The Pandemic and the various lockdowns as a result have been hard on many working in the creative sector – especially emerging artists. You can only imagine the impact on emerging groups and bands. We caught up with AMBA – the four piece girl group who are a part of this year’s LIMF Academy cohort – to chat about them, their plans and how they have been staying creative during the pandemic.

First of all, how are you guys coping with life at the moment? What’s getting you through the pandemic?

Mimi: To be honest we’ve all struggled quite a bit with lockdown. I’ve had little contact with family or the rest of the band since the restrictions came in place again, but having my daughter to keep me busy has been a huge help. I’ve been spending my nights at my piano trying to think of new ideas for when we can meet up as a band again

Anouska:  I’m usually always on the go, but all of the industries I work in have all been impacted. Luckily, I’ve had my family around me, and the girls are just a phone a call away whenever I’ve needed them. I’ve used my spare time to try and gather new ideas and find inspiration for when we can finally meet up again as a group. 

Brittany: Yeah as the girls have said lockdown has been really difficult but I have tried to keep busy by being more creative.

Aliyah: FaceTime has been a lifesaver, still being able to see everyone’s face through the phone has made it easier for me and knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel for when we can start releasing music and showing the world who we are… that’s exciting. 

I’m interested to know how you guys met, and how did you decide to become a girl band? 

Aliyah: We met at a Performing Arts organisation called Positive Impact; we all loved to sing and the idea of a girl band was something that we were all interested in and it progressed from there.

Do you think each of you having different musical influences has an impact on the music you make together?

Anouska: I’d say this definitely has an impact on us and the music we make as being in a band means 4 lots of ideas/perspectives and not just 1. Sometimes you can be writing, and your mind can just go blank so having other people other to bounce off and gather new ideas and inspiration from is always a good thing. 

Mimi: Yeah I’d say this benefits us as a band because it broadens our ideas when writing. One person might suggest a song to listen to that the rest of us may not have even heard before or ever thought of writing in that style.

Aliyah: I love the fact that we all have different musical influences. Our main musical influences are Kehlani, Summer Walker, H.E.R, Billie Eilish. You would think it would make it harder for us when writing but we use these influences and merge them to create one sound.. our sound. We all have a similar writing style as well and we all know what we’re trying to create in the end. 

Have you faced any struggles/challenges during lockdown, especially since there are 4 of you, with maybe not being able to get together as much?

Mimi: The lockdown has stunted us in the sense that we can’t physically meet up to rehearse or even just spend time together. It’s also meant that we haven’t been able to perform live gigs or get in the studio to record our tracks which has been the most frustrating. However, we spent a lot of time writing songs together, before the lockdown,  so when its lifted we can get straight back into it. We also meet every week on zoom, for a couple of hours to catch up and work on some new song ideas.

I’ve heard you have an upcoming live stream performance, have you done one of these before, and are you looking forward to it? 

Mimi: Our first live performance was actually a live stream! It was at an event called On Record: Untold & Retold in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. We are so thankful for LIMF for giving us the opportunity, we were delighted to be able to get on stage together and perform our own music for the first time.. especially joining so many other amazing artists from Liverpool.  Music is helping so many people get through things at the moment and we want to be a part of that.

Anouska: Yeah we have been asked to perform at LCR Culture & Creativity Awards. It’s an event that celebrates and recognises art/cultural events and creative activity within the city. 

Aliyah: We’re so excited to be back performing together again!

Where and when will viewers be able to watch the stream?

Brittany: 7PM on February 19th.   It will be available to stream online via a link we will share on our social pages. (instagram + twitter @ambaofficial_)

What else will 2021 bring for AMBA?

Mimi: 2021 is going to be our year. 2020 has been a bit of a setback, but we will come out on the other side… we are more determined than ever to show the world what we have to offer.

Aliyah: We are currently writing and planning to release an EP later on in the year.

Brittany: We also hope to get the opportunity to perform at a lot more gigs, to gain some more experience, support and create a following.

Anouska: Yeah, we can’t wait to see what this year brings us.. we are aiming high that’s for sure!

Interview by Simone Armstrong