My name is Amani.
The word, ‘Amani‘ represents many different phrases in different languages and cultures:
Swahili, Arabic, Islam….
…harmony, peace, aspirations, wishes, and even ‘the one we are waiting for’.
But most importantly, Amani is the name was given to me as a baby after many moments of reconsideration from both of my parents.
AmaniStudios, like my name, is a mixture of ideas and a collaboration of many media projects:
Composition– Here is where the bulk of my work resides. I write essays in response to my environment. I write about events that occur within the national political and worldwide sphere, as well as reflect on my own experiences. Here is where you will find my personal opinions and argument about the world we live in supported by historical evidence and modern context. In addition to this I also write letters to politicians and celebrity figures as well as figures of my imagination. Writing and reflection is a tool I use to break down this complex world for myself and others who enjoy my work.
Book Synopses– Reading has sadly become a lost art in the modern world, but it is one of my favorite activities. When I was a young child I watched grandmother read hundreds of books! She had piles and piles of books stacked all over her apartment and every time I saw her she had a book in her hand. Thankfully her love for reading rubbed off onto me. This section is a collection of my reflections, reviews and take-aways from books I’ve read. All of the books within this section are written by black authors because reading their work is a more enlightening contribution to my self-growth than my reading any other type of work. Look through these synopses to get a quick glimpse of the wealth of knowledge that is hidden in print, it may encourage you to read one (or
all) of these books.
Music Analyses– Our music is our power, we have the power of rhythm and beat. Here is where I do a breakdown analysis of music and even music videos that are produced by black artists. Today so many works of art have messages that a lot of us overlook. Rappers and singers have messages to tell us and it’s our duty to decode them in order to access the knowledge that they’ve delivered in such a creative package. Music lyrics aren’t coincidentally composed rhyming bars and because everything has intention we need to understand those intentions. I refuse to listen to the radio today because it is full of mindlessness and degradation of the black male and female image. I only listen to music that uplifts, empowers or enlightens the black population. This section is dedicated to music with that purpose. Here is where you may discover songs as well as beautiful truths about yourself and your people, that you may not have not been exposed to otherwise.
Radio Podcasts– My senior year of college I partnered with another young media scholar in my class, Lexi Jones, and developed a weekly radio podcast series, The Ladies Room. In The Ladies Room we focused on issues that effected the black community and aimed to break barriers for young women looking to enter the media industry as more than a model or an actress. We wanted to prove that the black female body is underrepresented in radio and is more than an image of sexual satisfaction but also a hub for intellectual conversation. We also had guests on our shows, our last show featured my mother as a special guest who was visiting me for my college graduation. In this section you will find each of our weekly podcasts and the agenda for each show.
Songs– I am a singer, songwriter, rapper and guitarist. I’ve preformed several times and always enjoy the experience. I’ve had my songs played on 88.3 WSHJ and UWave Radio, but I have been told by record labels that my lyrics are too ‘intelligent’ and ‘complex’ to be on mainstream radio. I know that I am not a marketable artist for mindless listeners and my goal is not to be mainstream and mindless, but to grow an audience of intelligent people who want to be edified by the music they consume, not just entertained.
Poetry– I am a poet. Currently I am a Pongo Teen Writing mentor for youth detained in King County Juvenile Detention Centers. My love for writing poetry expanded into a passion to teach the art of healing through reflection to youth caught in America’s vicious criminal justice system. I write poetry to allow my heart to touch the hearts of others in ways that other mediums cant do. Here is where you will find some of my Pongo work and other work that I’ve completed throughout my years living through the eyes of a young black woman in a country that commoditizes and sexualizes black women like no other group.
I am a creator and for a long time I thought I would have to pick one area of my creativity to focus on, but my greatest to desire is to express myself through all channels of media that I have practiced and perfected, this is why I have put them together under the umbrella of AmaniStudios. In refusing to choose a narrow path I’ve made the conscious choice to expand.
Connect with me on Instagram @amanisawari here is where you’ll find uploads from my most recent travels, interviews, presentations and other projects.