I'm listening to Amira Kheir's debut album, View from Somewhere, as I post this and it's just what the doctor prescribed. The Sudanese-Italian singer/songwriter's music is inspired by traditional Sudanese singing and instrumentation along with hints of jazz, soul, East African, West African and Middle Eastern music. A real pan-African global fusion that soothes and makes you want to move (a sultry, downtempo kind of groove) at the same time. I'm happy to share with you an interview with my fellow SOAS alumna …
What's your passion?
Music music music!
What inspired you to become a musician?
As I began to explore music more and more, I realised that nothing else has the power to summon emotions of the highest degree, flood open doors of consciousness and emancipate spirits like music. I knew my life would be in function of this inexplicable and immense force.
What has been your greatest obstacle/challenge?
I don't think that has come yet! With smaller obstacles I've tried to stay focused and work with what I have. Even in the worst of situations we always have something to help us out – it's important to remember that and work with it.
What has your greatest achievement been?
I am grateful and happy about everything – from being able to perform and meet people through music to having recorded my first album. I celebrate everything – the small and big steps because, they are all part of what brings me to where I am today and direct me to where I am still headed.
Where will you be in 10 years?
Hopefully making music in Africa!
How does Africa inspire you?
It's home. It's a continent of endless beauty and resilience and innovation. Stuff's happening in Africa like nowhere else. There's an incredible energy and aspiration to the future like I've experienced nowhere else. It's a place that keeps changing and waits for no one to define it.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Listen to more African music people!
Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
I will be playing at the Bloomsbury Festival on the 22nd of October [tomorrow at 13:15!] and the National Theatre on the 9th of November but the highlight of the next few months will definitely be performing at the Festival Au Désert in Mali!
Listen to more of Amira's music on bandcamp and via this Fly Global Music article. You can buy Amira's album directly from her, on iTunes, on Amazon and at major music retailers globally. You can also find Amira on MySpace and Facebook. Happy weekend everybody 🙂
Images courtesy of Amira Kheir