Ama Serwah Genfi (born July 4, 1994) is a Ghanaian-American singer and composer known as Amaarae. She is well-known for combining Pop, R&B, Afrobeats, and Alté music and for her flexible gender and sexuality expression.
Early Life & Education
Amarae was born in the United States, particularly in the Bronx neighborhood, New York, to Ama Bawuah and Kwadwo Boateng Genfi and was raised between Atlanta, United States, and Accra, Ghana, where she spent her childhood surrounded by the captivating presence of music. It was more than just a backdrop for her – it felt like an inseparable part of her life. Right from her earliest memories, she sensed an intangible force intricately woven into the fabric of her being.
Born with a natural knack for melodies, Amarae discovered early on that her voice was her instrument and her life’s narrative was meant to be sung. Her journey, however, took her from Accra to the Bronx, New York, and she grew up straddling the vibrant musical scenes of Atlanta and Accra.
At 13, inspired by Kelis‘ “Young, Fresh n’ New,” Amarae penned her first song, marking the beginning of her musical exploration. High school saw her recording mixtapes, and by 17, she was already working in a music studio. Despite her young age, she studied English literature and voice at university.
After her academic pursuits, she returned to Ghana in June 2017, bringing with her a unique, expressive style and formidable songwriting skills. Amarae’s musical influences were as diverse as the world around her. She absorbed the rich tapestry of Afrobeat rhythms, soulful melodies, and contemporary beats that flowed through her surroundings, creating a harmonious blend that defied easy categorization.
Amaarae’s musical journey started with a bang in 2017 when she dropped her debut album, “Passionfruit Summers.” This Ghanaian singer-songwriter made waves, catching the attention of Apple Music Africa, who named her one of their Favorite New Artists. She shot a music video for one of the tracks on the album, “Fluid.” Amaarae continued to make waves on Apple Music as a Beats 1 featured artist for her debut EP.
In addition to her musical career, Amaarae’s fashion sense also turned heads. Vogue Online recognized her, putting her on their Top 100 Style Influencers list 2018. Back home in Ghana, she earned an Artist of the Year nomination at the Glitz Style Awards. Amaarae impacted the music and style scenes and supported Ghanaian fashion by associating with Free The Youth.
In 2019, she graced the first Boiler Room event in Accra alongside La Meme Gang and rapper Kwesi Arthur. A string of collaborations followed with artists like Stonebwoy, Kojey Radical, and Wande Coal. The year 2020 saw the release of her debut studio album, “The Angel You Don’t Know.”
In May 2022, Amaarae had the incredible opportunity to join Black Sherif, Stonebwoy, and Smallgod in meeting Kendrick Lamar during his visit to Ghana. The occasion was a private album listening party, creating a memorable moment where local and international talents converged in celebration of music.
Amaarae’s bold and explicit lyrical content, exploring themes from sex positivity to the erotic, set her apart. This openness about her sexuality, especially as an LGBT artist, added a unique dimension to her celebrity. In June 2023, she was the first Ghanaian to perform on NPR Tiny Desk.
- Passion Fruit Summers
- The Angel You Don’t Know
- Fountain Baby
Award & Nomination
- 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
- 2022 The Headies Awards
There’s a bit of mystery surrounding Amaarae’s personal life, with rumors of a secret relationship. However, without a reliable source to confirm, it’s safest to assume that her relationship status remains undisclosed. Whether flying solo or keeping a romance under wraps, Amaarae’s focus on her musical journey remains crystal clear.
Amarae reportedly amassed an estimated net worth of US$5 million, reflecting the financial success and recognition garnered throughout her illustrious career.
- Instagram: @amaarae
- Twitter: @amaarae