In the tapestry of the UK’s Soul scene, Amethyst emerges like a radiant dawn, painting the sky with her captivating melodies and bold narratives. Her latest release, “Blue,” unveils a side of this songstress as multifaceted as the gem she’s named after, a unique blend of vibrant pop hues intricately woven with her signature soulful threads.
In this riveting creative detour, Amethyst masterfully intertwines infectious hooks with complex melodies, her intimate lyrics whispering familiar tales in new tunes. This fearless blend, an auditory cocktail of the unchartered and the beloved, embodies Amethyst’s quest for continuous evolution. The seamless fusion she’s achieved with the masterful James Berkeley is akin to two cosmic bodies merging into a celestial supernova.
Amethyst reflects on her studio session with Berkeley, “Working with James was an absolute breeze…he really challenged me to get the best vocal take we could.” This collaboration seemed to blur the lines between two talented individuals into one harmonious symphony. The union of their neo-soul and pop sensibilities culminated in a blend that dances on the precipice of the familiar and the daringly new, effortlessly breathing life into the track.
Using the tapestry of her personal experiences, snippets from film, TV, and anecdotes from her friends, Amethyst weaves a narrative that straddles the line between fact and fiction. The fear of commitment takes center stage in “Blue,” a universal theme that speaks to listeners across all walks of life. It’s a melody born from the remnants of a past relationship and the ponderings of a current situationship.
With the release of “Blue,” Amethyst opens a new chapter in her musical journey, one that is as exhilarating as it is captivating. Like a precious gem reflecting light in a myriad of shades, her music pulsates with a warmth that invites us in, and a depth that keeps us yearning for more.
You have a rich musical background, from singing Disney songs at age 3 to mastering multiple instruments by 11. How do you think your early immersion in such a variety of music genres and instruments has shaped your unique sound today?
I don’t think I realized for a long time how much my immersion in those genres had actually had an effect on the way I create music and sing until I started to release. I think I was so hell-bent on wanting to be the next RnB superstar, but then when I tried to recreate that sound for myself I realized it wasn’t truly me.
It was a part of me, but I am so inspired by so many genres, which definitely makes it harder for me because I don’t want to stay in one box, but I find it makes the creation of my music so much more exciting. One day I might want to write a track that is more jazz leaning or more soul leaning or more on the pop side or the funk side or even the rock side. I just do what feels good to me and it keeps it exciting because I still feel that my voice is the thing that glues it all together.
Previously, you cited a range of influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Beyoncé. If you could invite three artists to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
This changes every single day, but it has to be Stevie Wonder first. Purely just to say thank you for the incredible music he has created but also to learn about his journey and I would want to know his songwriting techniques and his process and just get to pick his brain on how he comes up with these incredible melodies.
Then I would probably have to say Frank Sinatra just so I could get the chance to potentially sing with him. That man is such an inspiration to me and to get to hear his voice in person would be a dream. And then finally I think I would have to say Miss Aretha Franklin. Purely because I know she would be so much fun to hang out with but also just to get advice from such a legend of this industry and hear all her incredible stories and I’d probably get her to teach me some piano whilst she’s at it ahah.
“Blue” sees you delving more into your pop inspirations. How do you strike the balance between exploring new genres and maintaining your signature style?
I think for me I know that my voice is my signature, my tone doesn’t generally change no matter what genre I’m writing. So I make sure that even if I’m straying between genres that my vocal melodies and hooks will always maintain that soulful jazz element to them to keep it all together. I feel like I’m still learning my sound and always growing, exploring these genres helps me to grow and to find the person I am and it’s beautiful because it may bring out a new side to me that I didn’t even know was there. It’s an exciting challenge.
Regarding the record, you touched on the fear of commitment from different perspectives. How does stepping into someone else’s shoes, even an ex’s, influence your songwriting and understanding of your own feelings?
A lot of my songs aren’t from my own perspective. I like to take pieces of my own experiences, my friends’ experiences, and just from things that inspire in tv or film and blend it into one. It can be difficult to try and feel something you’ve never felt but then I often realize there is a connection in some way, even if it’s small, and helps me look at issues within my own life from a new angle. It’s almost like therapy for me. It allows me to sit with my feelings.
I’d love to know more about your unique songwriting process. Whether it be pulling from experiences that any listener can relate to or more personal feelings, what’s the process of translating your emotions into songs?
It really depends. Sometimes I can just be lying in bed processing my life and thinking too deeply about things (I’m a Pisces) and all the things I wish I said start to come to me and I just write them down frantically. I like to pull out keywords or phrases that stick out and then go from there, so even if the storyline isn’t personal the words have connected with me in some way or were how I was feeling at a certain time in my life.
Other times I start with something that’s quite common, mainly love, and then delve into that deeper and almost brainstorm new ways to talk about things that maybe haven’t been said in a certain way before. I don’t like to be too cryptic with my lyrics, because I like the idea that just one simple line can connect with people in so many different ways. But sometimes the best lyrics are when they are put plainly and I’ve been working on ways to develop my writing to be intricate but at the same time brutally honest without having to dance around the topic which is quite difficult.
In an industry that’s constantly evolving and resurging trends of the past, being an artist in today’s era is a lot more different than it’s ever been. What’s your take on the current R&B scene?
Hmm, that’s a tricky one. Personally, I feel the UK RnB scene is not getting the love it deserves at all. There are some incredibly talented artists who are having to lean more into pop or just being labeled as pop to have more of a chance of success which is scary. I also think that there is some great R&B and Soul music being made all over the world but the UK is very defiant about not taking it in unless it’s someone who’s already in the charts.
I’m finding that there are so many artists with 100k, 200k, and 300k followers yet you can mention their names and no one knows who they are. One exception to that is FLO they are absolutely killing it at the moment. But I think I’ve noticed that people don’t really want to listen unless you have the TikTok followers to back it up which I understand but I hope one day it just comes back to the music.
And also, you’re still a young woman growing into her prowess and understanding not only what works for you musically, but on a personal level as well. At the moment, how do you feel about where you’re at currently and ultimately, where do you want to go?
You know each day it’s different. I was thinking to myself the other day just how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved since putting out my first single a year and a half ago is crazy! So much has changed, the connections I’ve made, the gigs I’ve done the support I’ve had, and doing this all independently is kind of crazy.
I definitely feel on the right track and that I’m progressing how I should, but it’s hard. Sometimes you feel like you’re stuck in the same place, or no one wants to help you or believes in you or that you’re not good enough and when you see someone blow up overnight it can be pretty soul-crushing. But it’s all part of the story, I know the hard work that I’m putting in now, will pay off soon and I’m never going to give up what I love.
Lastly, what do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
Connected. I want people to resonate with my music, feel the pain, feel the joy, that I felt but in their own way. I hope they can hear the honesty in my lyrics and most importantly the soul.