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Birth name Aminata Kabba
Born (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 19)
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Pop, dance-pop, R&B
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2010–present
Labels Future (2011–12)
Universal (Re-housed) (2012)
Epic Records (2013–present)
Associated acts Gary Barlow, MNEK, Duke Dumont
Website ameofficial.com

Aminata Kabba (born 13 December 1994), better known as A*M*E, is a Sierra Leonean-born British singer-songwriter. A*M*E was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 13 December 1994. In 2011, Kabba was discovered and signed by Take That frontman Gary Barlow to his label, Future Records.[1][2][3]

On 9 December 2012 the BBC announced that A*M*E had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll.[4]

In January 2013 A*M*E signed to Sony Music's Epic Records after Barlow closed Future Records to focus on his own career commitments. Her single Need U (100%), a collaboration with Duke Dumont and MNEK, topped the UK singles chart on 7 April 2013.


1994–2011: Early life[edit]

At the age of eight, Kabba moved to the United Kingdom after her mother's hair salon was burned to the ground and life in Sierra Leone became too dangerous.[1] Growing up in the Catford area[5] of southeast London, Kabba formed her own playground version of American group Destiny's Child, named Independent Girls; before realising that—much like Beyoncé Knowles—she preferred the spotlight solely on her.[1] From there she joined the Sedgehill School choir, taking lead on choral renditions of songs by Rihanna and Justin Timberlake, before being introduced to fellow teenage prodigy, MNEK.[1] The pair bonded over a mutual love of 90s pop and started collaborating, quickly creating a handful of songs including "City Lights". The track was enough to pique the interest of Take That frontman Gary Barlow, who proceeded to sign her to his Future record label.[1][6]

2011–present: "Play the Game Boy" and Sound of 2013 nomination[edit]

A*M*E's first major success as a songwriter came when "Beautiful Stranger"—a track which she wrote with Cutfather—was recorded and released by K-pop band f(x); becoming a top 40 hit in Korea.[4][7] Released in July 2012, the musician co-wrote her track "Find a Boy" alongside Emeli Sandé and producer Naughty Boy.[8] Kabba also lent uncredited backing vocals to British singer Cheryl Cole's track "One Thousand", which was featured on her third studio album A Million Lights (2012).[9]

It was announced by The Guardian in September that A*M*E would release her first commercial single, "Play the Game Boy", in November 2012.[10] Produced by Electric, the track attained positive reviews, with Digital Spy listing the song as one of its 'Top 10 tracks you need to hear'; commenting on "[It's] Insanely addictive choruses and K-pop inspired melodies" and that "it feels fresher than anything else on this week's chart."[11]

On 9 December 2012 the BBC announced that A*M*E had been nominated for the Sound of 2013 poll alongside the likes of Angel Haze and The Weeknd.[4]

Her collaboration with Duke Dumont, "Need U (100%)" was released in March 2013. It became both acts' most successful single at the time, debuting at no.1 and remaining there for 2 weeks, and has since been nominated for the Best Dance Recording category at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards. In April 2013, it was confirmed that A*M*E was finishing her Epic Records debut album, and would be released later that year - however, as of July 2014, a date has not been set for the release.

On 14 July 2014, A*M*E released her second official single, "Heartless", produced by Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub. She also featured on Monsieur Adi's single "What's Going On?", released in November 2013. A*M*E co-wrote two more songs during 2013 and 2014; "Stereotype" by Norwegian singer-songwriter Samsaya and "Future X Girl" by British group Neon Jungle. Kabba also recorded backing vocals for the latter.



As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"City Lights" 2012 -
"Ride Or Die" -
"Play the Game Boy"[12] -
"Heartless" 2013 -

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Need U (100%)"
(Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E)
2013 1 40 17 31 27 18 TBC
"What's Going On?"
(Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E)

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Find a Boy"[8]
(A*M*E featuring Mic Righteous)
2012 Non-album single

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Artist Album Notes
"One Thousand"[9] 2012 Cheryl Cole A Million Lights Uncredited backing vocals
"Future X Girl"[19] 2014 Neon Jungle Welcome to the Jungle Uncredited backing vocals

Songwriting credits[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Song Year Artist Director Reference(s)
"City Lights" 2012 A*M*E (featuring Bartoven) Ashur Yelda, Aram Antabil,
Ashley McDermott & Chantelle Fiddy
"Ride or Die" A*M*E [21]
"Play the Game Boy" Patrick Killingbeck [22]
"Heartless" 2013 [23]



A*M*E has been heavily influenced by K-pop, said "I love my K-pop, but I haven't really done anything with that sound yet. There's influences from it in my music - I've got some fat, solid, six-part melodies which are very K-poppy."[24] A*M*E cites Beyoncé Knowles, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Big Bang as her influences, she also cites Janet Jackson as a major influence calling Jackson "my idol".


  • Misty Eye Tour (2012) (as support)[25]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Result
2012 BBC Sound of 2013 Sound of 2013[4] Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d e "New music: A*M*E - City Lights (Fuller Refix vs Gold Top Remix)". The Guardian. 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/x-factor/x-factors-gary-barlow-uses-mentoring-skills-with-ame-saying-just-be-true-to-yourself/ unreality April 9, 2013
  3. ^ http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/110783/Gary-Barlow-Advises-AME-To-Avoid-Getting-Sidetracked-After-Number-One-Single Entertainment Wise April 2013
  4. ^ a b c d "Sound of 2013 Profiles: A*M*E". BBC. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  5. ^ "Catford Sedgehill teenager A*M*E keeps anti-Thatcher song from number one spot". News Shopper. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Sedgehill Students sign record deal". Sedgehill School. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  7. ^ a b "BMI Repertoire: Songwriter/Composer:Aminata Kabba". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  8. ^ a b "Release information: A*M*E - Find a Boy featuring Mic Righteous". Euro Solution. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  9. ^ a b "Cheryl - A Million Lights". Discogs. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  10. ^ "New music: A*M*E - Play the Game Boy". The Guardian. 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  11. ^ "Playlist: 10 tracks you need to hear". Digital Spy. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  12. ^ "'Play the Game Boy' - A*M*E". iTunes. 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  13. ^ Peak positions for the featured singles in the UK:
  14. ^ "Discography A*M*E". Hung Medien. australian-charts.com/. 
  15. ^ "Discografie A*M*E". Hung Medien. ultratop.be/nl/. 
  16. ^ "A*M*E discography". Hung Medien. danishcharts.com. 
  17. ^ Peak positions for Ireland:
  18. ^ "Discografie A*M*E". Hung Medien. dutchcharts.nl/. 
  19. ^ "Neon Jungle - Welcome to the Jungle". Josep Vinaixa. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  20. ^ "A*M*E - City Lights feat. Bartoven". YouTube. 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  21. ^ "A*M*E - Ride or Die". YouTube. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  22. ^ "A*M*E - Play The Game Boy". YouTube. 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  23. ^ "A*M*E - Heartless". YouTube. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  24. ^ "A*M*E interview: 'I call Gary Barlow Uncle G'". Digital Spy. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  25. ^ "Gigography: A*M*E". SongKick. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 

External links[edit]