INTERVIEW: Amirah Speaks Out About Her Latest Releases, Message She Addresses​, And Future Plans

Hello Amirah, welcome to ImPlurt! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? 

Thank you for the warm welcome. I’m Amirah and I am a singer-songwriter from Malaysia. I live in Los Angeles now, where I am recording my album. I started as a songwriter, but at that time, I had no plans to sing my own songs. However, fate had other plans for me, and here I am, singing my own songs too. I deeply value unity and it’s something I’ve always been passionate about. I would definitely call myself a unity advocate. 

Your sound is truly unique! You serve a blend of mainstream pop, and world music, what inspires you to create such original music? 

I grew up in Malaysia, so I was surrounded by a melting pot of cultures. I also happen to be biracial, and because of this, I was exposed to various food, traditional clothing, music, and celebrations from different cultures since I was a child. At the same time, I also faced many issues regarding my identity. I wondered how I could embrace both my roots and modern culture at the same time. I genuinely enjoy both, and so, after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to mix them – and this decision influences my music. I like to fuse traditional instruments with modern, cinematic music. I also started designing clothing that truly represented who I am – I love east meets west fashion and my designs reflect my authentic self. 

What does your creative process look like? Do you start by creating music or writing lyrics? 

I am a very melodic based songwriter and so for me, that’s what it’s all about. I like to keep a recorder at my bedside because I’ve noticed that I tend to get melodic ideas just before I fall asleep or when I dream. Sometimes the lyrics and the melody come to me at the same time, but this is quite rare. I flesh out the song on the piano, record a demo, and then work on the lyrics. Melodies bring up emotions and visuals from my mind and I like to allow these to guide me toward the lyrics. Every song plays out like a movie in my mind. 

Can you tell us a bit about your latest release ‘Tell Me’? 

I think it’s important that we honestly question who we are as people. “Tell Me” asks this question. Living in a cultural melting pot was wonderful. But at the same time, there was some confusion in my mind. Are we our name? Are we defined by our faces? Do the traditions we are born into dictate who we are? I was deeply saddened when I saw the hatred people had for each other, simply because of the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. Composing “Tell Me” helped me get this off my chest. I believe we should be free to be our true selves. These differences that we have: race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc, are all unique and beautiful. I feel that differences should be celebrated, not hated. 

Your previous single ‘My Land’ tells a very personal and emotional story. Did you write it about your own experiences? 

It is very personal indeed and it is very much based on my own experiences. I was in tears when I composed this song. My country was going through difficult times because of corruption among our leaders, and I found this devastating. The nation was fighting for clean and fair elections, and I joined a peaceful protest. It is still so real to me, that I can hear and feel all of it, even now. I can still feel the emotions and hear my thoughts from that time. It was so difficult for me to watch my own homeland, the country I love so much, crumbling before my eyes. I couldn’t help but think about the people around the world who had to flee their country because of war and severe devastation. I was grateful that I still had a safe place to call my home. 

What message do you want to send to your listeners? 

Inspiring and spreading unity is needed more than ever before, and I invite all my listeners to join me. 

It seems like your music is tightly connected to politics and social issues. What will you cover on your upcoming releases? 

Themes about unity and equality drive me to compose songs because it profoundly affects me. It breaks my heart when I see two people who love each other unable to be together due to differences in race and religion. The album that I am recording speaks to the theme of unity such as the challenges of interracial and interreligious relationships, amongst others. I love cinematic sounds and fusing traditional instruments. I don’t want these beautiful traditional instruments to die off either, so I am passionate about including these elements in my album. 

What’s coming next for Amirah? 

I am excited to finish recording my debut album and releasing it at I am also really looking forward to launching my East meets West clothing line online.