Ami Faku is not here for games. The young South African singer’s debut album Imali is a display of her soulful voice and impressive writing skills.
Imali displays Ami Faku’s versatility, as she delivers ballads (“Ubuhle Bakho,” “Ungowami”) alongside songs for the dancefloor (“Mbize”).
“I tried to embrace where I come from and also celebrate it,” says Ami Faku in the album’s liner notes on Apple Music. “I wanted to represent African sounds and show that I’m proud to be Xhosa.”
Production on Imali is handled by Blaq Diamond, Sun-El Musician, 37MPH Eternal Africa and Wilson. The album leans more towards Afropop with a few variations.
Read: Meet Ami Faku, the Rising South African ‘Modern Afro Soul’ Artist Who Is Fast Becoming a Household Name
The artist explained the concept of Imali (money) when breaking down the title track:
“‘Imali’ is a very very emotional song because it speaks the truth. It’s very scary to me because sometimes people don’t like hearing the truth. I know that some people never get a break and it’s so sad. I’m asking people to find something that makes them happy, pursue it and not spend the rest of their lives compromising everything about themselves. I encourage people to be selfish, seek happiness and create a break for themselves. I encourage people to be selfish, seek happiness and create a break for themselves, ’cause no one else will do it for you. I’m here for them in the sense that I will be honest with them. So “Imali” represents everything about life and about me as Ami Faku—how I want to be honest and have a relationship where we’re very honest and look out for each other.”
Ami Faku’s album is a strong release. After releasing only a few singles, not many expected her to pull off such a coherent body of work with no skippable songs and fillers.
Stream Imali below and revisit our interview with Ami Faku here.