I Was born and raised in Halse Hall, Clarendon Jamaica on September 4th. After my mother migrated to Toronto Canada when I was 6yrs old. My grandparents became my guardians until my Grand Mother passed away when I was 16yrs. I then migrated two yrs later after I graduated from high school (Clarendon College) to Toronto, Canada to live with my mother. Raised by strict Christian grandparents in Jamaica, I was brought up in the Church. I grew up singing in the church choir where I fell In love with music and singing. I was also shy but developed more confidence over the years singing in the choir with my family and being apart of my high school dance group “Princess5″.
I was introduced to all kinds of music and artists in Jamaica. My biggest influences were Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Sade, Clark Sisters, Michael Jackson, After Seven, BabyFace, Whitney to name a few. I enjoyed listening to all the genres of music as well, Rnb, Soul, Jazz, Pop, HipHop, Dance and would sing along with all my favourite artists learning all their lyrics which helped me become more versatile in being able to sing not just Reggae. I am able to fuse my reggae music with all these different genres which you can hear in my music today. It also helped with developing my writing skills. As a child after church I would climb up the mango tress in my grandparents back yard and make up my own songs and melodies and sing out to the birds and trees who never judged me. When I came to Toronto with my siblings to live with our mother. I continued singing in her Church Choir and even formed my first group “Sisters in Christ” with my younger sister and two girl friends from our church. A couple years later I decided to answer the call of my heart to pursue my own solo career. I went on to record with and work with some of the best producers and artists worldwide. I am now a 2 time Juno nominated artist. Juno to Canada is like the Grammys to the United States. And I have also garnered several other awards, Best Reggae Singer/Artist from multiple music organisations. I am now currently recording my second album The Light to be released summer 2016.
Gav Pauze: What is your performance name and what does it mean?
Ammoye: My Name is Ammoye. Which is my middle name given to me by my father. It is from the Italian word Amore, which means Love.
Gav Pauze: When did you first start singing?
Ammoye: I started singing at the age of three. I sang in the children’s choir in my grandmothers church.
Gav Pauze: Did your family do to encourage you?
Ammoye: I come from a very artistic and talented family of singers. Who always encouraged us as children to sing and be creative. However they would have preferred me singing in the church. They were very disappointed at first in the beginnings of my professional career, when I left the Church and decided to go solo and pursue my own path. I always knew even though at first I was scared and frightened of the thought of making that decision, that it was the right choice for me and for the direction my life was headed into. I knew I wanted to express my creativity and share my voice, thoughts and songs my way. I was determined to follow my heart and go after my dream to become a major recording artist worldwide. Not just singing in my family church but to share my gifts with the world at large. Over Time My family got over their disappointment and have been very supportive of me and my career in every way and I am forever grateful and thankful to them. They came to respect my persistence and consistency in staying productive and progressive in the pursuit of achieving my dreams and goals in terms of my career. I refused to never give up on myself. I believed and still believe in myself and that drive motivates me everyday.
Gav Pauze: Who else in your family sings?
Ammoye: My entire family has the gift of singing. My grandmother sang and while growing up with her, we would hear her singing and humming around the house as she cooked and did chores. My grandfather played the guitar, the banjo and the harmonica. He was always tapping away and making music on anything he could get his hands on. Their energy was very contagious and infectious and it made my time living and being raised by them very fun for me and made us heal quickly from missing our parents. All my aunts and cousins also sing. My bother played the drums in the church choir and sang along with my sister and I in the choir as well. My mother also sang in the choir and still sings in her church choir today.
Gav Pauze: Who are your musical inspirations?
Ammoye: My biggest inspirations in music are Bob Marley, Sade and Grace Jones. I am influenced by many others too but they are at the top of the list for me. Yes I grew up singing gospel first and learned harmonies from groups like The Clark Sisters, BeBe and Cece Winans and Grace Thrillers who are famous well known gospel singers. But I fell InLove with Bob Marley’s energy and light he shared in the songs and lyrics he wrote. Because of Bob, writing for me became very important. He taught me to always have a message. To write about things that made you think and made you want to be a better human being to self, God, Humanity and the Planet. He taught me how to be timeless as an artist and that music, soulful music transcends time. Sade taught me how to accept my vulnerability and appreciate my tones, textures and dynamics within my voice and simply how to be balanced as an artist. She made me realise That I didn’t have to use my sexuality as a front to sell my talent or music. Grace Jones taught me how to be fearless in expressing myself, noholds-bar. How to embrace my sexuality and all parts of me as a woman and not be afraid to own it all. I learnt from her how to captivate an audience by just being true to myself, authentic, real, fierce and embrace and release the Warrioress inside.
I’ve learnt that it takes being absolutely and totally balanced in every way to achieve success. Embracing all parts of me mind, body and Soul. My Spiritually teaches me and reminds me every day to weave all parts of me into my expression here on this earth and share this with my fans aka my “SoulRebelz” with no fear and enjoy and appreciate the process, all of it, good and bad.
Gav Pauze: What kind of music do you listen to today?
Ammoye: The kind of music I listen to today is still a lot of old school artists and music. I collect records and a lot of it are older classic timeless stuff. I still listen consistently to Bob Marley, Sade, Stevie Wonder and so forth. I also listen to jazz, classics like Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Al Green etc. I also love me some Janis Joplin and Music from Artists of today, I love Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jamiroquai, Some Rihanna and Drake and Jesse Ware to name a few.
Gav Pauze: Do you release music on vinyl?
Ammoye: I do have some of my tracks that have been released on Vinyl. My project with Dubmatix on his Renegade Rockers album is on vinyl also my track on the Senior Allstars album, a song I did with them called “Resistance” is also on vinyl. My team and I are also thinking of releasing my new album “The Light” on vinyl so we have that option available to my Audience as well.
