She is the daughter of renowned choreographer Dr L’Antoinette Stines and a dancer in her own right. So, for many, it was a given that Amanyea would follow in the footsteps of her famous mother. But what many didn’t know is that she secretly harboured the desire to enter the world of music.
On Friday (May 28) Amanyea is releasing her single Top Girl from her soon-to-be-released EP Still Go’ Dance, which is on the Delicious Vinyl imprint and produced by Romario “Runkus” Bennett.
According to Amanyea, a “top girl” refers to a woman who recognises that it’s not just about taking care of herself physically but also catering to complete development.
“I recorded this track a year ago… I just walked into Grafton [Studios] and just told Runkus that I wanted to record this song. It was really about motivating myself at first, but then I quickly realised that this could have an effect on women out there. Gwaan do yuh business, whether big or small,” she told the Jamaica Observer’s Splash.
Like her debut single Dibby Dibby, Amanyea is unapologetic about the consistent themes of female empowerment and upliftment which run through her lyrics.
“That is the person I am and what I believe in. All my life I have been influenced by my mother. I have watched and experienced her raising me on her own while doing so many things and giving to community, nation, region and the world… she is the original top girl. So, it is only natural that in writing of my experiences at this time the strong, empowered female will form a large part of what I do,” she shared.
With her mother being so central to her artistic development, what was it like making the decision not to continue the legacy her mother created with L’Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force?
“The music is feisty but real…it’s a tiny ball of fire.”— Amanyea
“I’ve wanted to do music since I was 13. I have danced all my life and trained so much that it had become part of me, so much so that I was almost afraid to do music, and so I shied away from it. It was only when I had an unfortunate surgery which resulted in me not being able to dance as much that I was brave enough to entertain the thought of music. I was on crutches, and with all the bad news coming I decided that it was going to be music.”
For Amanyea, her music represents her, and so whatever adjectives she uses to describe herself she transfers it to her craft.
“It’s girly, it’s tomboy, it’s sexy, it’s sweet. Like me, the music is feisty but real…it’s a tiny ball of fire. There is colour…it jus’ sexy an’ bad. Just like Jamaica, Amanyea and her music is likkle but tallawah.”
Launching a musical career during a pandemic is a double-edged sword, but one which Amanyea is ready to tackle head-on. While she is missing out on the possibility of live shows and performances, she relishes the captive audience she is given via social media during this downtime.
“The truth is, I don’t know the difference. I was never an artiste before the pandemic so I have nothing to compare to. Right now people are glued to social media so I’m hoping to use that to my best abilities and see what happens. Mi nuh know when di pandemic a guh done, or if it a guh done, so we just have to hustle in this new normal, work through it. Yes, I would love to travel and perform but until then, I hope my music gets to those far places before I do,” she added.