[Interview] Catching up with Soul Singer Amahni Philly

Peace family! I know its been a while. I’ve been on the prowl, searching for new talent, and I found it in Baltimore neo soul artist, Amahni Philly. Amahni has been breezing up the coast with his new single “Forever”, but he’s no stranger to the scene. He has been performing up and down the east coast, promoting his sophmore album Forever Golden. Philly was able to take a break from his busy schedule and chat with us about the project. 

Dropajewel: What made you begin writing music? 

Ahmani Philly: Well I’ve always had the passion to write. I always felt it was easier than speaking. Initially it allowed me to release my emotions, personal feelings, visions and thoughts during a time when I didn’t feel heard. During my younger years I was very verbally introverted  and when it came to being vulnerable it was sort of like expelling everything I hold within through pen . I even now find myself sometimes speaking in song, rhyme scheme, metaphor or parable.

DJ: Who are your biggest influences?

 AP: This is a great but extensive question. My biggest influences are artist who are iconic from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. From the instrumentation of Brothers Johnson, Earth,Wind & Fire…to vocals of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, The Emotions, Patti Labelle, of course on this album Johnnie Wilder Jr.  Today’s artist span from TANK, Tweet, Brandy to a more recent Frank Ocean, Jay-z, SZA, Daniel Caesar.

DJ: How does Forever Golden differ from your last album Home?

 AP: Home was a very weird place for me vocally because of multiple health and life issues. Home was a push album that half the time my voice was gone…I could barely sing and had so much to say. Meanwhile, I wasstill hiding my true yearning in my heart to be completely transparent about where my heart should’ve been. It birthed music from me trying to harness my thyroid health and figure out how to turn what I viewed as a curse into a pathway toward the falling place of my blessings; hence the Title Home. This led me to the Goldenheart and that’s where Forever Golden came into fruition. Forever Golden was the first time I could speak fully from my heart and soul without holding back, and being overly cryptic or without dark emotions of no hope. This is about a real life love of someone. I call him “the Goldenheart” or “Twin Flame”. Since I love numerology and the zodiac and the artistic connotations I used representations of 2 and 11 life path since I am both. It’s in everything from the art work, to the number of tracks on the album. Especially releasing the album in 2018, a universal 11 and year of spiritual partnerships (Forever Golden).We must overcome challenging early lives (Home), to prove to the world that love never gives up! The number eleven is about double beginnings and two is about the combining of the two separate entities to move forward in a new beginning with peace love and understanding(Forever & Golden).

So This project holds hope in life and a sense of permanent position within me in every aspect of my life moving forward. Forever Golden all about complete truth and being naked and literally comfortable in my skin as I step into the New beginning. As you can see my music comes from deep rooted intimate real life and spiritual experiences. Home was the story to get back to the Forever Golden (Kansas) just like the wizard of oz.


DJ: What do you want people to take away from this album? 

AP: I want people to always have hope in love, learn transparency & growth. Take time to redirect, find & never compromise yourself. Remind yourself how much you love [you]. Learn from mistakes or lessons and move forward never backward. Don’t ever stand still and become a victim of your circumstances. Take responsibility and care for yourself. Then the Divine will bring you a heart and the balance that will adore all that you already are and love within yourself.

DJ: What do you think of the soul/r&b game right now?

AP: Well, I think I’m beginning to really love millennial soul as it’s now called. However, I’m not to keen on the fact that hip hop and R&B are lumped together as Urban Music. It’s disappointing. Mostly because R&B is not always “URBAN” technically. Unfortunately, you have to roll with the punches. 

DJ: What can fans expect from Amahni Philly in the near future? 

AP: In the near future more transparency, visual content, and whatever is laid before my path toward the manifesting of the vision. I would love to do a few collaborations. Who knows? I’ll let the Divine guide me.

