The Queen of Ammartia may be petite, but Ammara Brown certainly packs a big punch of perkiness and passion. We met with this dynamic performer to get to know her a little better and to find out what is in store for Ammartians this year.
We photographed Ammara alongside the handsome duo from Jam Signal, a trendy band who often accompanies her. The dress shop, Autograph, in Rolf Valley fitted Ammara in some fabulous frocks for the photo shoot.
Ammara Brown does not really need much introduction; she is the daughter of the iconic Zimbabwean singer, Andy Brown, and she has been in the spotlight from a young age. When she was only 15, Ammara began performing with her father’s band, she made a commercial with Oliver Mtukudzi, she has shared the stage with names like Skwatta Kamp, Winky D, P-Squared and Tehn Diamond. She performs regularly on the international scene and her career continues to soar.
Ammara opened up to Harare Magazine and answered some of our questions to give us a peek into a bit of her personal life.
What childhood memories have affected your life and your music?
There are too many. Although I do remember that my father was never bound by the limitations of genre. Instead, he incorporated all of them, as resources in order to get the message of the song across. This is the reason my sound is unpredictable, yet consistently successful.
What is your favourite song to sing and why?
Surprisingly enough, I don’t have one. True to my artistic nature, it really depends on what I’m feeling at the time.
For example, if I feel Broody, I sing Khameel’s Kick (by me).
If I feel Queening, I sing Roll by Shontelle.
If I feel Earthy, I’m singing and playing Next Lifetime by me (on my mbira!)
If I feel Snatched and Saucy, I’m blasting I do by Cardi B and SZA.
It’s all about my mood!
Please tell us about any new projects you are working on?
I have two collaborations due for release shortly: one with Jay Rox of Zambia called UCHI, the other is with Epixode from Ghana called ALL FOR YOU. With my social media following sitting well over 250k followers, hence its reach boasting in the millions, you will continue to notice a lot of corporate partnerships and projects this year. There will also be a huge influx of visual content from Ammartia coming out, while I begin work on my next album.
Any big concerts coming up?
None that I can talk about yet. This year will consist of a lot of international tours. That is certain.
Where do you see the music industry in Zimbabwe heading?
I foresee a few of the best local artists being poached by huge international companies, while the rest of the industry continues to suffer for a lack of infrastructure and funding, and/or investment. A ministry claims Sports, Arts and Culture, but it would be refreshing to see respectable funding put into the arts sector as opposed to 99.9% going to sports alone. However, there are a number of professional creatives who I believe will change the outcome of the local entertainment industry in years to come. Myself included, of course!
What advice would you give to any young singers out there who want to record music?
Firstly, I would tell them that “passion” runs out. You must be obsessed with your craft in order to succeed. Secondly, decide early whether your target market is local or international, because their needs are quite different. Surround yourself with people who view crisis as opportunities, because Zimbabwe is the ultimate bootcamp. You will never run out of obstacles. Get a mentor if you can; guidance is golden. Many of us are willing to advise and assist respectable up-comers when possible. Finally: keep your spirit in tune with The Almighty. The world is bound to conspire in your favour, thereafter.
What are your favourite things to do in your free time? Hobbies?
Get a hot stone massage (cuz my muscles are in pain 80% of the time – lol!) I love to read. I just flew through Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn in three days. (She gives me so much life!) I am currently breezing though Robert Kiyosaki’s Second Chance. TED (Talks) and Candy Crush are my favourite apps, and yes, I love to Netflix and chill on the odd off day.
Thank you, Ammara, for your time and we can’t wait to see you on stage!