This week I sat down with singer Ama Lou. Where I found out what she is all about, where her name came from and her new EP entitled ‘Ama Who?’. We also had an interesting chat about:
- What it was like growing up in Hackney
- New EP ‘Ama Who?’
- Going from song writing to singing
- Having a studio in her house and her creative process
- Loving to run and her special running technique
- Her shopping tips and tricks
- The power of manifestation and believing in yourself
- Music and much much more.
Continue reading to find out all you need to know about Ama Lou.
Full Ama Lou Interview
Hello everybody! What’s going on? It is your girl Chyna Johnson right here, on Westside Radio and I am joined with an incredible artist. She is so cool. Her name is Ama Lou. Hello!
How are you?
I am great!
Is that your real name?
Erm, partly. Yea.
Is it Ama Louise?
And then something else.
We will just keep it as Ama Lou. It sounds… Hella cool.
Yea. We don’t need stay too serious.
Now listen you are effortlessly talented.
You see how much effort I put into staying effortlessly?
The irony in that. It’s like in the nicest way possible. It’s like you don’t even try. You are just natural. Your whole vibe your music everything.
I am supposed to reply to that.
I don’t even know what you are going to say, but it’s just like…. When did you start getting into music?
Well…. I wanted to be a song writer first. I started writing songs when I was eleven actually. And ermmm… and I just fell into it. It’s just something that I really loved…. that I had a massive urge to do. And I think that anything that you do in your life, that anyone does in their life. It doesn’t matter what it is, doesn’t matter what the world thinks. Just if you have that real deep urge to do it every single day and that you are going to give it one million percent that’s what you should be doing. It could be accountancy, it could be doing eyebrows, it could be…. music it could be being on stage. It could be anything.
I definitely think that music was your calling…. and when I listen to your music and see your music videos. I am just like does she try. Like, Gosh! She is so awesome! Now I am from south London. No, now I know that face. Because after that song ‘Northside’ I am now going to relocation.
It’s a vibe! I want to say that, “the Northside has got my back too”.
I am not joking. I was like this is siiiiiick! and there is nothing in south London that represents that. Awesome! How did your ends influence your music?
Erm.. Just…. I think. I don’t know about it influenced my music. But it definitely shaped me as a person to create that music….. if that makes any sense.. So, I went to like…. a school and I was on…. you know and man was likkle bit on roads from when she was young and ting.
Just likkle bit
Like not real! You know like street… run around.
You were street wise?
Yea. Not really just on the road being a silly person. I don’t know what I was saying before that.
And just like having friends from everywhere. Just experiencing especially cause I am from Hackney right! Anyone …. Whatever I have just said. If you are from Hackney as well, you will understand I don’t even have to more explain.
I don’t get it. South London you see. It’s a different kind of … it’s a world.
You experience so much. In such a small area. And you know from like Stoke Fest you got cancelled because the railing came down on the park. There was to many people in there. To Hackney Carnival to just going to Riddle road to school and then all…. But then it is super middle class and all this. You just experience a whole plethora of different situations and also Hackney is the greenest borough! Mad parks.
We were just rolling around on grass from day. I am basically going to the point that all of this influenced me as a human.
The thing is you seem. I don’t know like… how can I say it? You seem like high fashion, meets street-wear, meets everything, meets just everything mixed in one. Like we can put you anywhere and you will just fit in.
That’s why Jay-Z likes me
Just anywhere. We can pick you up and put you there and it just works. Do you know what I mean?
So I definitely feel like, your area, as you described it.
I feel like this interview….. You are just giving me loads of complements.
No, it’s because you are lit! Like the thing is I don’t give complements. I am that type of person Like I have family members that will be like” Chyna! do you think I’ve lost weight?”. Like, I would have told you, if you had lost weight. Ok! You still look round. Have a nice day.
Oh My Gosh! *Chuckles* Stand up! You should do stand up.
So the fact that I am saying that you are awesome. Do you know what right? Someone said to me, “Chyna, you are funny”. And I don’t try to be funny I just talk and people laugh.
But you don’t need to try, because you are funny.
If you are not funny, you try to be funny. But if you are already funny ,you don’t.
It’s because of my parents. I have just been raised by two jokers. Oh Gosh. Now you are 21?
