After a 4-year hiatus, Cape Town-based neo-soul singer and songwriter, Amarafleur returns with her new electronic soul single, “DontLetGo”. Recorded in Johannesburg and produced by Aule Whan, writing the track was Amarafleur’s way of processing a traumatic relationship.
Having grown up in Tanzania, India and New Zealand, Amarafleur has been making music as a solo artist since she was 19, releasing a number of tracks, culminating in the release of her ‘AMARAFLEUR’ EP in 2014 upon her return to South Africa. Followed by “Self Love” and “The Plea” in 2015. Amarafleur views the now-deleted EP as an experiment in producing a body of work. “It was my trial version. It was me prototyping my ability to do it. I think it was good, it just wasn’t good enough for me.”
2015 saw Amarafleur take a break from making music. “I was going through creative pain. I got really nervous about making music and felt really uninspired. I had a baby and went to study at Wits and couldn’t find the time.” The lack of time morphed into a lack of self-belief in her ability to write music, however, the ending of a work contract gave her time to reflect on past trauma’s and pushed her to write once again. “For most of the last year, I’d blocked out everything because I was working a lot. I finally had time to think and that is when I realised I was really traumatised by a lot of things and everything came flooding back. After I realised what the situation was I decided to write. Finding ways to cope using the outlet I had neglected.”
The return to music sees Amarafleur working towards creating the sound she has always imagined for herself, one she describes as “RnB with things that sound weird. Not too weird that they’re niche but that they don’t sound like every day. Anyone can like it.” The dreamy vocals of “DontLetGo” are layered over a thick, spacey bassline and laid back hip hop derived drum programming. The lyrics are raw and honest with Amarafleur playing with the duality of meaning in the hook “If it weren’t for you I’d be okay/If it weren’t for you I’d walk away”. Amarafleur says of the song’s narrative, “The person is absent from the relationship. I’ve been here trying to fix things.”
The music video, shot by Tseliso Monaheng, came about organically at a photoshoot for the cover of “DontLetGo”. Tseliso had shot some footage during the shoot and upon reviewing it, it was decided to create a music video out of it. Styled and art directed by Tandekile Mkize, the video echoes the dreaminess of the single, placing Amarafleur sea-side, captured in nostalgic frames.
Amarafleur is working on a larger project which she hopes will sound the way she aspires herself to sound. She has also recorded a number of features that will be dropping over the coming months. She shares her desire for listeners to connect with her emotions and words. “I’m very honest and intentional in how I write. I hope they can resonate with my experiences.”