COFFEE HOUSE SESSIONS: An Interview with AMiR
After their set in our very own Guild Of Students for Coffee House Sessions, Ellie and Chloe caught up with AMiR!
Chloe: Welcome to Liverpool! How are you finding it so far? You said you haven’t been before?
AMiR: Thank you! I have actually been once before. I worked in the studio with someone called Cameron Warren and we wrote a song and went to a couple of bars but today we literally rolled in, set up and played.
Chloe: You came from Keele today didn’t you?
AMiR: Yeah we came from Keele University, stayed in Loughborough then went to Keele then came straight here, I fell asleep in the car. I just couldn’t stay awake! So I haven’t seen more of Liverpool than I did last time but I will tonight because I’m going to meet up with Cameron for a drink…a few drinks…yes.
Ellie: Which has been your favourite Uni to play at so far?
AMiR: This one for sure, and Bath Spa. Both gave me the best sound and had the biggest turnout and probably felt the best to perform to!
Chloe: We saw your ‘Shape of You’ cover and we really liked how you made it your own. Would you say that Ed is an influence of yours?
AMiR: Yeah, ever since he came out I have gravitated to that style. It’s just so real and raw and I like that. Yeah, I produce tracks and stuff but that raw, stripped down, acoustic stuff I like to do as well, and he’s really talented. I think everyone can see a bit of themselves in what he’s saying because we’ve all been through the same kind of things.
Ellie: Yeah, that’s what’s likeable about him isn’t it!
AMiR: Yeah, that’s what’s wicked about him. And he just seems like a really lovely guy. But musically he has definitely done something here and here (touches head and heart)
Chloe: So who else are you influenced by? I know you mentioned Michael Jackson.
AMiR: Yeah. Other than Michael Jackson– Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, I love George Benson, Jamiroquai, Craig David, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Oasis. I listen to all sorts! All of these artists have played a part in my growth and my music for sure.
Ellie: That leads nicely into what we wanted to ask you next actually. You listen to such a mix of genres, what genre would you say you consider your music to be?
AMiR: I guess the cliché answer would be ‘musician’ but that’s what everyone says. I love RnB, I love funk, I love soul, and I think I’ve used all of those with a slightly Rock n Roll attitude. It’s pop but it’s influenced by RnB, funk, and soul.
Chloe: So obviously music has been in your life for a long time, would you say you’ve dedicated your life to it?
Amir: 100%, I don’t really know how to do anything else. I can have a kick about at football, I like playing pool, I like doing all the normal lad stuff but I was always a singer, I was always a musician. From watching the video of the Dangerous Tour by Michael Jackson growing up and studying him, I definitely dedicated my life to making music.
Ellie: Well we read that you’ve been on stage since you were two, could you just give us a bit of background? What were you doing at that age?
AMiR: I think it was probably Black or White by Michael Jackson, it was something by him definitely. There’s footage that will hopefully never, ever see the light of day of me as a two year old just dancing around and singing that. It would have been some party where there was a little stage and my dad would have just picked me up and put me there and then I never left it. I think I’m more of a performer than any of the other things. I’m a recording artist and I am a writer but I’m a performer first, so you need the first two to get the content to go out and play live but playing live is my thing and has been since two years old.
Ellie: And you’ve played instruments since a young age too haven’t you? Which was the first?
AMiR: Yeah, drums were the first, at the age of eight, then bass and guitar, which I play percussively because of it. I begged my mum for my kit and she kept saying no, I asked my dad once and he got me one because he used to play drums in a reggae band when he was at school so he agreed to it!
Chloe: What are you favourite lyrics that you’ve written?
AMiR: I think ‘drench me with your lust’ is my favourite. I wrote that in London with the guys from Copenhagen and when they showed me the beat that they had written, I came up with the chorus melody and then that line popped out of nowhere and I’ve never heard anybody else say it so that’s a lyric I feel really happy I’ve written. It’s really difficult to do new things these days, everyone says that everything has been done before but no one has said that, so it’s the one I’m most proud of.
Ellie: So where do you see yourself in five years?
AMiR: Hopefully still playing and a bit more success, I would love to do a full circle and go back to my hometown and play Wembley Stadium, that would be amazing. I have this big dream in my head and I’m just going to take one step at a time and see if I can get there, and if I can leap three steps then I will.
Ellie: We were talking about Ed Sheeran earlier and I happened to watch his Wembley performance the other night, my brother told me that he’s the first person to have performed Wembley as the only person on the stage which is cool.
AMiR: Yeah he is! Very cool! I’d need my band though! When Michael Jackson died, the Live at Wembley Bad 25th Anniversary DVD came out and I bought it on pre order because I’m a fan boy (laughs) but when I saw that, I thought “wow, that’s home”. Ed Sheeran is the first one to do it by himself which is also cool, I don’t know if I’ll break any records but just to play it once would be so great.
Chloe: Especially because it’s somewhere that you know so well!
AMiR: Yeah! You could throw a stone from where I lived as a kid at the stadium. It would be so great to go back and do that, even if it was one of the Jingle Ball things which they do at Wembley! It doesn’t have to be on my terms, I would just love to play there.
Ellie: Are there any festivals that you’d like to play?
AMiR: Glastonbury! My brother goes to Glastonbury every year with his mates and his wife and it’d be really cool to see him in the audience. Reading was the first festival I ever went to and that’d be really cool to play but I’m not sure my music would fit there.
Ellie: The line up at Reading has changed dramatically over the last couple of years so it might well fit in actually! It was the first festival that I went to too.
AMiR: Oh has it? Maybe then! When did you go?
Ellie: 2010, the year blink-182 headlined.
Amir: I went a few years before that. I saw when Red Hot Chili Peppers and Smashing Pumpkins headlined, and then I went back two years ago and saw Limp Bizkit play, which was immense. They closed with Stayin’ Alive which I remember seeing and thinking it was amazing. They were such a great band for my generation because my family were all like “you’re not listening to the swearing songs!” but there was always somebody who would manage to get them and we’d play them at school and get into trouble. Same with D12 when they came out! (then we all had a little sing of My Band by D12)
Chloe: The last question that I ask everybody is: if you could be an animal, what would you be?
AMiR: I’ve never been asked that before! Let’s go tiger…maybe not, wait, a wolf. Yeah, a wolf.
Watch Drench Me with your Lust by AMiR here: