Award winning singer, songwriter, Amanda has released her much-anticipated album ‘Mnyama’. She invites fans to join her for a soulful and introspective sonic journey through heartbreak and learning how to forgive yourself.
The album, which shows the many sides of Alicia at this current point in time in her life, offers a 10 song track list, including collaborations with the likes of Berita, J’Something, Christer and Kwesta. The theme that runs through the album is to never stop fighting because ‘even bad days have to end’.
“I have bared my soul for the listener to encourage them and let them know that they will be okay. When I wrote this album, it was the first time where it had nothing to do with proving that I can do it; it was about me and my mental process and ultimately my mental health because I allowed myself to be vulnerable and face the things that I normally would distract myself from. These are the conversations I’ve been having with myself.”
The Mnyama album opens with Amanda beau ‘Ndandihleli, a song that bares resemblance to an old Xhosa hymn that she sang growing up. On the track Amanda speaks about longing for her partner, not regretting all the beautiful moments that they shared, but standing firm in her decision to not return to the relationship. The nostalgia in the song stems from the fact that the song is an old Xhosa hymn. On ‘Amagingxi Amanda acknowledges that she has no idea how she will get over the pain, but she will continue to persevere over amagingxigingxi (hurdles).
“I urge the listener to not rush the healing process, rather to face it head on and allow it to happen because when we run away from ourselves that’s where the real melancholy is.” On ‘Ungayeki’ Amanda reminds us that ‘something will change..’ so we should all remain steadfast and keep fighting. ‘I encourage people to never lose sight of themselves, and if they do , which often happens because this is life, they go back to the beginning to help them see the vision again , to see themselves again.’ ‘Kutheni Na’ is the first single off the album speaks of our collective experience of the pandemic and how we all know how it feels to lose something – whether it’s a job, their loved ones, their homes or even just a sense of security.
The Mnyama album takes a turn with ‘Let It Go’ as we enter the second half of the album. On the song Amanda sings about letting go of all the pain and negativity she had been holding onto and protecting. Amanda then reached back into her childhood again by singing her grandmother’s favourite Catholic hymn, ‘Ekuphileni’ with award winning J’Something. This is also her current favourite single on the album. On ‘LWH’ (Love that We Had) Amanda asks herself the terrifying, but freeing, question after dealing with the pain of a break up– am I finally over the love that we had? You can leave a relationship and be happy, but on ‘Lonely’ Amanda grapples with the idea of wanting to be free but not wanting to be alone. She finds herself reaching out to a higher power to help her be okay. Keeping with the theme of persevering, Amanda and Christer encourage us to pick ourselves up no matter how difficult it is because this is not the end.
“I urge the listener to not rush the healing process, rather to face it head on to allow the process of healing to happen because when we run away from ourselves, that’s where the real melancholy is.” She concludes the album with a haunting ballad titled ‘Away’ where she speaks about longing to be home, in the Eastern Cape, where her heart, family and peace are.
“This album is a real representation of how the emotional process goes. Self love is a journey and we always expect to get to the final destination quickly, but the final destination is you. You have to be okay with yourself. It’s the biggest part of the journey.”
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