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Hello Brooklyn #1 - Amani Fela

The rapper who’s channeling music boundaries

Hello Brooklyn #1 - Amani Fela The rapper who’s channeling music boundaries

Amani Fela is only 19-year-old but he already has a long history in the world of rap and underground music. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he found his way into music since the day he was born thanks to his father Talib Kweli who’s one of the best lyricists and rapper of the East Coast.

The unconditional love for music, culture, and an unstoppable appetite for knowledge, are the main ingredients reflected on his sound that have made Amani one of the most originals upcoming artists that unfortunately not everybody is able to understand. 

I had the chance to get to know Amani, we hanged around Fort Greene, the neighborhood where he just moved in with his best friend, we talked music and took some photos, here’s what happened!

When did you start making music and made it your profession?

I started to take rap seriously when I was around 14 or 15, came about through the influence of my peers. What drew me into rapping most was the idea of evoking feelings through self-expression. The more I connected with people through my words, whether it be over the internet or in front of a small crowd at an open mic in the city, the more the idea of making a career out of rapping solidified itself.

What do you think about nowadays hip hop scene?

I honestly don’t really feel like there is a true hip hop scene, hip hop feels so divided nowadays. I’d call it hip hop sub-scenes. There is no real support for hip hop artists in the live setting, unless you’re already popping. Most likely because there aren’t many dope live hip hop performers reason being everybody a rapper now. The culture has become diluted in a way, but there are still dope cats that exist, as there always will be

A lot of your music is influenced by real instruments and not many rappers or songwriters do it nowadays, how much is important for you to keep an authentic sound?

Authenticity matters most to me. Without it, I see no value in the work. Its empty.

You’ve been playing so many live concerts in so many different venues, do you have any favorite kind of show or ideas you’d love to develop?

I love shows at palisades, aka homebase. I love doing shows where people look mad confused and are unsure how to interact in a live performance setting. I love doing shows with friends, feels glorious haha. I want to expand on what my live set should feel like, the whole rapper-dj shtick is played out to me. Im planning on working with live instrumentation more as well as experimenting with performance art

What is your biggest fear in life?

Going deaf, losing a loved one.

Listen to Amani here: