It’s unquestionable, the integral role that music plays in the evolution of our Caribbean culture. For years, the region has contributed indelible, artistic offerings to the global music community but because of poor business structure, we have often been slighted economically. It’s upon this acknowledgement that Romaine ‘Luigi Society’ Brown has opted to appoint Stefan Amali as an A&R for his Luigi Society label.
Stefan Amali formerly known as Eva Hype burst unto the music scene a decade ago with his underground smash single Lover’s Go featuring Spanish Town singing sensation D’yani which was produced by Mario Dunwell. The success of Lover’s Go afforded Amali a scholarship to arguably one of the biggest art school in the world – Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD).
“I definitely consider graduating from SCAD as one of the biggest blessings of my life. Having worked as a Creative Director/Marketing Director for companies internationally, I think I have a good balance of creativity and organizational skills. A lot of artists don’t like the organizational aspects of the industry, so I think being an A&R with a design and marketing background, can help bridge that gap “ Amali explained.
Currently Amali and Luigi Society are working tirelessly towards cultivating the perfect artistic, environment for Lavisch who is signed to the label and Munga Honorable, who is managed by the company. Romaine Luigi Society Browm expressed certainty in his decision to appoint Amali as A&R by stating that : “Ive been working with Amali since before the name change from Eva Hype. With his knowledge and expertise of the music business, I’m confident that he will be successful both as an artist and as an A&R “
Amali is determined to also establish himself as a breath of fresh air in dancehall music. His latest single Purpose, from his upcoming project entitled Boujee Dancehall is his first release of 2021. Both the single and the video for Purpose were recorded in the beautiful island of Barbados. Amali collaborated with Swayne ’Cjuh’ Boyce from Starpoint Productions on Purpose.
Starpoint Productions is responsible for some of the biggest dancehall hits in the Eastern Caribbean. Boyce gained noteworthy recognition for his production on tracks like ‘Private Zess’ ft K.Lion & LR. Boyce is a guitarist, and keyboardist who is trained in music theory. Cjuh expressed that he had always been an avid fan of dancehall music, even before working with Amali.
“From high school days in Barbados, I was a big fan of Ward 21, Bounty Killer, Tok, Baby Cham and Vybz Kartel. From the younger generation of dancehall I would also love to work with Shane-O and Teejay.”
Amali described it as a magical experience working with Cjuh and shared how the song came together, sparing no details.
“When I graduated from SCAD, I moved to Miami and started my design agency- Hi Esteem Design Agency. One of my clients was from Barbados and after some of our meetings, I would ask him to expose me to some of the Bajan music that was current. At the time Cjuh had a popular riddim called Evil Eyes Riddim and I fell in love with the sound. “
Amali continued by stating that “When I decided to visit Barbados, I knew very few people but one of my goals was to work with Cjuh. A platform by the name of Barbados Connect booked me for an event in LimeGrove on the West Coast. We did a site viewing for the event and then we had lunch. At lunch, I randomly asked them if they knew Cjuh. Not only did they know him, but in an hour, we were at his studio and I was recording Purpose. The whole song was recorded in 15 minutes. Purpose is a project that shows why we need more Caribbean platforms that are committed to uniting creatives; like Barbados Connect”
The music video for Purpose was directed by Amali but was shot by Alexander James, who is also Dj Puffy’s videographer and photographer. Purpose ( both song and video) has the potential to ameliorate cultural gaps between Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. “I’m proud to have gone to Barbados to work with such outstanding Caribbean talent. My music is not only about appealing to Jamaica but I’m compelled to represent the entire region and Latin America.. As an artist and as an A&R, one of my strongest assets is my knowledge of foreign music markets and I believe that will contribute greatly to my success.” he stated.
Amali ended on a note of thankfulness by saying : :I have to express gratitude to Luigi Society for giving me my first appointment as an A&R and to Cjuh for giving me a chance to record Purpose, on the very same day I met him. More Jamaican producers should emulate Cjuh & Lugi Society, in their willingness to give prodigious, young talent a chance. “