Ahead of her performance at CTEMF, we have a catch up with Amy Ayanda about her fondest memories, being encouraged to produce on a musical level & what’s currently on her playlists
To those who might not be familiar with you or your work who are you and where are you from?
My name is Amy Christine Ayanda Lester. I was born in Cape Town and am still based here. I am a multimedia artist. I paint and write melodies which accompany music produced by Daniel Breiter and Dean Berger; we go by the name Amy Ayanda.
You’re also a visual artist having recently graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art, when and why did you decide to venture into music?
I have always been doing music, but I got back into it in 2014, the final year of my studies, a fellow musician and lifelong friend Thor Rixon encouraged me to work on an EP which took off very well in 2015 (The E.P is called Ports).
If you were to meet someone who’s never heard music before, how would you describe your music to them?
My music is a combination of electronic and folk; my lyrics are about life, love and heartbreak that swing in an out of melancholic moments and beats that once can dance to.
How does your art influence your music, and vice versa?
Themes that I am dealing with at any given moment run through themes of my visual grammar and my lyrics.
What inspires your songs? Do you write from a place of grief, joy, love etc?
Yes I do, experiences that I go through or someone else goes through. I like to connect with the female archetype and the different experiences which happen along the path of self-growth.
And do you draw the same inspiration for your music as you do your art? Or are those processes separate from each other?
They are very much interlinked!
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Playing main stage at Rocking the Daisies with some of my best friends, seven months pregnant! Singing on the Floor of a giant large, abandoned building in Berlin with my best friend at 4am, Thor, moody and three months pregnant.
Are you currently signed to a label or are you independent? And how do you balance your music with other obligations?
I am independent, I would love to be signed, but we have not been approached! Life is one extreme balancing act! Sometimes it is difficult and I do not cope! But we are getting there.
If we took a road trip tomorrow and I handed you the aux cable, what would I expect to hear?
Sigur Ross, Massive Attack, Metronomy, Bateleur, Conan Mockasin, Hundred Waters, Feist, Arcade Fire.
When can we expect new music from you?
We have been aiming for our Album release to happen in March this year, but we will most likely postpone until mid-year, closer to the end of this year for the release! (we want things to be perfect). But we will definitely release a single before then.