“I find art in general quite supernatural…spiritual…great art transcends all man made boundaries-the ability of a melody or a painting or the design of a building to inspire an emotional response; that puts the Artist in a position of great responsibility.
So says the Artist Amique, a multi-faceted musician more committed to his own artistic evolution than to chasing current trends. Creating music that fuses soul, rock, funk and jazz with a striking originality that explicitly pays homage to the greats that came before him, Amique’s sense of self, musically speaking, is unrivalled. The commitment to this evolution often leads to him producing, arranging and composing (and often playing) most of the music he has released so far. The reason? To enable both he himself as well as his audience to understand the limitless nature of art and to eradicate the boundaries that each generation hands down to the next.
An Artist that defies categorisation, Amique remembers writing some of his first songs on an “old, upright, and out-of-tune” piano that belonged to a family his mother worked for. Growing up in a household where music was often a much needed escape for the sometimes painfully shy but always wilful young artist, he grew up hearing Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Sade, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush and Stevie Wonder playing around the house.
Completely immersed in music from as far back as he remembers, Amique made a decision from a young age to dedicate his life to music, with the aim of creating a body of work as rich as his musical heroes. This meant studying his craft both at home, in school and in the studio with a fierce determination and unrelenting discipline.
After sharing some rough demos on Soundcloud in 2012, word began to spread about his ability and in 2013 Amique was asked to play at Wireless Festival’s Unsigned stage, after being discoveredonline. The release of two EPs soon followed, the music helping to build his reputation not just as a singer, but as a producer, arranger and composer too.
That reputation was cemented when in June 2015, Amique was announced as ‘Most Ready’ by the LIMF Academy, beating out over 300 other applicants from the region of Merseyside. Amiquesays“The LIMF Academy is full of people who are experienced in the industry and who didn’t know me before I was selected, so it meant a lot to be told by them that I’m doing something right with my work. It’s the respect and recognition that I needed.”Alongside studio sessions with Grammy award-winning producer Steve Levine and a live session for BBC Introducing, he performed to the crowds at LIMF Summer Jam. He says of the gig: “It was fabulous, and amazing to see how things really work. I’m a perfectionist for sure, but I walked off that stage in love with the people that I’d performed with and everyone involved.”
Since his LIMF performance, Amique has kept himself busy by recording a great deal of music for numerous upcoming projects this year including his upcoming EP “We Don’t Do Things Like You Do (We Do Things As They Should Be Done), due for release in late April. Having opened for acts such as Snarky Puppy, Kirk Whalum and JP Cooper, the multi-talented performer is now also bandleader to his “trippy jazz-funk collective” ‘The Ecstasy’.
It is thinking back to his past – recalling how he began to learn his craft on the old, out of tune piano he took up while his mother took care of the wealthy owners’ children – that Amique now shapes his dreams for his future: “There’s nothing I love more than making music,” he says. “When I wrote my first songs, I didn’t think about crafting them for radio or even about recording them. None of us did... all the musicians I grew up around... we played because we were fascinated and excited by the sounds we were creating. To be the best and most successful musician you can be, you mustn’t forget that.’