AMYRA–the artist, poet, playwright and author formerly known as Amy León–will share her first album, WITNESS, under her new moniker in the spring. AMYRA’s signature brand of emotionally-charged alternative soul first sounded off in her hometown of New York City, where she recorded her Something Melancholy debut and an improvised project called two hours in july.. Now based in London, pulling inspiration by artists like Laura Mvula and James Blake, AMYRA plans to take her musical career to an bold new direction.
We’re thrilled to premiere the video for “The Sound of Drowning,” a visual poem that serves as a prelude to AMYRA’s forthcoming album. The new release gracefully fuses the worlds of poetry and music she’s been exploring over the last decade. “The Sound of Drowning” is the first piece of work she’s made entirely by herself, all the more notable considering it’s certainly one of her strongest releases to date. The spoken word narrative is accompanied by sparse, ethereal textures production; AMYRA’s powerful verses offer a stark contrast to the empty space, ambient trails of melody follow her voice like benevolent spectres.
Directed by Renee Mao, the video documents intimate scenes from AMYRA’s childhood in Harlem, culminating with a gorgeous couple of shots captured at the neighborhood’s legendary Apollo Theater (where AMYRA sold out a headlining show as Amy León last April). Read a statement from AMYRA about “The Sound of Drowning” below.
“I have navigated unspeakable wars since I was a child bouncing around the foster care system & have somehow managed to cultivate a life of joy and wonder – one I was told was impossible for kids like me, drenched in melanin and poverty. This visual is sacred to me because it captures Harlem on the cusp of its last breath as gentrification disappears the very streets that saved my life.”
Listen to two hours in july..