KABBA (singer)

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KABBA
KABBA in 2020
KABBA in 2020
Background information
Birth nameAminata Kabba
Also known asA*M*E
Born (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 26)
Freetown, Sierra Leone
OriginLondon, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2010–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitekabbamusic.com

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

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

In January 2013, Amy 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.

Biography[edit]

1994–2011: Early life[edit]

At the age of eight, Amy 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 south-east London, Amy was introduced to fellow teenage prodigy MNEK.[1] The pair bonded over a mutual love of '90s pop music 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]

2012–2018: Career beginnings: A*M*E[edit]

In 2012, KABBA released a string of promotional singles called "City Lights" (featuring Bartoven), "Ride or Die" and "Find a Boy", which she co-wrote alongside Emeli Sandé and producer Naughty Boy.[7]

It was announced by The Guardian in September 2012 that Amy would release her first commercial single, "Play The Game Boy", in November 2012.[8] 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 "[its] insanely addictive choruses and K-pop inspired melodies" and that "it feels fresher than anything else on this week's chart."[9]

On 9 December 2012, the BBC announced that Amy 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 earned her a nomination in the Best Dance Recording category at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

On 14 July 2014, Amy 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?", CamelPhat's "Paradigm", MK's "My Love 4 U", Tough Love's "Closer to Love", Shift K3Y's "Entirety", as well as appearing on M-22's "White Lies".

2019–present: KABBA and debut EP[edit]

Through an Instagram post on 8 July 2019, Amy announced that she would rebrand as KABBA.[10]

KABBA announced the first single from her self titled debut EP on 12 July 2019. It is titled "Glue" and features Bartoven, who previously appeared on her song "City Lights". The song was first premiered on COMPLEX on 24 July 2019. In the article, KABBA explained the reasons behind her rebrand, stating: "KABBA is a Sierra Leonean name and part of my identity that is so precious to me. Now that I'm entering a new phase in my career, I'm free to fully embrace KABBA."[11]

Her debut EP KABBA was released on 14 February 2020.

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
KABBA
  • 14 February 2020
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"City Lights"
(featuring Bartoven)
2012 Non-album singles
"Ride or Die"
"Play the Game Boy"[12]
"Heartless" 2013
"Glue"
(featuring Bartoven)
2019 KABBA
"My Work Is Done"
"Muscle" 2020

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[13]
AUS
[14]
BEL
[15]
DEN
[16]
IRE
[17]
NL
[18]
"Need U (100%)"
(Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E)
2013 1 40 17 31 27 20 non-album single
"What's Going On?"
(Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E)
"Paradigm"
(CamelPhat featuring A*M*E)
2015 Axtone Ten
"My Love 4 U"
(MK featuring A*M*E)
2016 non-album single
"Closer to Love"
(Tough Love featuring A*M*E)
2017 Past Present Future
"Entirety"
(Shift K3Y featuring A*M*E)
2018 non-album single

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Find a Boy"[7]
(A*M*E featuring Mic Righteous)
2012 non-album single

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Artist Album Notes
"One Thousand"[19] 2012 Cheryl Cole A Million Lights Un-credited backing vocals
"Future X Girl"[20] 2014 Neon Jungle Welcome to the Jungle
"WTF (Interlude)" 2017 Brayton Bowman 22 Minutes Later Un-credited speaker
"All In" 2018 Throttle Non-album single Writer and un-credited lead vocalist
"White Lies" 2019 M-22

Songwriting credits[edit]

Year Artist Album Song Co-written with
2012 f(x) Electric Shock EP "Beautiful Stranger" Mich Hansen, Jason Gill
2013 Samsaya Bombay Calling "Stereotypes" Sampda Sharma, Iain Farquarson, Fredrik Ball
Duke Dumont Non-album single "Need U (100%)" (featuring A*M*E) Uzoechi Emenike, Robbie Bergin
2014 Neon Jungle Welcome to the Jungle "Future X Girl" Anita Blay, Benjamin Berry
2015 Duke Dumont Non-album single "The Giver (Reprise)" Adam Dyment, Hal Ritson, Kelli-Leigh Henry-Davila, Uzoechi Emenike
2016 JKAY "Stranger"
(featuring Shola Ama)
Jonathan Keep, Marvin Humes, Uzoechi Emenike, Caroline Furoyen, Sinai Tedros
2018 Mike Williams "Give It Up" Michael Willemsen, Stevie Appleton
Throttle "All In" Uzoechi Emenike, Robbie Bergin
2019 Ryan Ashley "Familiar" Ryan Campbell, Roberto Manfredi
M-22 "White Lies" Andre Nookadu, Andrew Bullimore, Frank Sanders, Matthew Humphrey
2020 Sleepwalkrs "More Than Words"
(featuring MNEK)
Roberto Manfredi, Thomas Hollings, Samuel Brennan, Uzoechi Emenike
KSI TBA "Really Love" (featuring Craig David
and Digital Farm Animals)
Olajide Olatunji, Craig David, James Murray, Mustafa Omer, Nicholas Gale, Eugen Nwohia, Ronald Nwohia, Michael Ashley, Paul Newman, Steve Wickham
Amun Non-album single "Done Me" Uzoechi Emenike, Raoul Chen, Alexander Montell
2021 Like Son "One Night Only" Conor Blake, Joseph Paul Murphy, Nathan Richards, Samuel Brennan, Tom Hollings

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
[21]
"Ride or Die" A*M*E [22]
"Play the Game Boy" Patrick Killingbeck [23]
"Heartless" 2013 [24]

Artistry[edit]

Influences[edit]

Amy has been heavily influenced by K-pop, saying "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."[25] Amy cites Beyoncé, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Big Bang as her influences, she also cites Janet Jackson as a major influence calling Jackson her idol.

Awards and nominations[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "New music: A*M*E – City Lights (Fuller Refix vs Gold Top Remix)". The Guardian. 20 February 2012. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Gary Barlow Advises A*M*E 'To Avoid Getting Sidetracked' After Number One Single". Entertainmentwise.com. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  3. ^ "X Factor's Gary Barlow uses mentoring skills with A*M*E saying 'just be true to yourself' - Unreality TV". Unreality TV. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Sound of 2013 Profiles: A*M*E". BBC. 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Catford Sedgehill teenager A*M*E keeps anti-Thatcher song from number one spot". News Shopper. 15 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Sedgehill Students sign record deal". Sedgehill School. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Release information: A*M*E – Find a Boy featuring Mic Righteous". Euro Solution. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  8. ^ "New music: A*M*E – Play the Game Boy". The Guardian. 25 September 2012. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Playlist: 10 tracks you need to hear". Digital Spy. 1 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  10. ^ A*M*E Announces Rebrand as KABBA: "A*M*E Announces Rebrand as KABBA > 8 July 2019". KABBA.
  11. ^ Emerging R&B Singer KABBA Shares Booming, Bass-Heavy "Glue": "Emerging R&B Singer KABBA Shares Booming, Bass-Heavy "Glue"> 24 July 2019". COMPLEX. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  12. ^ "'Play the Game Boy' – A*M*E". iTunes. 11 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  13. ^ Peak positions for the featured singles in the UK:
  14. ^ "Discography A*M*E". Hung Medien. australian-charts.com/. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Discografie A*M*E". Hung Medien. ultratop.be/nl/. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  16. ^ "A*M*E discography". Hung Medien. danishcharts.dk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  17. ^ Peak positions for Ireland:
  18. ^ "Discografie A*M*E". Hung Medien. dutchcharts.nl/. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  19. ^ "Cheryl – A Million Lights". Discogs. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Neon Jungle – Welcome to the Jungle". Josep Vinaixa. Archived from the original on 5 August 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  21. ^ "A*M*E – City Lights feat. Bartoven". YouTube. 14 January 2012. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  22. ^ "A*M*E – Ride or Die". YouTube. 28 March 2012. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  23. ^ "A*M*E – Play The Game Boy". YouTube. 24 September 2012. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  24. ^ "A*M*E – Heartless". YouTube. 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  25. ^ "A*M*E interview: 'I call Gary Barlow Uncle G'". Digital Spy. 11 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.

External links[edit]