We interviewed Amindi, a super-cute LA based R&B/soul artist. They talked about star signs, family traditions, and Wes Anderson.
Judging by your Instagram and music videos, you have a great sense of style! what’s your favorite accessory, and why?
Amindi: I love a good bag or a cute purse. I’m really into cute purses. I also love grills. I have a gold gap filler I like to wear, but since we’re wearing masks now it’s not as fun because you can’t see it. Definitely chains, I love chains, I’m wearing all my chains right now. Chains and purses for sure.
Your song “Love Em Leave Em” is also the title of a very different song by KISS. Do you ever listen to dad rock or hair metal?
Amindi: I’m very open to all genres, I listen to all genres except heavy metal or country music. I’m pretty open to all genres. Would dad rock be considered Pink Floyd? I like Pink Floyd sometimes.
You collaborate with a lot of other artists, like Tessellated, Valleyz, Popcaan, and Kranium, to name a few. what are your favorite things about creative collaboration?
Amindi: When you’re making music constantly, you create your own way that things should be, and then you work with somebody else and they propose a new way. And maybe it’s something I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. It’s cool to see other perspectives on the art that I’m working on, if that makes sense.
Your song “Eggs Aisle” has some verses about a supportive dad. What’s a treasured memory or tradition you have with your dad?
Amindi: My dad, we used to live in an apartment building and our downstairs neighbors had a gated garden, and he would go into the garden and pick me roses. And he was a mechanic so he had hella tools on him all the time, and he would use his pliers to pick the thorns off one by one and give me roses. I love my dad.
In an article with The Gleaner, you said that “Pine and Ginger” was inspired by your mom’s pineapple and ginger juice, which she made around Christmas. Do you have any other holiday traditions you’d like to share?
Amindi: Honestly, my mom makes good juice around Christmastime. There’s another juice that I actually prefer to pine and ginger juice called sorrel. It’s like a deep red burgundy color, it’s really yummy, I prefer it more than pine and ginger. That would be my favorite holiday tradition, drinking the sorrel.
We read you got signed when you were around 17. What’s it like to launch your music career so young?
Amindi: I’m 21 right now, so it makes me feel like a veteran, lowkey. I started uploading music onto the internet when I was thirteen years old. When I was a freshman in high school our school gave us all iPads, so I was making music on Garageband, and that’s when SoundCloud was new and less intimidating. It was like a finsta. I could upload whatever and not really care. I was thirteen, making music, and I’ve always been collaborating with whoever I could, whoever I thought was cool, and they would always be down. It was such a cool time period. It was less clout based. It was just people wanting to create.
And then all of that I was doing there led up to being seventeen years old and getting signed. It felt like, okay cool, I put the work in to get this moment. And then after that it was… I don’t know if intimidating is the right word. It was like okay, what now? I’m a seventeen-year-old. At the time I really didn’t know who I was. Now I have a good idea of who I am. Maybe it’ll change, maybe I’ll progress. But I was less sure of who I am back then than I am now than I am at this point in my life. So, I was like, “Aah!”.
I didn’t get signed, “Pine and Ginger” got signed. Since I was the main artist on the song, it constricted me from releasing music, which stressed me out a little bit. Like I said, I was always freely uploading onto SoundCloud and stuff like that and I wasn’t able to do that anymore. So being 17, 18, 19, 20 years old and not being able to release music gave me a lot of time to figure out who I am. Now I’m like, hell yeah, I’m ready to release this project. I’ve been working nonstop for weeks. It’s like a hidden blessing, you know what I mean?
Have you ever gone through imposter syndrome?
Amindi: Most definitely. I think that shit just comes out of nowhere, you know? Like from time to time. I think a lot of artists struggle with “Do I really deserve this? Am I really good? Was it just a fluke?”. My mindset now is that everything happens for a reason. It can be tricky to say, because there’s a lot of bad shit that happens, you know. All the good that happened did happen because I worked for it. And I’m able to say that now, I know that was the case.
Do you have any advice you’d give your younger self?
Amindi: I would tell myself at that point in time, I guess it happened anyway. But I would tell myself to figure out how I want to present myself and what kind of art I want to put out. It’s not like, intentional. I wasn’t able to put stuff out because I was stuck. I spent a lot of time feeling angry, feeling frustrated. I got out of that, and I’m more optimistic now. I would’ve told myself not to be so mad. But also I guess I deserved to be mad.
You’re pretty passionate about being a Libra. All in good fun, what are some of your favorite or least favorite star signs and why?
Amindi: What are your star signs?
Weronika: I’m a Capricorn.
Sarah: I’m an Aquarius!
Amindi: Oh, happy birthday to both of you! I always say I don’t have a least favorite. I’m a Libra, and Libras always want everybody to like us. My least favorite is…I don’t know, I know this is all in good fun, but I don’t want to pick a least favorite. My favorite would be Libra. Nah, I love Aries. I get along really well with Aries, I love Aries a lot. I love Virgos, Virgos are cool. Everybody hates Geminis, but I love Geminis.
Weronika: Same! I’ve never met a Gemini I didn’t vibe with.
Amindi: People just be hating.
You’ve said movies like Spike Lee’s, Wes Anderson’s, and Quentin Tarantino’s are a big inspiration for you musically. I read on VICE that you like to write from the perspective of fictional characters in your lyrics. Do you want to share what characters you channeled in some of your songs?
Amindi: This was definitely something I did a lot earlier, when I was releasing music on Soundcloud. There’s a song on there called “Digital Echo Field.” That was a movie in my mind when I wrote it, that’s just about… I don’t know. When I was in high school I didn’t have any relationships. I was a very single person when I was in high school. I always wrote romantic songs because I’m a Libra, and Libras are ruled by Venus, and Venus is the planet of love and shit. When I wrote “Digital Echo Field” I was really into a Wes Anderson character. I was really into that one where they run away together, Moonrise Kingdom. That was very Moonrise Kingdom-esque in my brain. But a very urban Moonrise Kingdom, because I’m talking about weed and stuff.
Sarah: We interviewed a band called Better Than This and they wrote a song called “The Girl from Jupiter” about Moonrise Kingdom too. It’s a big one for artists.
Amindi: I think Wes Anderson does it for us, you know what I mean? He knows what he’s doing.
Weronika: He has a very distinct aesthetic that’s easy to pick up right away. I don’t want to put words in anybody’s mouth, but I feel like as an artist, artists try to capture that same essence too. I don’t know if you think visually, but that.
Amindi: Yeah, I try to think very visually.
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