A Sudanese artist based in London manages to use her voice to empower people. A woman who does everything to provide inspirational content to the community. A woman who never steps back from a challenge and will swoon everyone with her melodious voice. This woman is none other than Amira Kheir. She is a singer and songwriter whose music sends a message to people worldwide because she sings in multiple languages, including Arabic, English, and Italian while executing them effortlessly.
Her Fantastic Work
Amira has a unique skill when it comes to singing and songwriting. Her music consists of Nubian and Nilotic based sounds, blended with soulful jazz improvisation and electric desert blues. With these tunes, she manages to create stories that leave every listener in awe. Amira’s music is a spiritual journey. She dives deep into the rich cultural heritage of Sudanese music and different forms of African music, touching on different traditions and expressing it in her very own unique style, integrated with jazz and soul, and beyond. Through her music she highlights some of the key traditions in Sudanese music that most inspire her, including the Haqeeba (traditional folkloric songs), Madeeh (spiritual sufi music) and Aghani al banat (women’s singing and story-telling). She highlights the improvisational aspect found in Sudanese singing, rooted in many African – Sahelian traditions of improvisation and story-telling, and incorporates it in her music. In this way, she carries Sudanese traditional music from its roots, bringing it into the present day and into the future, and at the same time creating a soundscape that is entirely free and unique where new forms of expression can be explored.
Amira has released three albums so far. In 2011, she released her first, View from Somewhere. Alsahraa followed this in 2014, and finally, Mystic Dance in 2018. Her independent label, Contro Cultura music, and historic African music label Sterns music aided her throughout the journey of launching these albums. She considers all her albums a powerful reflection of her identity, her last one Mystic Dance, being the most recent statement.
Because of her expressive voice and barrier-crossing music, Amira Kheir has managed to touch the hearts of many and created a large following. Because of this, people have wanted to see her perform live on multiple occasions. As a result, she has performed at some of the world’s biggest festivals and stages.
Amongst the numerous appearances, some of Amira’s most notable ones are the Festival on the Square in London’s Trafalgar Square, the Festival Au Desert in Mali, Womad Charlton Park in the UK, the London African music Festival, Women of the World Festival, Shubbak Festival, Ahbab Festival, Celtic Connections and the London International Festival for Exploratory music (LIFEM) and has made multiple appearances in the London Jazz Festival. The list doesn’t end there! She has toured internationally as well, including participating in the ‘World Sessions’ Tour by World Connections in the Netherlands.
Awards and Achievements
Through her passion for what she does best, she has received an astounding number of awards and achievements. Amira’s true purpose isn’t these awards, but everyone deserves appreciation for the marvelous work they do. These nominations are how people give back to her for her fantastic work.
She has been featured in many world-renowned magazines multiple times. Some of these magazines include Songlines, the Evening Standard, fRoots, Radio France Internationale, BBC World Service, the BBC World News, BBC 3′s “World on 3 with Lopa Kothari”, BBC Persia, and BBC Arabic. Moreover, she was asked to write and perform an improvised live score by the Bird’s Eye View Film Festival two years in a row. It was for Ernst Lubitsch’s seminal silent film ‘Sumurun,’ based in the 1920s.
When it comes to awards, Amira is never behind. As a singer, songwriter, and producer, she has received an array of nominations. This includes the ‘Best artist’ for the 2019 Songlines Awards, Mideast Tunes’ nomination as one of the ‘Six amazing jazz artists from North Africa and the Middle East, and amongst the well-known list by Rede Angola, “13 African artists that will mark the next Decade”.
Many artists tend to create content for the sake of just that. That isn’t the case with her. Amira seeks to make music that is meaningful and is rooted in real life. . Her music speaks to people all over the world who have multicultural or multifaceted identities. This idea and passion stems from her personal life. She recognizes how challenging it can be for people with multicultural backgrounds because she was in a similar past situation. She hopes that she will ignite something in them with her music, which causes them to walk past all the difficulties and find their place.
She also sings beautiful melodies about unity, liberty, and women’s empowerment in ways that seem like a story. Listening to her voice uplifts you and makes you want to find your way of expressing yourself the way she does- after all, that’s her aim.
Amira has proved to become one of the best singers and songwriters out there. She has the nominations, international tours, and multiple screaming fans at concerts to prove it. If that’s not enough, try listening to her music on your own. Anyone who even listens to ten seconds of her music will accept that her beautiful voice is like no other. On hearing any of her songs, you will feel transported as she takes you on a journey to find inner peace.
As an artist, Amira is grateful to be able to connect with people all over the world through music and is honored to be part of a movement of young artists and musicians reclaiming the African narrative and telling the story of who they are.