- Epic Afro house.
- Afro house is one of the biggest electronic music sounds in the world right now, and Kitty Amor is one of its greatest ambassadors. Along with her frequent collaborator Sef Kombo, Amor has become a pillar of the London Afro house scene, taking the reins for renowned parties Motherland—due to return to this summer—and Sessions, and sharing bills with the other most exciting names in the genre, like recent RA Podcaster DJ IC.
Over the last decade she's worked hard to promote Afro house and other Black dance music styles and scenes in the UK capital, crossing over from Afro house parties to big crossover venues like Printworks in the process. She's also an important voice for women in dance music, which includes working with organizations like shesaid.so to further the cause of women producers, DJs, artists and other workers in the industry.
It only takes one listen to Kitty Amor's own RA Podcast to see what all the fuss is about. From the stirring opener of Chaleee & Sammi Ferrer's "Sisters," this is an epic tale of love, loss, hope and longing woven together with expert beatmatching and careful transitions. Amor tends to prefer the lushest strains of Afro house, especially from producers who hail from South Africa, which she calls her "second home." There are intense vocal performances, well-earned climaxes and an almost cinematic sense of pacing on this mix, highlighting not only the musical diversity but the sheer emotional potential of Afro house.
What have you been up to recently?
For the last 14 months, I have been working hard in putting together livestreams online with my musical partner Sef Kombo which has been great. Also have used the lockdown period to get my head down into production, learning the art of sound design and refining my own sound. Now I'm just preparing myself for the post-lockdown return to performing in clubs as we once knew before—which I am excited about.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Was recorded at Pirate Studios in South London using CDJ-2000s and DJM-900 NXS.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
With all mixes I create I always set out to tell a story and to educate listeners. With so much great talent within the Afro house scene, it was important for me to shine light on the diversity of this sound. Over the last decade, African electronic music has taken a global presence with quality producers such as 104 BPM, Karyendasoul, Atmos Blaq, Enoo Napa, Argento Dust and so many more.
Everything was taking off in a big way—for you and for Afro house in London—right before the pandemic. How do you feel going back into what will be a few very busy months—optimistic, excited, scared?
Honestly, it is very exciting! The Afro house scene was starting to solidify as a community in London just before the pandemic. Myself and Sef Kombo worked hard to keep the spirit of the community alive in the pandemic with our livestreams, important press interviews and new ventures in the music industry. The likes of Mr Silk also pulled together that community spirit with Drums Radio "Afro House Conversations," discussing the placement of the music on a global scale with artists, producers and label heads. There is so much great music, new ventures and brands that have been birthed in the pandemic so it is really exciting to see how people are absorbing it all. Going back has been very busy and we are grateful to see how people are gravitating to Afro house even more.
Afro house is fast becoming one of the most celebrated and ubiquitous sounds in dance music all around the world. What do you think is behind this rise, and for you personally, what is most powerful about Afro house and the scene?
If anyone mentions Afro house and doesn't mention Black Coffee in reference to this question then I wouldn’t trust that person. The exposure that Afro house has received on a global level is down to the spaces in which Black Coffee's talent has gained him access. He has been able to represent South Africa and build connections for homegrown talent to also travel around the world and perform. The Afro house scene has been supplying absolute magic for over a decade and whilst Black Coffee has introduced many on a global level, there would be no scene or genre without the hardworking talents producers, singers and DJs that educate people in their home countries and online.
The power behind Afro house is the history of the music. This is a genre birthed from the stories of an apartheid South Africa where people's voices were only heard through music. It is spiritual and I can understand why it moves so many listeners in a positive way as you feel the emotions of the country's history. A universal human connection is embodied in Afro house music. This is why it means so much to me to see it be celebrated in the ways that it has been and yet to receive so many more accolades.
What are you up to next?
With a very busy five months ahead of me, I am just getting ready for a summer full of gigs in and outside London. I will be bringing my residential club night that I head up with Sef Kombo, Motherland, back this summer at Grow in Hackney Wick (East London) which is exciting. We will also be doing a special showcase in South London too. In addition to festival shows and club events, I will be featuring in the new era of Defected launching this summer. It is an honour to be a part of the Defected musical powerhouse that I have admired for so many years. With the great work Sef Kombo and Louie Dunmore are doing with Sondela Recordings, it's a positive start of a new era.
I am scheduled to return to South Africa in the last two months of the year and do some shows over there. I was last there in 2019 and feels like my second home, so I am excited to get back, connect with my musical family and learn even more from their homegrown producers and artists.
I also have a debut release coming out later this year which is in collaboration with Sef Kombo. We did a remix for a renowned South African producer and DJ which I cannot reveal just yet however, putting the project together has been so exciting.
We are now including Bandcamp links in mix tracklists where applicable.
Chaleee & Sammi Ferrer - Sisters feat. Sandhaus
Phats De Juvenile - Ungowami
Mosco Lee & Nubz MusiQ - Emathandweni feat. Thabiso Adam
Atmos Blaq - Te Amo Carino
DJEFF - Made to Love You feat. Brenden Praise (Shimza Remix)
Nas Cafee - Awry (Somatic Touch)
Sun-EL Musician & Azana - Uhuru (104 BPM Interpretation)
Benny T - Voices From The Dark Forest
Shona SA - Phambili feat. Babalwa Soul (Native Tribe & Da Q-Bic Spirit Mix)
DJEFF & Kasango - Let You Go feat. Betty Gray (Saint Evo Remix)
Kinetic T - Abaphansi feat. Kagiso Rathepe
From P60 - Magic feat. Lisa Shaw (Enoo Napa-s Alternative Remix)
Karyendasoul - The Warrior's Prayer
Argento Dust, De Cave Man & TonicVolts - Little Things feat. Nalize