Official Biography (courtesy of Amalia Watty)
The sound of screeching subway brakes and train engineer commands is a long way from the laid back calypso rhythms and lyrical voices Amalia Watty remembers from her childhood. The sight of thousands of passengers every hour hustling in and out of the shiny silver or graffiti scared serpents that live below the Manhattan streets is far different from her beloved sleepy village of Rey Hill, Anguilla, but this is where Amalia has decided to set up her rehearsal Space / musical confessional. She is hoping to grab the hearts, attention and possibly a few dollars from the weary commuters and tourist that cross her path at the 14th St. stop or the A or F train everyday. It’s a slow, sometimes disheartening process but it seems to be working and the reason is “That Voice”. Her effortlessly gentle rasp and conversational delivery evoke so much soul that you find it difficult not to listen.
It’s unusual to find a 24 year old with influences ranging from Billie Holiday to Al Green to Sade. And when you experience Amalia’s unique sound and vibe for the first time, you’ll never be able to confuse her with another artist. Her musical baptism in classic jazz and soul was brought about by her stepfather. “He would play Louis Armstrong and Bill Withers so loud that I couldn’t help but absorb them” Amalia remembers,” They became part of the fiber of who I am.”
Amalia’s voice is so refreshing that it caught Los Angeles based producer/ songwriter Jamie Houston’s (Steven Tyler, Carlos Santana, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Macy Grey, Kid Rock) attention from 3000 miles away. “I came across a simple YouTube video and fell in love with her. So much so that I asked a friend of mine, Josh Sarubin (former A&R VP Columbia, Arista, Island Def Jam) and current VP in Publishing (Secret Road) to take a meeting with her to see if I was crazy. When he called me back and told me she was the “real deal”, I jumped on a plane to meet her. He still hasn’t told me if I am crazy though”. Amalia and Jamie soon began to co-write and record leading to the next step in her journey. “I’ve been lucky enough to have to the opportunity to write and learn from some of the best songwriters around, so now I’m excited for people to get a chance to hear it.”
Timeless and organic, Amalia’s flavor has the internet starting to sing her praises as well. Amalia was recently featured on the “Watch List Select” by next2shine.com a site known for premiering big names like YouTube sensation Karmin, chart topper Gotye, and UK recording artists Labrinth and Tinnie Tempah long before they made their mark on the world. “Her sound is breathtaking” wrote Carmen Ledesma of Latin Trends Up and Coming “she’s got a young face-but a voice as wise and knowing as one Ms. Nina Simone!”