MNGBlog's latest musical discovery comes in the form of Alexandra Amor, a soulful songstress from the U.S.A.
It's hard to believe that the Floridian-born Amor is in her early 20s. With a classic sound that blends 1960s American pop with modern R&B, her listeners are captivated by the rich emotional depth of her voice, a voice that echoes those of Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse.
The influence of Amy Winehouse and Alicia Keys on Amor's music is undeniable, their definitive sounds evident even in the arrangements of her songs. "I fell in love with Alicia's songs from her album Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys," she said. "I love her soulful sound and raw lyrics." She even trained with Alicia Keys's old vocal coach, Conrad, in NYC, which she said was a "complete honor." And when she first heard Amy Winehouse's breakout hit "Rehab" while working as a restaurant hostess, she was compelled to devour the rest of her catalog and fell even more in love with her music. "The truth behind each verse, the live instruments, the sorrow and beauty in all of art...I connected with my first female artist on a level I didn't fully understand at the time." Now, both Keys's "If I Ain't Got You" and Winehouse's version of "Valerie" are staples on Amor's setlists.
2016 is proving to be a big year for Alexandra, who, in addition to planning the release of her EP Amor Unplugged, was a recent performer at the Topping Out Ceremony at World Trade Center 3, an event that saw the last bucket of concrete being signed by developer Larry Silverstein and other dignitaries and lifted to the top of 3WTC. "I sang [God Bless America] in honor of the 3,000 lives lost and lives still to this present day that are rebuilding what was so abruptly taken from us," Amor said. "It was emotional and a profound moment I will never forget."
Although she has been singing her whole life, Amor might not be where she is today if it wasn't for the encouragement of her best friend, who convinced her to audition for a play in 8th grade and helped her take singing seriously. "I got the lead role as Sarah the missionary from Guys & Dolls," Amor said. "I fell in love with the lights, stage and teamwork it took to achieve the applause at the end. I began to crave it."
Not to mention all of the awesome live music she got to experience growing up on St. Petersburg Beach, which has now made its way into her latest project. "Whether it's Summer time or the weekend - listening to Van Morrison, Bob Marley, or The Eagles covers from local bands - I fell in love with music," she said, "with the live instruments which I have fully incorporated into my latest Amor Unplugged EP."
Now Amor is getting ready to release that EP, from which we have already had the pleasure of hearing two songs and have been enjoying them all summer long.
"Mama," the first release from the Amor Unplugged, is a cautionary tale. Told amongst a 1960s-inspired blend of blues, jazz, and pop, it divulges her regrets about not heeding her mother's advice. Released in May, it immediately became a fan favorite. Get it on iTunes and Spotify.
Following "Mama," "Not Easy to Love" was released in June. It's a song in which Amor reveals a remarkable vulnerability to her listeners, contrasting its predecessor in both content and tone.
The soul-bearing track developed out of a period of personal growth for Amor, who wrote it at the start of a new relationship over Christmas 2015. When asked about the story behind it, she said: "Growing up I was ALWAYS in a long term relationship with hopes of marrying my high school sweetheart...I was always lied to and cheated on multiple times so I took two years to be single and live for ME. This relationship was the first time in 2 years that I was taking serious, so I...wrote, all my emotions onto a note pad. #NETL was created." The single is available now for download on digital platforms.
Lucky for us, we can look forward to even more new music before the summer ends. She will release "You Fool" this month and "Do You Remember?" in August, both of which are features on her EP.
With genuine lyrics and a diverse range of influences that she is wisely adopting in her own style, Alexandra Amor's music will always remain relevant in an unpredictable, ever-changing industry.
Take a look at Amor's playlist below and be sure to follow her on social media for all of her latest updates.
MNGBlog: If you could listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
AA: "Hotel California"; the song represents life's ups and downs. It's a perfect piece of art. I wouldn't mind listening to this record for the rest of my life.
MNGBlog: Name some songs on your iPod/playlist right now.
AA: Back to Black-Amy Winehouse, "By Your Side"-Sade, "Here I Go Again"-Whitesnake, "Burning Down the House"-Talking Heads, "Crazy"-Patsy Cline.
Listen to Alexandra Amor on Apple Music.
Facebook: Alexandra Amor