One of the most exciting and distinctive new artists rising from the internet underground Pop scene in London, AMARA ctk100 is a UK-based Swiss artist whose unique mix of Pop, R&B, internet culture, and Indie is already making the playlists and radio stations across the world. Best known for her defiant dark Pop anthem, “Just Kidding,” she will be supporting Rebecca Black on her UK/Europe tour in May.
With her latest single “How Can I Sleep Now That I Know?” out now, we took some time to hear more from AMARA ctk100. Read below to learn more about AMARA ctk100, the story behind the single, and what’s to come.
Hi AMARA ctk100! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
When I first signed up for Instagram, I was looking for a name that wasn’t taken yet. I had my Casio ctk100 keyboard in front of me and just added the “_ctk100” to Amara. When I started playing live, I needed a name for the flyer and just used my internet name. I used that name with the intention of changing it at some point, but now, I’ve just kept it 🙂
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I grew up in the Swiss Alps, in Brig, and, later on, I was living in Milan for a couple of years to do my bachelors degree. Currently, I’m living in London.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
When I was a little girl, really. As far as I can think back, I always told everyone that I wanted to be a singer or marine biologist. My dad was playing in bands, and he taught me how to play the guitar. Both my parents encouraged me to join choirs and be in musicals, where I had classical vocal training. Later, as a teenager, I started to become more and more interested in Pop music, and taught myself the piano and how to record little songs in GarageBand.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. My parents were both very artistic. My dad is a painter and musician. My mum owned a fashion shop, put on little fashion shows, and also made her own clothes. I’ve always been really fascinated with pop culture and how visuals, music, and fashion connect. I ended up studying fashion design. My dad playing me a lot of metal and guitar based music has definitely given me a liking for guitar music. Singing in choirs and musicals have shaped my approach to vocal harmonies and layered vocal arrangements a lot. It’s something you can hear in all of my songs.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
Beat based Pop music.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
When I don’t work on the musical side of my project, I work on the visual side: graphics, drawings, concepts to production of shoots/videos. I also journal and try to write. It helps me come up with little song ideas when I least expect it.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
That’s a very hard question. I think Britney Spears and Evanescence are names that come to mind. They got me into music in the first place.
What are some of your future music career goals?
Tour more; as it’s been so difficult with Covid. Also, I want to finish my album 🙂
Now onto your release, “How Can I Sleep Now That I Know?” What inspired this song?
First, moving to London and leaving everything behind that I had built before; starting over again and the uncertainty, disconnection, and solitude that came with it.
What is “How Can I Sleep Now That I Know?” about in your own words?
“It was always all about you.” YOU is not a person, but the big low that you can feel. When I first moved to London by myself, it was a dark time, and I turned into someone that I barely recognised. I pushed people away because I couldn’t deal with the simplest tasks and everything felt like it was too much. I blamed myself, which made it even worse. It became all about THAT until I managed to find some trust in myself again and break out of some unhealthy patterns.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “How Can I Sleep Now That I Know?”
I want my music to be confident and encourage people to stand up for themselves, to find an empowering angle in whatever happens to them.
With this more vulnerable song in particular, I hope to make someone feel less alone and heard. It’s okay and necessary to look for help and to ask for help, no one should feel like they have to deal with everything on their own. Whatever you’re dealing with, it’s not all on you.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
That I’ve been able to put my ideas together. There are so many aspects that come with doing music. I’m proud of how I’ve managed to combine the visual side and music side, and how much of me is in all of it.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
Don’t wait on anyone. If there’s a way to do it yourself. Get it done yourself! I had to learn how to produce in order to finally be able to release music.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
I’m very excited to be joining Rebecca Black on her headline tour as support on all of her Europe and UK dates.
MAY 2 BRUSSELS – TBA
MAY 3 PARIS – LES ETIOLES
MAY 5 AMSTERDAM – PARADISO NOORD
MAY 6 LONDON – COLOURS
MAY 7 LONDON – COLOURS
MAY 9 MANCHESTER – DEAF INSTITUTE
MAY 11 GLASGOW – GARAGE
MAY 15 HEIDELBERG – QUEER FEST
MAY 17 KOLN – YUCA
MAY 18 BERLIN – KANTINE AM BERGHAIN
Where can we follow you on social media?
Thank you for the great interview! Let’s ask you something random before you go. What’s your favourite food?
It changes tbh. I can get obsessed with one meal and eat it every day for weeks! Haha, till I get bored of it…and that can take a while.
But, a constant has definitely been my nonna’s homemade lasagna with veggies from her garden or sourdough pizza. I always get a margherita 😍 I’ve also recently discovered Bao buns and can’t get enough. There’s a place in London that does this amazing shiitake Bao. Very addictive.