Thursday, April 25, 2013

Indie Review welcomes AMMA Whatt !

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From the age of 4, Amma Whatt’s professional journey has been one of accomplishment, passion and variety.  As a dancer, under the tutelage of her parents, Oloriwaa! and Kweyao Agyapon, she studied and performed the traditional music of West Africa and The Caribbean.  As an actress and entertainer at 16, she participated in a hilarious one-on-one TV interview on Bill Cosby's "Kid's say the Darndest Things". As a vocalist, she left her mark in the Howard University Jazz Vocal Performance Program and as a soloist in the Howard Gospel Choir.  Amma then toured the US and internationally as a supporting vocalist with Glory of NY Gospel Singers, Ruben Studdard, Karen Clark-Sheard, Ki-Ki Sheard, Shirley Murdock, Howard Hewitt, Tulani Kinard, Byron Cage, Rob Murat, and Melba Moore​
It was as a Hollywood Week Finalist on the 5th season of American Idol, that Amma’s talent drew the attention of film and television producers.  She appeared in the 2007 film August Rush and sang on the film’s Academy Award-nominated song “Raise It Up”, highlighted by a live performance at the 2008 Academy Awards.  Most recently, you can hear Amma singing "Get Happy" in the new Home Goods commercials airing on national television and radio.
While Amma continues to share the stage and album features with a wide variety of artists such as
Jarrard Anthony, Nicholas Ryan Gant, Monet, Darien, Catz & Dogz, Mark de Clive-Lowe, and Jason Moran, to name a few, her talents are very much in demand as a songwriter and producer.  With the Grammy nominated team of women songwriters, Big Drawz Music Group, Amma co-wrote “Just the Way You Are” for Kindred and The Family Soul’s “The Arrival.”  In partnership with world-famous songwriter, recording artist and vocal jazz performer, Vinx, Amma claimed the role of lead vocalist and composer for the international touring group, Vinx and the Groove Heroes.
A long-time resident of Brooklyn, NY, Amma has always appreciated the support she has received from her community and has tried to give back some of that love.  In recognition of her community service work, Amma was named a grant recipient of the Miracle Corners of the World Alumni Venture Fund. This award is given to past and present youth volunteers, to develop and organize community events and initiatives.  Amma used her grant to sponsor a youth day of fun for the Egbe Iwa Odo Kunrin/Binrin Rites of Passage program.  She also used this grant to produce a song and music video that celebrates the mission of this organization.
Most recently, Amma was chosen as a grant recipient of the Fund for New Work, installed by Harlem Stage and the Jerome Foundation.  In recognition of her work, Amma presented parts of her latest performance piece entitled "Coming Home" at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse Theater.  After winning the audience vote to receive an additional monetary award, Amma presented her work at Harlem Stage's annual Fats Waller Dance Party, and opened for Jason Moran and Meshell N’degeocello in the summer of 2012.

Amma’s grant award assisted her in releasing her first original musical project, titled "Maybe".  It was eagerly devoured by waiting fans and garnered significant critical acclaim.  Debuting at #3 in the R&B/Soul category on, and staying in the top 8 for over 3 weeks, "Maybe" fuses sounds of R&B, hip-hop, acoustic-alternative, and world music. This collection of songs and interludes expresses where we often find ourselves in the cycles of love, relationships, and new beginnings. Guests on this project include Monet, VINX, Akil Dasan, Nicholas Ryan Gant, and Shawn Lucas, co-writes by Tubby Love and VINX, production by H2o productions, and Farai Malianga, and beat-box production by Akil Dasan.  A full LP release is planned for 2013. 


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