AB AMARII: The Beautiful Butterfly. (A personal review of the artist, by a fan who had more access.)
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Usually, I discover new African talent when I either actively search for something or when my colleagues and friends both within and outside the music space put me on to something they believe is phenomenal.
However, my enrolment into an Africa-focused, virtual music industry vocational program called Music Business Academy for Africa which is run by one of Africa's biggest talent managers; Godwin Tom and backed by members of faculty and brands which include Tunji Balogun of RCA and soon; Def Jam Recordings and streaming platform Audiomack in July, changed that for me.
I discovered AMARII a few weeks into the course through the academy's talent programme.
What I heard in her previous records; specifically the record before this one; CHILL PILL introduced her to me as an artiste who although a newbie, is aware of who she is, what kind of music she wants to make and who her target audience is.
Preparing for this release saw her go through a crash course in artiste development with me and the rest of the team she was assigned.
This saw her reach within herself and find resilience and a quiet mastery of her blossoming instrument. It also helped her face the world as an artiste. She was no longer the girl who could sing; rather she was now an artiste who was on a quest to know how to share herself with her audience in Africa and the world.
BUTTERFLY, which is produced by Peter “Bonus” Emiebor, and mixed and mastered by Dare “CityMonstar” Omisore, begins with a catchy but melancholic piano melody that immediately draws the listener into the world created by Ab Amarii's vivid word-painting.
Bonus then skilfully engages the listener more deeply using tom drums and a drowsy, buzzing bass-line that lifts and culminates into a gorgeous medley of strings, conga drums, a shaker and a marimba effect; from a synthesiser.
By the second verse, it becomes clear that Ab Amarii is taking no prisoners. For instance, the unexpected nature the introduction of backing vocals from the first verse (and through the song) adds a layer of hopeful joy to an otherwise sorrowful song.
I believe that from the first few lines, Ab Amarii’s penmanship established itself in 'Butterfly". As member of her student-team who had to go through the paces with her before the release, I will say that I secretly shed a few tears when I read the lyrics and listened to the final mix.
This led me to interview Amarii for this review. She tells me that the words to the song came from her personal experience. In 2017, Ab Amarii lost Sommie; who was a close friend and fellow musician who supported her aspirations. About her reason for "Butterfly"
“I wrote it because the thought of him never left my head, and I know there are people out there who've lost their loved ones to death who really are not ready to let go. This song is simply saying I'm letting you go because I can't wake you up, but it's really not okay that you have to go.”
I sincerely believe that "Butterfly" makes a beautiful unveiling record.
For Amarii, it is a way for her to free herself of the pain of loss via Butterfly's Afro-Soul poignance while for us, it is a way to follow Amarii on her career and life's rebirth journey.
Listen to Butterfly on all your favourite platforms:
Follow Amarii: IG: ab.amarii Twitter: ab_amarii
(While you listen to BUTTERFLY, do listen to the other records on the collaborative EP it features on. It is called Heart On A Sleeve; featuring all the members of the talent project and a little birdie says it is fabulous: https://onerpm.link/heartonasleeve)