photography by Niluh Barendt
From Soundcloud to a debut album, Amilli‘s journey as a musician has been nothing short of serendipitous. Growing up in a small German town, the thought of becoming a teacher had crossed her mind, but a chance collaboration with a friend changed everything. Fast forward a few years, and Amilli has won the coveted 1Live newcomer award, performed in front of millions, and played countless live shows.
And today, Amilli just dropped her new single Suitable, accompanied by a simple yet captivating video. Produced in collaboration with Leo Müller-Klönne, Suitable is a refreshing pop song with unexpected twists and a delightful melody. Her voice exudes the lightness of warm sunny days, and filling listeners with a sense of tranquility and joy.
In May, her debut album SOAMI will be released, showcasing the artist’s profound personal growth and newfound sense of self-assurance to the world. With a keen focus on introspection and self-discovery, the tracks promise to be a soulful reflection of her journey. During our interview, Amilli delves deeper into her artistic path, discussing her views on fashion and her reluctance to reveal too much about her personal life and experiences.
Congratulations on your new single “Suitable”. It was created during the pandemic via a Zoom session with a London-based producer. How did this collaboration come about, and what was it like creating music virtually?
Thank you very much. I think Dan Holloway and I got connected through my publishing, so we didn’t really know each other before our session. I was instantly excited to work with him after listening to the music he had written/produced in the past. Creating music virtually was not something I had done before, and I rarely do sessions with other people other than my producer Leo, so I was honestly a bit nervous going into this. Turned out, it was such an interesting and fun experience, and I was so amazed by Dan’s talent and how cool of a person he is.
Your music videos always have a unique concept and style. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the video for “Suitable”?
The video process was a little chaotic, to be honest. (laughs) My team and I actually made a last-minute decision to release “Suitable” instead of another song that we had chosen originally. Therefore, we didn’t have a lot of time to work out a concept and shoot the music video. Since music videos are really important to me, and I don’t like to do half-assed things, my team and I decided to shoot a rather “simple” video, kind of like a visualizer, that still has a special and unique twist and lives from the performance. The song “Suitable” is about not needing anyone, self-love, and not settling for less than you deserve. The fact that I’m just by myself in the elevator, living life and having this carefree energy seemed very fitting.
“Collaborating with other producers or artists in general can be very inspiring…”
In the video, we see you wearing different outfits in each elevator scene. How important is fashion to you as an artist, and how does it influence your creative process?
Over the last few years, my love for fashion has grown so much, and one of the best things about creating music videos for me is the styling part. I love how clothes can make you feel so empowered and the way you can kind of slip into another character.
Your upcoming debut album “SOAMI” is described as “self-reflective and adult” and features a variety of themes such as long-distance relationships, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and self-confidence. Can you talk about your personal growth as an artist and how it’s reflected in your music?
When I started making music, I feel like I was such a different version of myself. It took some time for me to know exactly how I wanted my music to sound and the things I wanted to write about. I guess my songwriting was more distanced from my personal life and more like “storytelling.” Over the last few years, and the pandemic especially, I really had the time to reflect on everything that has been going on in my life and really work on the relationship with myself. The songs I wrote for the album are closer to my heart than any other songs I wrote before because I started to put all this personal growth and gain of self-confidence into my songs. It was a really therapeutic process for me.
“The music can sometimes just speak for itself, and the room for interpretation can grow for each individual person who listens.”
In the creation of your album, you mentioned that you learned to trust your intuition. Can you share any advice for aspiring artists who are struggling to find their creative voice?
I think it’s safe to say that finding your own creative voice takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Making a lot of music, trying out new things, not thinking in boxes or comparing your music to other artists were really helpful for me. Collaborating with other producers or artists in general can be very inspiring, or going on a trip for a few days just to make music. Being away from my usual surroundings can spark a lot of creativity in me.
Your music often deals with personal themes and experiences. How do you balance sharing your vulnerability with your audience while still maintaining boundaries and privacy?
I was never someone who shares a lot of my personal life, and I don’t like to give away too many details about the experiences I write about. The music can sometimes just speak for itself, and the room for interpretation can grow for each individual person who listens.
“Doing things that don’t have anything to do with work or building my career really helps me stay grounded.”
Once you said, “I didn’t start making music because I wanted to be successful: I did it because I love doing it, and it was fun and fulfilling for me.” As your music career takes off and you become more successful, how do you ensure that you stay true to yourself and continue to create music that is fun and fulfilling for you, without getting caught up in the pressure of success?
At this point in my life, I feel like I know myself very well, and I think I’m good at not letting other people’s expectations change the way I handle my career or live my life. I’m quickly losing interest in things that don’t fulfill me, but I still love my job and making music. But there are also so many things I enjoy, such as spending time with my dearest people, making jewelry, knitting, or cooking delicious meals. Doing things that don’t have anything to do with work or building my career really helps me stay grounded.
What is the best compliment someone can give you?
Someone once said to me that I have a very gentle and calming energy, and that they’re inspired by my confidence. It makes me blush. (smiles)
What are the things you are looking forward to the most in 2023, both personally and as an artist?
I’m looking forward to releasing all this music that I put so much work into, out into the world. I also can’t wait to play lots of shows and talk to everyone in person.
Follow Amilli for more:
Suitable out now: orcd.co/suitable