Gav Pauze: Where would you most like to perform?
Ammoye: Honestly my sincerest answer to where I would most like to perform is simply all over and around the world. I look forward to singing in Africa, all around Europe, I so look forward to coming to the UK to perform for my SoulRebelz there, Asia, South and North America, Australia and I can’t wait to sing in Hawaii, Peru, Greece, Dubai…I look forward to performing at the Solstice music Festivals, Cochella…So many places to name, my list is very long.
Gav Pauze: Who would you most like to work with?
Ammoye: I have opened for Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley before and So many to list before but I would also love to record and or produce with The Marleys. It a dream of mine to work with Damian Marley. I also dreamt of working with Sly and Robbie and that dream is coming true as I’m recording with them on my new album the Light. I would also love to work with Missy Elliot, Dr Dre, Drake, Beyoncé, Sade, Nas, Major Lazor, Chronixx, Beres Hammond and Grace Jones in the near future just to name a few.
Gav Pauze: What do you think about whilst performing?
Ammoye: What I think about whilst performing is an interesting question. I always pray before I perform, with my back ground singer, my band and team before we go on stage. I like to set my intention before I go out. My intent is to always give and be myself…Source Love. I align myself with Spirit my Higher Godself and make sure I am open and a clear vessel for my Spirit to express through me freely. So my thoughts are always on Love, Compassion, Light, Healing Gratitude, Unity and Sharing all of that with everyone to feel and receive it in the room.
Gav Pauze: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Ammoye: If I wasn’t singing what I would be doing is definitely still something creative and has to also include Travelling. I love adventure! I have an adventurer spirit. Working with Kids is a passion of mine as well, teaching and helping others discover their passions. I also love Fashion which is something I am planning to dabble more into later on. I style myself for a lot of my shows, Shoots and Appearances and when I work with my stylist I’m fully involved in the choices for my styling. When I was younger I would sew and design my outfits for my dance team and for myself if I was attending special occasions so truly I have also been creatively expressing myself, it’s Inate. I plan to open my own boutique store in the future featuring my unique styles and designs in clothes, accessories and shoes. I plan to call my line “RebelStyle” or “WarriorRebelStyle” by Ammoye. I am a rebel at the core of my Soul and I embrace it fully and I’m not afraid to explore and share my unique ideas with everyone.
Gav Pauze: Do you play any instruments?
Ammoye: My first instrument is my voice. I do have a guitar and I am determined to one day play it fluently. I do play a mean percussion drum though. I love drumming and I teach Students during Black History month In February every year for the past 4 yrs Black History through music and drumming with the InspiredArtsResources Organisation in Schools all over the city of Toronto.
Gav Pauze: If you could/do dabble in another genre of music, what would it be/is it?
Ammoye: I love a lot of different genres of music not just reggae. I fuse elements of all kinds of genres in my music. And would love to dabble more in Jazz /reggae and Dance /Reggae. You’ll hear different influences in my music especially if you check out my new mixtape “Enter The Warrioress Ammoye” which is out now on iTunes and available on my website www.Ammoye.com where my SoulRebelz and anyone who appreciates my music “ReggaeMusicForTheSoul” can get a free download of the full mixtape to enjoy on their own time.
Gav Pauze: What genre of music can’t you stand to listen to?
Ammoye: I think the only music I can’t stand or more appropriately just doesn’t resinate with me right now is “Metal” and I think the reason for that is only because for the life of me I simply can’t understand a word they’re saying. For me I’m not just a beat person, yes I love beats and melodies but I find the lyrics intriguing, interesting and very important to me. I like knowing what’s being said, the emotions behind it and the Story that is being told. For the most part that allows me the opportunity to relate to the song and the artists performing the song.
Gav Pauze: What hidden talents do you have?
Ammoye: Other than writing, singing and Performing, My hidden talents that I believe I have are the facts that I am very double jointed and I can fit my body into any small space if necessary. I also like to express myself in painting and expressing myself through visual art as well. I don’t practice as much right now but it is something I enjoy doing when I’m in that space and have the time to truly give that my attention. I also love gardening, i know how to take great care of plants and keep them happy, healthy and thriving. (I name all my plants and I love talking and kissing/hugging on all my plants) I’ve been told and I also feel it, that I have the gifts of the hands. I know how to care for and make my plants feel good and appreciated and Im known to give wonderful satisfying and healing massages to my loved ones. I feel I can also read people’s energies well, I can tell from their energy through my feelings who is good energy or negative energy. Who is for me and who is not. I’m intuitive and I am learning to develop that attribute more and more by practicing and paying more attention to my intuition each day. Those I would say are some of my hidden talents.
Gav Pauze: What can we expect from you in 2016 and beyond?
Ammoye: What you can expect from me in 2016 is just more progress in my journey as a performer and artist. Evolution in all areas when it comes to my art my music, my spirituality and just me as a person. More music for sure as I’m in the process of writing and recording my new album which we plan to release this summer called “The Light”. I’ve been going through what I call my Spiritual Awakening. I am learning so much and growing so much Spiritually, creatively, physically and emotionally and I can’t wait to share all of this new knowledge, wisdom and depth of understanding within me that is now coming to light. I have fallen InLove with myself, learning more about who I really am inside and accepting every part of me without any judgements of myself and it is making me a better greater human being and I look forward to sharing this awareness with all of you, embracing the Warrioress, Light-worker and Soul Rebel I am today. Unapologetically in my evolution, singing eternally as I continue joyfully and enthusiastically on the journey of my Life, filled with an attitude of Gratitude, Thankfulness and Appreciation in every moment. Sending everyone a continuos pouring out of my Love, Light and Blessings! Ammoye. 1Love!
Checkout the latest from Ammoye via her website here: Ammoye.com