5 Things on Amanda Black’s Music Journey

Musically dynamic South African singer/songwriter Amanda Black, has established herself as one of the positive leaders and motivational musicians of her country in such a short time. She makes her debut on Coke Studio Africa this year collaborating with Ghana’s Joey B. While at the studio recording, we caught up with Amanda and spoke to her about her music career. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know:

Self-taught Guitarist

At the age of 16, Amanda’s mother bought her a guitar, whose strings she broke from time to time as she struggled to teach herself to play. Black has studied Music Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, where she majored in Opera. She graduated in April 2015, and soon after began writing her own music.

Music has been singing from the age of 6

Amanda started singing publicly from the age of 12. She says: “I have been singing since I was young. At a very tender age I decided on music as a career.” She started singing in primary school competitions and then later on took to performing after high school. While in university, she decided to start doing covers.

Amanda’s first music recording was in 2016

While in East London, South Africa, Amanda met friends of friends who would later invite her for a studio session. That is when she started recording her own music. She recalls: “I had first got into the studio in 2015 but at the time was just [too new and I didn’t record].”

“Competition is growth” – Amanda says

Amanda Black first came to fame when she made it to the South Africa Idols’ Top 7 in 2016. To her, singing competitions was all about growth, as she always knew she wanted to sing. Competition made her ask the question: ‘Am I good enough?’ She says: “Idols was a confidence builder for me. It taught me what I needed to improve and work on to become a star.” She describes Coke Studio Africa as a musical boot camp. “It’s awesome! It is a boot camp – [they should call it] Coke Studio boot camp,” adding, “but it’s a cool one whole week of making music.”

Amanda on “Amazulu” & Afro-soul genre

By the age of 23 Amanda had been through a lot while trying to build a career in music. Her highly successful hit single Amazulu was inspired by her struggle and touches on her journey. She says: “Amazulu is a journey song. It’s about what I have been through [from the time] I chose music - the ups and downs, the crying, the doubt and the darkness.” Amanda always wanted to come up with a sound where she could infuse the music that she knows and loved for many years. She defines her sound as Afro-soul fused with Hip-Hop, a bit of Blues and R&B. Her lyrics are in Xhosa and English. She concludes: “I grew up listening to Brenda Fassie. So I took my culture, my tradition and language to make something urban.”