Visit https://amahniphilly.com/ for more on information. Show your twitter love @dropajewel and @amahnimusic  and don’t forget to check out the album Forever Golden, everywhere you can find good music. #DoItNow   #HappyFriday

 

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{The Drop} New Album Releases for May

Today, we take a moment and thank the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, for the new music released in the month of May. I would be lying if I said there was a drought in groovy tunes over the past week, but this Friday the 13th was something I’ve been looking forward to. Check out what’s out there.

Corrine Bailey Rae- The Heart Speaks in Whispers

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I’ve been waiting and swooning for new music from Ms. Bailey Rae since she dropped The Love EP back in 2011. You can ALWAYS expect sultry, soulful, jazzy music from her that will carry you for years at a time. I’m a firm believer in artist taking their time between projects. I think it makes for better more authentic sound. I’ve been streaming this album for the past week via NPR’s site and Love Love Love it. I’ll be headed to my favorite record store to get my hard copy today.

Pierce The Veil- Misadventures

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Yaaaay! Metal fans unite and rejoice. Been a fan of these guys for a few years now after seeing them in concert with MayDay Parade and All Time Low. PTV bring a well needed metal/punk energy to my otherwise lower key playlist as of late. Excited to hear this.

Masta Ace- The Falling Season

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Master Ace is back with The Falling Season, and I’m ready. I actually didn’t hear much about this album’s release until a buddy of mine put me on. With features like Your Old Droog and Torae, it should be a dope one. Get into some good Hip Hop this Friday the 13th.

Oddisee-The Odd Tape

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Peace. This is another one I streamed on the NPR site and instantly fell in love with. Shouts out to the DMV as The Odd Tape will deliever jazz, soul and Hip Hop…the way it should be done. Looking forward to hearing great reviews on this one.

Meghan Trainor- Thank You

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Thank You is Ms. Trainor’s second studio album and I’m excited. I think she makes good pop music and her career will go far. You’ve got to keep your playlist poppin and diverse, so give this a shot.

Some other albums that you might want to check out right now:

Cyndi Lauper- Detour

The Virginmarys- Divides

Chance The Rapper- Coloring Book

Let me know what you are currently listening to. Happy Friday the 13th.

{New Visuals} Corrine Bailey Rae- Been To The Moon

Rejoice! New music from your girl Corrine Bailey Rae. Been a fan of hers for a minute now, and I’m glad to see she’s back at it with a new album.

The video for Been to The Moon gives me a Space Oddity feel (R.I.P Bowie) with that classic Corrine vocal styling we all know and love. Follow her twitter @CorrineBRae and keep your eyes peeled for her upcoming project The Heart Speaks In Whispers coming in May. Preorder here  http://po.st/THSIWDLXiTYT

#DoItNow

My Top 10 Albums of 2015

Oooh the end of 2015 is upon us, Hallelujah. I can admit that it was a rough year for many. Terrorism was alive and well…Racism was upon us in the truest form. Through it all, God reigns and music was plentiful!! I’ve seen a lot of list of the ‘Top Albums of 2015’ list, and I’m not surprised. There were certain albums that were undeniably relevant…Others that were not so awesome. I can not give you a top albums list without saying that these are my favorite albums of 2015. My rating system is really simple…How much did I listen to the album? How did it make me feel? Did it inspire me? Check out my list and let me know some of your favorites via twitter @DropaJewel

10. Tame Impala- Currents

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Yup! Of course I was bumping this one. I’d been waiting for this album faithfully as they were dropping track after track. I was not disappointed!

9. Grimes-Art Angels

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I’m not even sure how I caught wind of Art Angels…it must have been my endless blog browsing. Nevertheless, I was impressed with Grimes. You really can’t categorize this type of music. Most of the album had an electronic pop-ish feel and my eardrums were grateful. If you haven’t listened to it yet, check it out and expand your mind.

8. Fabolous-Summertime Shootout

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Fab surprised me with his latest project. It was filled with a few artist collabs including Nicki Minaj and Trey Songs, but was a hip hop heads wet dream. I’ve had it in rotation since its release and I know it’ll sound damn good in the speakers next summer.

7. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly

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And now let us take a moment for the elephant in the room. This album was at the top of everybody’s list this year. I thought it was a really good effort on Kendrick’s part: the black power theme, the west coast love, the cohesiveness of the project and the ability to relate to our day to day lives. The issue I had with TPAB was not the actual project; it was the small minded individuals who forgot that hip hop has no one particular sound. All of the kudos I saw on social media and hip hop sites reminded me that SOME PEOPLE don’t listen to anything but mainstream radio. They lack the ability to be independent thinkers and enjoy what they were not PROGRAMMED to listen to. Kendrick can rhyme, and TPAB was a damn good project; however, he is not the second coming of Christ. I think he’ll collect quite a few grammys this go round. Hip hop has always been a fusion of other genres and inspirations…I challenge all artists to explore that ideology as they create their art. It makes for an authentic project. Keep up the good work, Kendrick.

6. Add 2- Prey For The Poor

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This may be the most slept on album of the year. The beats were pure dopeness; shouts out to 9th Wonder as usual. Add-2 didn’t get nearly enough airplay as he should have. I think Prey for The Poor was suitable for old and new school listeners and was nice fresh breath of air from the fuckery in the hip hop industry today. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him in the future. Kudos.

5. Skyzoo- Music for My Friends

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Yessuh! Music for my Friends is one of those projects that somebody puts you onto at the last second. I have a homeboy who ALWAYS gives me the heads up on great hip hop projects and this happens to be one of them. Skyzoo did his thing as so many of the tracks embody a humility not often seen in mainstream hip hop. Most of the songs had great break beats and dope hooks. I felt like this was some shit I would listen to riding along the streets of the Bronx as a kid in the summer. I felt like Skyzoo knew his audience BUT just wanted to make some feel good music for real people…including himself.

4. Game- The Documentary 2

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Game came through with a game changer (pun intended) with The Documentary 2. I miss the day of raw hip hop and this gave me my fix. I think it’s rare for a hip hop artist to do a part 2 to their introductory album and still make it a worth while listen. Clearly, Game had a vision and inspiration from other west coast artist celebrated this year (NWA, Kendrick Lamar). Whatever the cause, I’m still very much thankful.

3. Foo Fighters- St. Cecilia and Songs From The Laundry Room

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Boom! Foo Fighters have given me life all year long. They dropped St. Cecilia as a free download for their fans a few months ago. How noble in our time of turmoil?! They also dropped Songs from the Laundry Room for record store day and both EPs are in my heavy rotation playlist. All I ask for is good music that invokes good vibrations and positive energy. I love a good guitar riff any day of the week and this gave me just the soundtrack for closing out the year. #Respect

2. Lianne La Havas- Blood

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My Lordy. I fell in love with this young lady in 2015. I’m not sure if it was my mood, but I have been playing this album out since its release this summer. Blood was my first real introduction to Ms. La Havas and I was grateful. The album has a mellow, jazzy, soulful feel to it…authentic and genuine. I’ve heard mixed reviews from other music sources, saying that it didn’t have her personal spin on it but I beg to differ. It’s important for artist’s sound to evolve and for them to work with different producers to create new sounds. Blood is nominated for a grammy award and I’m eager see if her hard work will be rewarded. Very dope project from Ms. La Havas.

1.The Internet- Ego Death

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It is my understanding that Ego Death is nominated for a grammy. Well it’s about damn time! There really isn’t much to say about this album. It pretty much speaks for itself. Again, I felt all good vibe in listening and an interesting fusion of sounds. Ego Death reminds me of how good R&B used to feel, though I can’t rightfully place it in any specific category. The hip hop elements shine through a neo soul bed of casual feel good musicianship. Well done, great execution. Praise God.

Check out my homeboy Vegas’ blog Hiphopolitic.com for his top Hip Hop Albums of the year.