Singer Amanda Black releases her second Album Power tomorrow. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Afro-pop star Amanda Black was in the city today for the release of her second album Power, which she said was inspired by her experience in the music industry over the past three years. The album releases online at midnight this evening and her fans on Twitter are eagerly awaiting its release.

Born Amanda Benedicta Antony in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, the 26-year-old Amazulu hit-maker moved to Port Elizabeth where she matriculated at Kabega Christian School and studied for Music Education degree at Nelson Mandela University. 

She shot onto the music scene during Season 11 of Idols South Africa, when she made it to the top seven. In 2016 she was approached by Ambitiouz Entertainment and released her first album Amazulu with a hit single of the same name. The album went platinum and earned her two Metro FM Awards and three South African Music Awards. 

But, Black said, the whole experience had been a bitter-sweet one. "The music industry is not designed for the artist, it’s an exploitative system so you need to fight."

Singer Amanda Black releases her second Album Power tomorrow. Picture: Supplied


Black said that the new album was a way of her healing after she parted ways with Ambitiouz. “I’d like to think the past few years have been 50-50, there was a lot of good and there was a lot of bad in terms of contractual situations with the label followed by court cases - the works.” 

She said with Power she wanted to move forward from it all, adding that during that era of her life, she was going through a dark time and felt depressed and hopeless. However, Black said she she couldn't live in a vacuum and had to face everyday life and that she had - and still has - a love life.

Black has started her own recording label Afro Rock Star, which will release the album she calls her “diary”. “It was not easy, if you listen to the album, then you will understand because I tell the story in different ways.” 

When she’s not singing, Black likes to read and watch series because, she said, it was like living in someone else's life and taking a break from her own. “I try to read a chapter or two everyday but it’s hard,” she joked.

She advised upcoming artists to not give up, but warned them that it was harder when one was inside the industry than when one was still trying to break in. She said upcoming artists should find the beauty in their gift and understand what they want to achieve with it.

The Independent on Saturday