Read here the interview with Codarts Popstudent Amina Sahli. She tells us about her first single ‘Morgen’ which she released during the Coronacrisis.
Amina Sahli (19)
Study programme and year:
Pop songwriting, first year
How would you describe your style of music?
‘It is kind of a mix between pop and soul. With maybe a tiny bit of R&B, but mainly pop and soul. I write in both Dutch and English.’
Which language do you prefer for writing songs and singing?
‘That’s a tough choice. It’s two completely different worlds, really. I used to always write in English but at examinations I was told: ‘’It’s great what you’re doing, but we don’t feel the real Amina yet.’’ So, last year I wrote my first songs in Dutch and I thought it was pretty cool. Dutch is much deeper after all and I can express myself better in it. It’s very critical and naked; people hear and understand every word you’re singing, which makes it quite vulnerable. Then again when I write in English, I find that I can touch myself and others in a completely different way.’
You released your first single ‘Morgen’ last April. Can you tell me what the song is about?
‘It’s about missing loved ones in these times of Corona. In the first place it’s about me and my boyfriend. We had just started a relationship when this crisis started. My boyfriend is from Belgium and when they closed the borders, we could no longer be together. I was also celebrating my birthday in that period, which made me realise even more how much I missed my boyfriend and my friends. One night when I couldn’t sleep, I wrote down a couple of sentences. I posted this on Instagram the next day and when I received much positive response, I began to develop it, together with my producer.’
So, it wasn’t really in the planning to release your first single now?
‘No, not at all. I actually wanted to wait for one year or perhaps even two years before releasing my first single. If you would have told me this three months ago, I would have laughed in your face. However, I received so much fantastic response that it felt okay to do it now. I even got Instagram messages from young girls whose mother or grandmother was in the hospital with Corona. They told me that my song really helped them. It really felt like getting a present, people saying that. I realised then that the song was about much more than just me and my boyfriend.’
When the single came out it was immediately picked up by the media, by radio. What was that like?
‘That was really great, but those were super intense weeks and everything went so fast. After all that positive response I thought: if people feel helped by this, maybe it should be on the radio and reach a wider audience. Not having like a team around me I did all the promotion myself, and it was a lot of work, I can tell you. For days on end I sent out mails and Direct Messages via Instagram and fortunately the response was favourite. I had a great interview on NPO Radio 1 and on 3FM and my song was played on a number of stations! I realised that my voice was really being heard and I’m so grateful for that.’
And have things calmed down now or are you still very busy with it?
‘No, it’s not so hectic anymore. Which is good, as for the next few weeks I really need to focus on exams and retakes. I didn’t plan it this way, but actually it was the perfect moment for me to release the single now. And now I have more time again to relax, do sports and going into nature, in addition to studying for my exams for Codarts pop.’
Are there already plans to release another single?
‘I think I want to release a second or perhaps even a third single, but I won’t have time for that until the summer or in the beginning of the new school year. I’d really love to also release an EP someday.’
What other future plans do you have? What goals have you set yourself?
‘I would love to form a band with people who really become my buddies as well. Just go for the whole thing: getting on the tour bus together and making people laugh, enjoy, cry and dance, is a dream of mine I’ve had since I was 12. At the moment I don’t have a regular band and I’ve never been in one, unlike most of my fellow students. At talent scouting events it was always just me and the piano and sometimes I didn’t even know what chords I was playing. This is why I think it would be such fun to have a permanent base with talented people and really create things together.’
Take a look at the playlist of Codarts popstudent Amina Sahli on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5JAFTwNOV2lbme86e61ldV?si=uvTfxSr6Q4qqw3DEZ5yGeg