My goal is to create music with catchy hooks so it gets stuck in your head forever! 😉
As an artist, how do you define success?
I think success in the music industry is a combination of a couple of things. The most important is connecting with individuals through the music. The other day, it amazed me when someone texted me “hey, this song resonates with me so much right now and your lyrics speak the truth, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.” In my eyes, even if there is one person who feels this way, I am succeeding. Of course, it also comes down to reachability. It’s extremely difficult to get people to listen to your music, especially if they don’t know you, but then I look at artists like Sharon Jones (may she rest in paradise) and am like this woman didn’t release her first record until she was 40 years old and became a sensation when she did. Like with everything, things take time and I couldn’t be more proud of releasing my first record at age 25. To me, this feels like a great accomplishment and a success in its own way.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
The music business is tough because nowadays it’s all about numbers: likes, followers, streams, draw at shows. All these factors can sometimes make you forget about the music and drive you nuts while you’re stuck comparing yourself to other artists and what you’re possibly doing wrong. As my own manager, I book shows, send emails, update my website/social platforms, plan rehearsals like any other business operates and this can take up a lot of time. This can be frustrating because you get caught up with the “business” side of things when you really just want to concentrate on the creative side of things.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
At the moment, I think my favorite song off of my debut album Defined is “Killin Me'” and I wouldn’t be mad if it was the only song I played for the rest of my career.
Who do you consider your greatest influences?
Steely Dan, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Carole King, Prince, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I especially enjoy getting out of the city and doing outdoorsy activities like hiking, swimming, or even if it’s just laying down in a hammock relaxing and smelling the sweet fresh air. Being in an environment like that helps me create and get inspired more easily because my head is clear. NYC can really run you down at times, so getting away and remembering to take care of yourself is important to me.