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Portrait of Amaha


About Amaha

Memphis, TN

Coming from the land where Fela is King and music is as wide and varied as the latest hip-hop or pop song and the oldest traditional rhythm, Amelia "Amaha" Akpotu possesses a refreshing new style that reflects that constant pairing of the traditional with the modern.

Amaha has been singing since she could remember. Her first debut on the “stage” was as a missing 5-year old that reappeared at the top of a half-complete monolith to sing “My Lifetime” to the applause of dinner guests and the Minister of Information and Culture. Her parents’ diverse array of music in different languages that they played while she was growing up laid the groundwork for her multilingual and genre-crossing style of music.

When she turned 13 she wrote her first set of praise and worship songs to share with family and friends. She hasn’t stopped writing songs and poetry since! Her repertoire has expanded to include more secular music including “Nawa Dukiya” a soulful, joyful, Hausa and English love song, “Come from me” a bare, yet lush, ear-pleasing invocation of music and “Arigatou Baby” a jazzy and emotional treatise on love that lasts. The song “Amour/Amore” off her upcoming EP has been favorites in many competitions including a finalist for the John Lennon Songwriting Competition 2008 and NAMM. It is loved by so many people.

Amaha is a regular at the African Students Association annual event called “A Night in Africa” at the University of Memphis. She has performed at Newby’s Café for a charitable event to raise money for children in Chad and was a finalist for the Annual MEISA singer/songwriter showcase for 2006. She won the first ever Starcast Singing competition that attracted singers from all over America. She earned the Starcast grand prize through most online votes for her rendition of “Summer Time” by George Gershwin! She has also performed for notable personalities including the Mayor of Memphis and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Naomi Tutu at the Neighborhood Conference in downtown Memphis.

The first copies of Amaha’s EP “Claimant to the Stars” will be available November 21st at the annual Night in Africa event. She will begin her first full-length album this December.

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