Amanda spices up Afro-pop terrain

Singing sensation Amanda Black says she could not have asked for a better way to break into the music industry.

The 24-year-old afro-pop singer, who is originally from the Eastern Cape, says when she was booted off Idols two years ago she thought she had lost a chance to make her mark, but mercy rewrote her life.

"I was sad that I didn't win, but as I always say, I knew that I will be here. I didn't know that it will be so quickly after Idols," she says.

"I imagined that I was going to struggle for a while before my career could take off."

Amanda, whose real name is Amanda Antony, was eliminated in the top seven in the 2015 instalment of the popular singing competition, which was won by Karabo Mogane at Carnival City.

May the best woman win - Amanda Black leads SAMAs female nomination packFresh-faced songstress Amanda Black is leading the female nomination pack at the heavily male dominated 23th annual South African Music Awards (SAMA). 

"I was sad because I wanted to win. It was the third time I had entered Idols. When I left, I kept telling everyone that 'you guys are going to see me again'," she recalls.

Amanda became an overnight hit with the release of her popular single Amazulu last year which went on to become a national anthem and earned her numerous accolades, including a number one spot on radio, making her one of the most sought-after new artists in the country.

The curvy muso, who is signed under record label Ambitiouz, says everything that had happened in her career was according to God's plan and His timing.

The release of Amazulu was just an introduction of herself to the music industry, she says, promising to follow it up with a stronger album to mark her spot in the history books of afro-pop.

"A lot has changed. When I go to the shops these days people stop me to tell me how much the album means to them, and that's all I wanted to do - which is to inspire and change people's lives."

On the newly-found fortune, Amanda says her family has been encouraging her to save.

"I send money home whenever I can. I help out where I can, but they are the ones who keep saying 'save money now, we are fine'.

"My family believes very much in my vision of building something stable for all of us."

Her album, which is made up of a garden of tracks for everyone's taste, has seen her go platinum within a few months of its release.

She has recently released a music video for her love song Kahle that has garnered more than 20000 views on YouTube.

"The song itself has been out for so long, we have just released the video and people are responding very well to it," she says, adding that the main sentiment of the song is happiness felt by women in relationships that greatly contribute to their gaining of weight, which is usually attributed to success in black communities.

"We didn't want the video to be direct, we wanted to tell the story about a relationship, of how women change because of a man, such as gaining a little bit of weight and tending to look different sometimes.

"I wanted to portray an old couple where a woman has grown over time and gained a lot of weight from when she first met the husband," says the Amazuluhit maker.

Amanda is billed to perform at the South African Music awards to be staged in Sun City tomorrow night.