Rwandan-born, Belgian-based singer Amery is an artist to watch.
A lover of ‘80s funk, pop culture, and androgynous fashion, the 22 year old has already garnered acclaimed from publications including EARMILK, ELLE, and BuzzFeed, and has even won the attention of legendary entertainer Elton John.
Growing up in a strict and very religious environment, Amery was cut off from the entertainment world but still managed to catch a few glimpses of MTV, where innovative artists like Michael Jackson first caught his eye. After arriving in Belgium at the age of 12, the young artist was exposed to new cultures and communities, which helped foster his art by allowing him to find more ways to express himself.
With his new single “Never Growing Older,” Amery shares with his listeners an intimate conversation with himself in which he explores his thoughts, fears, and restrictive societal rules in order to take back control of himself and become the artist he’s meant to be.
Musical Notes Global sat down with Amery to talk all about the new single, how living in Rwanda and Belgium has influenced his work, and more. Check out the full interview below.
MNGBlog: Congratulations on the release of your new single. What does "Never Growing Older" represent for you?
Amery: Thank you Erica! Never Growing is the realisation that you can't change who you are. It’s about self-acceptance and embracing what makes us unique, flaws and all! It took me a long time to battle my fears and insecurities, to stop wanting to please everyone but me. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is that you should always do what makes you happy! Be your true self.
MNGBlog: You were born in Rwanda but now live in Belgium. How do you think experiencing each culture has influenced your music?
Amery: The difference between the two cultures is huge. Rwanda is where I spent the first 10 years of my life. Over there, people are calm and caring but music-wise, I felt like there was one unique sound, one way to dress, one way to act. Meanwhile in Belgium and Europe in general, there's so much diversity whether it be in music, fashion etc. which comes as the result of being exposed to different cultures. Living here played a big part in getting to know myself and creating my music.
MNGBlog: Growing up in a strict and religious environment, were there any music artists you were allowed to listen to? What was the first CD you ever bought?
Amery: At my grandma's house in Rwanda, TV was allowed. I had everything I could ask for as a kid. But one thing my grandmother said no to was music from the outside world. I could only listen to religious songs or music reflecting these values. But hey, like every kid, I would sometimes sneak in the living-room while my grandma was away and put MTV on and discovered artists like Michael Jackson with the iconic Thriller! The first CD I ever bought was Good Girl Gone Bad by Rihanna back in 2008. Actually, my mom got it for me ‘cause I couldn’t stop whining about getting an album. The funny thing is that I chose hers just because I thought the cover looked cool…This is now the day I became a big fan of Rihanna! She was inspiring and refreshing back then and still is today. I can’t wait for her to release new music!
MNGBlog: How do you think growing up in such a strict environment has affected your songwriting?
Amery: During the years I spent with my grandma, I feel like I kept so much inside me. But still, it took me years and years to truly open up. Songwriting definitely gave me a chance to put my emotions on paper and do what I always wanted to do.
MNGBlog: What excites you most about being part of the music industry today?
Amery: I think I would go for the fact that I'm able to write about how I feel and share that with the world versus keeping it to myself, which I would tend to do as a shy person.
MNGBlog: What is something you want your fans to know about you and your music?
Amery: You'll get to know me better when listening to my music and even more so with my next releases. I’m honestly not good at communicating or socializing - I'm very shy so I put all my efforts, thoughts and feelings in my music.
MNGBlog: What are you looking forward to in 2019?
Amery: More music for sure!
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