The definition of Soul music according to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is “music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying.” In practice soul music took the experience of the disenfranchised and delivered both a lyrical and musical smack up side the head for all in society!
In the same way social justice advocates attempt to deliver a message, action and change that seeks to stamp out inequality and level the playing field, every now and then a figurative smack upside the head is required for those who just don’t get it, particularly the ignorant and powerful! Music and social justice have always been intrinsically linked, feeding off one another to create the sound track and inspiration of both change and upheaval. In a world filled with Biebers and Britneys acting as the opiate to a generation who have plenty to change you have to dig a little deeper to get to the soul.
Enter Tasmania’s Amali Ward and her latest Single “Knock You Out” that figurative smack upside the head with the soul of a sister testifying! Most people will recognise Amali as the young 16 year old finalist with a voice beyond her years from season two of Australian Idol way back in 2004. Even at that young age it was obvious Amali had a passion for soul music choosing to sing the works of Stevie Wonder and Joss Stone instead of the more typical pop hits of the day. And 9 years on her commitment to the genre and her courage to stay true to her passion remains true. With a strong & versatile voice, bubbly personality and stunning looks a big dollar contract would not be out of the question if she decided to go with a pop sound. But as Amali told 1DEADLYNation she has more to sing about than just filling an album full of soft love songs. “I guess I want my music to show people my personality and not just be about falling in love”.
So with powerful lyrics to write, Amali stayed true to her soulful roots and progressive upbringing to deliver a song so good it won the International John Lennon Song Writing Contest, an annual competition open to songwriters from around the world and presented by Yoko Ono herself. “Knock You Out is about people who make offhand, divisive comments about sexuality, religion or race without thinking of the consequences. Thankfully we are progressing to a place where these attitudes aren’t accepted anymore, but we still aren’t treating all members of society equally”, said Amali of the timely subject matter of her single. “Winning the John Lennon Song Writing Contest award was definitely one of my proudest moments”. And as the above video shows accompanied by a full band that would make James Brown proud the music is given a richness it so truly deserves.
Before winning the International John Lennon Song Writing Contest, Amali honed her song writing skills in America working with the teams behind Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Rihanna and Beyonce. Amali then came home to write her debut album in Australia before returning to LA to collaborate with producer David Ryan Harris (John Mayer, Lupe Fiasco, India.Arie) and John Mayer’s touring band for Back In Time, set for release later this year. “I was lucky enough to have most of John Mayer’s touring band play on the entire album, these guys are incredible musicians who have played for pretty much every big name artist you can think of! So it was just insane to have them all jamming in a room in LA to songs I had written back home”, said Amali.
For your taste of soul head to iTunes and grab Amali’s latest hit “Knock You Out” and experience her talents live starting tomorrow night in Melbourne.
Thursday 14th March 2013 – The Workers Club, MELBOURNE, VIC
Tickets at the door
Saturday 16th March 2013 – Fbi Social, SYDNEY, NSW
Thursday 21st March 2013 – Irish Murphys, LAUNCESTON, TAS
Tickets at the door
Friday 22nd March 2013 – The Republic Bar, HOBART, TAS
Phone: 03 6234 6954
Knock You Out available now on iTunes.
For tour details and ticketing information please see www.amaliward.com.au