With the release of new music and a Glastonbury gig lined up, singer AMiR is riding high and ready to party.
2019 is shaping up to be North London artist AMiR’s breakthrough year. He’s just released his debut album, the bright, funky All Or Nothing, and has been invited to play BBC Introducing’s stage at Glasto.
Just rewards for a singer-songwriter who has spent the past few years learning his craft and steadily building a fanbase – last year he racked up 300,000 streams on Spotify.
But navigating his way through the (sometimes) choppy waters of the music business hasn’t always been easy. At times he’s had to push back when industry figures have defined him as an “Asian artist”.
Born in London to a Punjabi father and a mother from the Midlands, AMiR is proud of his heritage – but refuses to be stereotyped by it. When a previous management team tried to mould him into an “Asian” artist, rather than simply an artist, it didn’t end well.
AMiR is sanguine about the experience – “You have to hit rock bottom hard to bounce back up” – and grateful for his family’s full support.
“My family are 100% behind me. I suppose I never thought ‘I’m a brown guy’ until radio presenters and magazines asked me [about it]. I grew up listening to western music. I enjoy Bhangra at weddings, but pop, rock, soul and funk run through my veins.”
Some of his peers have not been quite so fortunate and have been pressured to conform to cultural expectations: “If honouring the family name is more important than your child’s happiness, then you need to really take a good look at yourself.”
Unsurprisingly for an artist with a reputation for high energy live performances, AMiR just wants his fans to have a good time.
“None of my fans care and nor do I. My arms and my heart are both open. Join my party and I’ll join yours.”