Lex Amor

Selected by: Robert Kazandjian

Name: Lex Amor

Where She’s From: North London

Genre: Alternative Rap

File Next To: IAMDDB, Che Lingo, JGrrey

When She Started: “I started intentionally writing for the purpose of doing music around 2014. Prior to that, I was writing poetry and stuff. The first track I put out was in 2016.”

Sounds Like: “Young, Black, and unsung; young, Black London... I don’t know, man. I don’t really define it. It’s just an attempt at articulating what I feel, an attempt at articulating my experiences. Just audibly manifesting what I see around me, and what I grew up in.”

First Music That Inspired Her: “I remember hearing ‘Sweetest Thing’ by Lauryn Hill when I was in college. I was walking on a road between Stamford Hill and Stokey, it’s a long road, and I was listening to that song and there’s this part where she’s holding a note and her vocals are layering over each other. I remember just stopping in my tracks and thinking, ‘Rah! I didn’t know music could do this.’ It made me feel something I hadn’t felt before. It was a beautiful moment, and made me feel like I wanted to recreate that.”

Through just a handful of releases, Lex Amor has subtly built a reputation as a composed, thoughtful lyricist with an ocean’s worth of soulful depth to her music. There’s a dreamlike, transcendent texture to her half-rapped, half-sung delivery, which separates her from her peers. Amor’s musical upbringing was rich with the best of ‘90s R&B and swing. “My mum was comparatively young when we were growing up,” she tells TRENCH. “I experienced parts of her youth. She was listening to a lot of TLC, Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight, Jodeci—them vibes there—and every Saturday morning, that would wake me up. The house was always jumping, vibrating with music, so I get a lot of my love for music from my mum.”

It took Amor a little time to become comfortable with her own artistry. “I feel like before I started putting out music, I was making a lot of trash music,” she says. “The first time I heard myself on a record and thought it sounded decent was in 2016. I made a song with OddBoy 10 called ‘92 Freestyle’. It never came out, but that was the first time I heard myself and thought it was acceptable.” Early releases like “Pink”, “Transits” and “Mood” showcase a fusion of lush, poetic verses with melodic hip-hop production, elements which formed the building blocks for Amor’s debut mixtape, Government Tropicana. Across nine tracks, the deeply personal, introspective project explores themes of home, detachment, disillusionment, perseverance, power and community.

Recently performing standout cut “Odugwu” for COLORS Studios, she had a calm assuredness that speaks to her growing confidence as an artist. “Government Tropicana feels like the culmination of a lot of years of figuring things out,” she says. “All of it was made off of love, friendships, connections, and grit. It was mixed in my bedroom. It’s me and my friends making music. There’s nothing else; it just is what it is and I’m proud of that. I feel like it’s just one of them moments in time and I’m glad it’s been captured. I don’t feel like we’ll be able to make a project that’s as raw as that again; I don’t think I’ll be able to internally allow myself that.”

There’s a humble quality to Lex Amor’s work—in its intimate portraits of her life so far—and progression is her key aim for the future. “My next big goal is to keep going, keep moving, keep finding ways to articulate my experiences and find innovative ways to do it. Just grow, in myself, my abilities, my confidence. And maintain beautiful relationships and have beautiful people around me.”

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on October 28, 2020