You are so young. And you have achieved quite a lot.
Errm I’m sorry! Songs on the ‘Creed’ (Creed 2) soundtrack. Yes! Like it’s a big deal. You have achieved a lot. Drake loves you. Do you know what I mean? Who did you go on tour with recently?
What was that? Jorja Smith? Hello! That is a lot. Twenty One
There is people still making music in their bedrooms, you know. What has been your greatest achievements so far?
You know, I actually got asked this the other day and I think the person that asked me was quite disappointed with my answers. But it is… that I… now have the whereabouts to have a studio in my house.
Cause that means I can just get up, have a shower, do exercise and then get to work in my house.
Why exercise? I mean why not just get up in your PJs and then go over there.
That as well at like whatever time in the morning. But I do like running so…
Hmmmm What about the knees?
You have to have a special technique.
Do you know what? I started running last year. Because I was training for a half Marathon.
Injured my ankle. Didn’t end up doing it. And I was like thank God. I was dreading it.
Nearer the time, I was like I have only run 5k, I don’t know how I am going to do this.
3 miles. Yea.
And now my knee has been hurting me ever since and it’s been a year. So what is you special technique?
So people when they start running. Especially cause it’s all mental. But people when they start running they have this thing. You know like at school right? You are told to pick up your knees and run.
I didn’t really like P.E. so…..
Right, but so that’s the technique that everybody is like… right I am going to run now so let me make my strides nice degrees and let me pick up my knees. But the thing is when you do that…. especially when you are running long distance (and I run long distance) is that you jolt your heel down on the floor and so you cause like a massive impact on your knees. So you will get like that knee ache and then injure the tendons around it. When really you are supposed to be kicking backwards, like small steps.
Like a gallop?
Like a …. like a weird … penguin [Demonstrated technique]
I wish this was videoed. *laughs*
I know, I know *laughs*. I wish this was videoed as well. You kind of have to kick backwards. Like lean forwards and push all your weight backwards. Like run Backwards. Does that make any sense?
Oh ok. I mean you just said run backwards. But I feel like I kind of get it.
Yea, so you should have all you weight forward then you are pushing
So you are constantly kicking off something.
Yea, so you are constantly kicking off, rather than pulling. Cause when you lift your knees you are pulling forward when you should be kicking back.
Right, to any of my listeners out there that is the tip.
I am really sorry.
No, it’s good. Because I was telling all my listener that I was training for a half marathon, then I had to come on air and say that’s not happening. Because I injured myself.
But you know there we go. Now you see your latest EP. I heard it.
The whole thing?
Ahh. It’s a vibe!
Did you listen to it in order?
Yes, cause I don’t like listening to things out of order. It annoys me, because I feel like the artist might have done this on purpose.
Ok. Yea. Yea.
And it really jars me when I do listen to it in order and it’s like wow, they didn’t put any effort in. They just threw anything together. But is a viiibe!
You like it.
It’s coming out soon. Winter time. We’re ready. Got my furs waiting …you know?
Now from it, it’s like…. chilling with friends and someone has just gone, “hey, listen to this song” and you play it and there is a little bit of chatting through it as well like…. Hey.
I love it!
It set the tone of what it is like to be in the studio with you.
Ahhh yes! That’s what I wanted. That is exactly what I wanted.
But now that you are right in front of my face, what is it like being in the studio with you?
Well I don’t know if may people would know, because I am like just usually just there being engineer by ourselves.
Cause you do everything, a lot yourself. Don’t you?
Yea. I like my own company a lot.
I love mine. yea. I think it is good to like your own company. Can you sit in a restaurant by yourself?
Yea 100 percent. I do that all the time.
It’s the best right? And shopping?
Never with anyone else.
Hate shopping with people. It’s jarring.
I cannot do it with other people. When people just look at every isle. I look … I can literally stand in the middle of the shop or a market or whatever and I can just pick out what I need. I can see it its like laser eyes…. whereas people need to go through everything and I am like….
I do like to go through everything though.
But see that is why you do it by yourself though. So you don’t inconvenience other people.
*Laughs* It’s true.
See. Considerate you are.
