Amara la Negra is a businesswoman who isn’t just about her shit — she’s humble AF. As she hops on the line with CASSIUS, she graciously thanks the outlet for the coverage, something few reporters can say they’ve heard from an entertainer who has been in the spotlight her entire life.
When asked about how she remains so down to earth, she responds as if it was a no-brainer.
“I don’t really think I need anything to remind me where I came from because I always carry it with me,” she tells CASSIUS. “I grew up in the entertainment industry, I grew up seeing very famous people and they were always very humble.”
With her unapologetic look and even bolder voice, Amara was introduced to the American mainstream this year by way of the newest addition to the successful franchise, Love and Hip Hop Miami. Thus far, she’s been relentless in her efforts to get her music crossover started by remaining true to her Afro-Latinx roots. While her single “Insecure” doesn’t come out until March, Amara said she wanted to debut with “What a Bam Bam” (which premiered exclusively on TIDAL) to give her new audience a taste of her sound.
“I’ve always loved Caribbean music, [“Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy] was a song I really liked,” she explained. “I was trying to look for a way to sample it in a way that I felt matched my sound. I wanted to give the audience something to look at in terms of my music because I know everyone is anxious to hear something.”
While Amara considers her music her number one priority, the topic she’s been called to speak on by numerous media outlets hits closer to home. Due to an ongoing confrontation she had on LHHM with producer Mr. Hollywood, the racist backlash that many Afro-Latinx people face on a daily basis from those within their own Latinx community was propelled to the forefront. Among the many press runs she’s had, the Dominicana also appeared on The Breakfast Club where Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy diminished her struggles.
“It’s sad that in 2018 people are still questioning the possibility that we exist,” she said. “We’re considered strangers to communities of people who look like us because we come from a different culture. They look at us and say, ‘Where have you been?’ We’ve been here forever, we’ve just felt ignored for so long we didn’t feel confident enough to speak about it.”
We’re considered strangers to communities of people who look like us because we come from a different culture.
While she feels like the Afro-Latinx community has been largely ignored for many years, she hopes that she can help play a part in fighting to make a way to make space for people who look like her. One such person that Amara has always looked towards in admiration was the legendary Afro-Cubana singer Celia Cruz.
“She had a powerful spirit,” she said. “Everything about her was amazing to me. Even though we’re from different genres, she was a beautiful human being and I pray that God gives me the opportunity of leaving my footprint in the world the way that she did.”
As she looks towards the future of her career, she lives for the day where she can attain the same type of legendary status — but promises that she’ll never forget her humble origins.
“It’s never about the money, it’s about the fact that I want my life to matter,” she said. “I live for the moment that I’m on stage in front of a crowd. It’s just something that’s in me and makes me happy.”
You can watch the video for “What a Bam Bam” down below:
Presente: Amara la Negra Talks New Song, Afro-Latinidad, and Inspirations was originally published on cassiuslife.com