Amir Kelly’s vision for his music embodies a combination of two different cultures. He embraces his Black and Indian heritage through his music and presents to the audience a sense of passion and soul that is heard in his clear and soulful vocals. Amir began writing “MAUI” while working as a barista at Starbucks. Through collaboration with other creatives, Amir was able to create a song that contains creative lyrics and a smooth sound that I vibe with, and that gives the classic nostalgic r&b feeling we all know and love.
When first listening to Amir’s debut single, “MAUI,” I instantly fell in love with the mood of the song. “MAUI” is interesting in that Amir and his songwriting partner Shilpa had created the song with Indian melodies and incorporated elements from the 90’s R&B and current hip-hop. The message of the song comes through in his music video, telling a story about the wish for wealth in order to one day provide for the person you love.
“Maui comes from a desire to provide for somebody you love in a way that nobody else could. It’s a fantasy of what life will look like, when you do what you love, for the one you love. If I’m incapable of being the person for you now, I will be that for you someday.”- Amir Kelly
The music video for “MAUI” is what captured me the most. Right away I appreciated the array of people of color in the video displaying an air of regality and confidence. The emphasis put on diversity and the illusion of paradise is evident in the music videos scenes, giving off a sort of “Don’t Touch My Hair” imagery of the black woman being centralized. Despite the limited budget, the message comes across perfectly, and I think both his music and visual presentation is so important in representing and celebrating minorities in a setting where they are vulnerable, sensual, and real. Amir Kelly is definitely an artist to keep a lookout for!
Don’t forget to listen to “MAUI” on Spotify and watch the music video below!
Featured Image Via Amir Kelly