When you shop. Do you stop for food? I don’t stop for food and it jars me when someone goes I am hungry and it is like aggrhh…. We are on a mission.
You should have eaten before.
There we go.
Or you save it until you stomach feels like it is imploding on itself.
Nah, fight through.
You eat after. Exactly you fight through it until that happens and you go home and you eat.
So back to being in the studio with you. So you are usually by yourself
So what else do you do
I like to cook in the middle of it.
Yea. So I will have like a break and then cook. I don’t necessarily eat it. I just like to cook.
I love cooking.
Is that weird?
No, I enjoy cooking. My friends are like you are weird you are cooking all the time.
I just love it.
But I eat. Hence why I need to lose the belly.
No, I do. It is getting out of hand. I need to…. Nothing fits.
No, honestly stop.
No, all I do is wear these trousers and another pair and that is it. It is getting out of hand.
Stop, you are gorgeous!
No, I put on jeans the other day and it looks like I am crying. But my eyes are getting watery. *Laughs*
*Laughs*I know, I was about to say she is tapping her eye… mad! Like….
I am tapping my eye right now. It is just getting watery. I tried to put on jeans the other day and the button popped and I was like I can’t. And I was on face-time to this guy and I was like trying to put on these tracksuit bottoms, and he was like, “Let it go” and I was like” please. shut up!!”. Erm sorry I went off and spoke about myself for a second. My mum is going to hear this and say, “all you do is talk about yourself”. I am like “mum shut up, I felt the vibe. It was a conversation”.
Yea, we can have a conversation.
So you go in the studio.
Yea, go on.
And you go like yea I am making this… Opp, I am feeling hungry. Cook, don’t eat it. Go back in and that’s it.
Yea, that’s it. Or I’ll…. No, I do everything…. cause I like to work in the day. But I do know people like to work at night.
Oh, Are you a day person?
Yea, and I am like a morning day person. The engineer goes home by maximum ten or eight thirty and starts the next day.
Do you know who you need to get in the studio with?
Kano…. 100%. This is brewing…. Is this brewing already?
You love Kano?
I mean he is a lege (legend) innit.
Listen, I interviewed him and I was like, “what’s it like being in the studio with you?” And he was like, “well, I have a cuppa tea”. Like he is a herbal tea type of guy, daytime.
Yea, that’s me.
So if feel like you two can get together in the day and make magic.
Yea, do you know why the studio is a real good place to work. Like, I take it really seriously.
I mean other artist have a like more of a party vibe.
Yea and that is how some people are most efficient, so no hate on that side. But I am really just like a….treat it like a job.
Speaking of Kano I would really like you to collaborate with him. Who else would you like to collaborate with? I mean you didn’t actually say you wanted to work with Kano.
You put that on me.
And I want to see it happen.
I think, I also want to work with your mum, cause she sounds pretty fun.
Oh my Gosh! My.. mum. Her voice is like…Hi. If I called her right now. She would be like, ” what are you calling me for?….”
Oh My… We should call your mum!
We should call your mum. No let’s do it.
But she is really rude. She will be like, ” You know I’m working”. Oh no. I can’t call her. There is no reception up here. Look.
Well. Hey, we had the intention of calling you mum so….
I have called parents on the air, on radio before.
I love that.
Yea. My dad was like, “Hi, darling …..etc etc” and then I remember one time I was trying to call my dad constantly on air and I was like he is not picking up everyone…. soon… and then my mum texted in an said “your dad is a waste man”. And I was like brilliant.
Yea…..She is just so…. You know what it is my dad is funny like Jim Carey. Slip on a banana peel. like haha.
Ok. Slap stick.
My mum is very Rick Gervais.
Like slap stick. and then erm dry.
Yes, my mum is so dry….like a Jacobs cream cracker.
With no water.
Or butter. Just that. And you have to eat like three of them in a row within a minute. That is how dry she is.
And you are also dehydrated. So you know. Coz no one drinks.
Right you are like I said already you are lit, hella cool. I like your vibe. I started talking about myself this is not professional. But I feel like I am in a conversation with a friend.
I am not judging you so…
I feel like you secretly are. No I am joking. You don’t seem judgey at all.
No. I won’t judge.
You seem really cool to hang out with. Would you like to do for fun?
