Ghanaian-American polymath Amaarae has made her highly anticipated return with “Reckless & Sweet” on Friday.
The new track serves as a teaser for her next album, ‘Fountain Baby’, coming soon via Interscope.
Launching with a refreshingly new sonic perspective, on this first single Amaarae expertly infuses Arabic and Indian melodies with African drum beats on a captivating solo return that explores a toxic kind of love.
A seductive piece of ear candy, she poetically expresses the heartbreak one feels knowing someone is taking advantage of them.
As visually compelling and intentional a storyteller as she is sonically, dropping alongside the single is a video that takes the viewer through a journey of highly stylised vignettes.
A subtle story featuring Amaarae as the main protagonist with two lead love interests played by models Leomie Anderson and Monyjok Ngor Deng, the intoxicating video lush with lowlights, spotlights and blue lights against monochrome styling creates an undertone of mysterious sensuality.
A post-millennium nod to the world of high fashion, the video is peppered with iconic moments. A sonic and visual departure from TAYDK, this latest release signifies the start of the next chapter for Amaarae, with more music and details surrounding the album on its way soon.
Speaking on the single, Amaarae said that “Coming back after so long, I had a lot of time to think and reflect on what I wanted my message to be last time it was about confidence, this time it’s about love and faith. This is my sexiest video to date and what I love most about it is that young black women and men are about to see what our new energy is for 2023 and beyond.”
“Moving forward we’re grown and sexy. We’re going to make sure we always look our best, talk our best, walk our best, and most of all we’re bringing love and romance back! Reckless and Sweet is a sexy song. It’s about being intentional with the ways we make and give love. It’s about finding the inner sensuality and confidence without yourself and sharing that with the world. As an artist that is exactly where I’m at at the moment.”
Fashion Weeks for Coperni, Jacquemus, Diesel and Mowalola, alongside sharing pivotal releases – “A Body, A Coffin” from the ‘Wakanda Forever Prologue’ and her feature on Stormzy’s 2022 #1 album’s eponymous title track “THIS IS WHAT I MEAN” alongside Black Sherif, Jacob Collier, Ms Banks and Storry.
Released at the end of 2020, her critically acclaimed debut full-length The Angel You Don’t Know including singles ‘Jumping Ship’ ft. Kojey Radical and Cruel Santino, ‘Fancy’, ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Sad Girlz Luv Money (Feat. Moliy catapulted Amaarae from a ‘one to watch’ to a global breakthrough artist.
Streamed over 50M times, this genre-blending project that saw her strive to colour outside of the afro-pop parameters and re-define for herself what it means to create African music has been recognised and praised across the board from The Guardian (Cover Star for 1st Jan 2021 G2 Film & Music issue), Pitchfork (Best New Music), The FACE, Highsnobiety, i-D, Elle, Dazed, The FADER, DJ Target, Sian Anderson and more.
This project has led to numerous tips; Apple Music’s Africa Rising Artist 2021, BET Amplified International Artist of the Month for February 2021, Times Square Billboard Cover Star for her Spotify playlist takeover for Black History Month – ‘Black to the Future’ and Amazon Music as one of their Ones To Watch for 2022.
Her sizzling viral sensation ‘Sad Girlz Luv Money Remix’ featuring Colombian-American artist Kali Uchis and Ghanaian-American Moliy boasted over 360M+ global streams (charted on Billboard 100 at #80, Spotify Top 200 Chart in 60 countries – #18 in the Global Chart, #28 in the UK and Top 40 in the US), charting on main Apple Music All Genre Chart in 133 countries – including #12 in UK and Top 50 in US, with 3.3m Shazams.
It peaked at number 1 on the Global Shazam Chart and #1 in the US, #29 in the UK TOP 40 Singles Chart, as well as peaking at #35 on US Rhythmic Radio Chart. Over 7M video creations on Tik Tok later, #22 on the Global Spotify Chart, and playlisted across national radio (BBC Radio 1 B List, BBC 1Xtra, Kiss FM, Kiss Fresh, Capital Xtra, Apple Music 1).
Kicked off by a Mugler soundtrack, this genuinely organic moment of viral global recognition cemented Amaarae’s place in the zeitgeist – influencing culture not following it.
Bronx-born and raised between Accra in Ghana, Atlanta, Georgia and Hackettstown, New Jersey, Amaarae’s cross-cultural experience is the driving force behind her deeply experimental ethos.
Embraced and endorsed by the exciting melting pot of exuberant creativity that is Nigeria’s Alté scene, Amaarae is all about female empowerment and puts her West African heritage and influences at the core of everything she does – whilst challenging the views on gender norms, female sexuality, artistic self-expression and more.
One of the world’s most exciting artists with a cult following on the African continent and throughout the diaspora, Amaarae has collaborated with the likes of Cruel Santino on ‘Rapid Fire’, Stonebwoy on ‘Pepper Dem’ and Kojey Radical on his 2019 EP Cashmere Tears via the single ‘Sugar’.
The release of her debut EP Passionfruit Summers in 2017 and following singles including the sexy alternative R&B jam ‘Like It’, the groovy Afro-disco inspired ‘Spend Some Time ft Wande Coal’ and a powerful feature on Odunsi’s album cut ‘body count’, began this journey of fearless self-expression where TAYDK picked up and refined it.
A songwriter, singer, producer and engineer, Amaarae is DIY to the core. From selling mixtapes to her high school classmates to throwing herself into learning the ins and outs of the production and engineering process and founding her own independent record label – the Ghana-based Golden Child Entertainment Ltd – Amaarae is a rare, authentic and inspiring talent.
Fast forward to 2023 as she steps into her second album, Amaarae has become a master architect of her own specific brand of cultural alchemy – with an elevated vision and flavour for what pop music really is, ready to take over the world.