Thanks. Erm… I like to go to erm… like … Home-wear places.
Have you just moved into your own place or something?
Yea. I have.
Same. Home-wear brings you enjoy right?
But I like to organise. The other day I was really stressed out and I couldn’t…. There was no creative outlet to get the stress out. So I just go upstairs and like start organising my mum’s closet.
Organisation, is amazing. Do you watch YouTube videos of like people organising stuff.
I did use to and now I like do it myself.
I live out the dream of organisation.
Because you are there now and you have got it.
I love it! I love putting everything in like matching jars. I love …..erm…cleaning.
Are you like you don’t like the packaging in the rice? You pour it into like ….
Recycle….Always …… Or like I go to one of those free. …No… Zero waste shops.
Yes. Well done. I need to go to one of them shops.
With like the bags so you are not actually using plastic……Or I like to go to farmers market.
Oh My Gosh you are like really cool.
I just love all of that.
You are like grown cool.
I just like doing homie things. I like doing reclusive things. I like making a nest. I am a nester.
Yea. The thing is you music is a vibe!
It’s a Vibe
Do you know what I mean it is something you would want to hear? You know there is some music that you want to hear cursing around in your car. Your music is, I am just going to go inside and shut the door……and if you smoke you smoke. That is your thing. If you drink, have a drink. Do you know what I mean? The Northside!
I am going to have to relocate. It’s not even a joke.
No, I have to. It’s lit and do you know what? I played it to my friend and she was like, “I was expecting her to rap”. The video, cause you kind of come up to the camera like Ha ha. Ready to spit something…. a hot sixteen.
Yea, it is….but you know everyone that heard that song, the first time they heard it they were like it is like……you kind of disguise rapping, in your own way cause you are actually spitting bars. And I thought ….Ohhh…. Maybe I am.
I did intend….. It’s just ….you know. How it came out really.
And you look so cool in the video. Like you just rocked up to set and you was like HA! Press record. Bam! Do you know what I mean? It’s mad.
Quick little outfit change.
*Laughs* Right 2020 is just round the corner.
2020 looks good.
It looks good.
And if you are like into energy and like positive energy.
But does it feel good?
It does. It looks and feels good. 2020.
I was seeing if you was…… really in tune with the vibes.
Yea, a hundred percent. Do you know what I mean? I am one of those I saw eleven eleven!!!…… Kind of gassed people. So 2020 a feel like it’s the year of manifestation.
Yea, I mean…. every second, every day is manifestation.
Of course. Of course.
Attach that tattoo on your chest. Tattoo it cause you can have anything that you want.
You can. Thank you. I know, that’s how I believe.
You guys can have anything that you want, so…..
Yes, listeners. I tell people this all the time.
It’s just anything you want, anything you say…. you can. You know. Anyway 2020 is round the corner. What’s in store for you?
Big, likkle tour.
Big bill boy! No, I am doing a big tour at the top of the year that I will announce soon.
Ok, What is your tour going to be like?
You know what? I am just like now…. really getting into it. I needed to get this project out and then really going to dig my claws into everything about it.
I feel like you are going to give me Jhené Aiko vibes on stage.
No. I am like… it’s like…. can I give you a little different scenario.
My one is really on the stage like a rapper. I run… a lot!
That’s why I have to run long distance. Cause I’m full up and down. I am vibe…energy like.
Full. Not dance routines, cause I am not really good at following those.
You just like run up and down. Like mad.
But, I am really like in it with you. Like. I am not like…
When I went to Jhené Aiko. When I went to see her she had like plants on stage and like a harp. and I was like whoa. Oh wow!
No, I am not really like a…. I am more like….
Skates. I am more like skate vibes.
Ok. She was a skater girl, she said she you later
*Sings* She was a skater boy, she said see you later boy.
I like it. You going bring anyone out (On tour)?
You are asking me questions I don’t have answers to right now.
Sugar! Damn. I was trying to pick your brain and trying to get an exclusive. You never know.
I am an open book so I really would tell you but I don’t….
I think you should get me to open up for you….
Can you do like….
I can sing
Oh you can sing..
Nah, I can’t sing at all.
I am just begging it. *Laughs* I do that to every single person that I interview