Amanda Ava Koci (Milwaukee, 1994), at the age of 8 was already participating in children's talent competitions.
"For me, music is like medicine," says this young American who says she is very clear about the message she wants to convey: "Empowering songs that make people feel happy and confident. For me, that's what this is all about."
From her Albanian roots she has on the one hand "influences that here or there" can be seen in her music, which combines styles and influences typically American, things that put him at home, like the albums of Mariah Carey, the 'country' of Shania Twain, disco and pop music of the 80s.
But from the difficulties of his parents before and after arriving in the U.S. (they spent a year living in a French church waiting to receive their passports in order to travel), she was also left with a vision of life based on effort and perseverance.
"I saw my parents struggle a lot. When they arrived in America they worked three jobs each, did not know the language and did not have a dollar in their pocket. So when I feel like I'm having a hard time, I just think of them and say to myself, 'You can do this,'" she says after years of perseverance until the release of her first album.
It took about a year and a half to bring out "Heaven & Hell" (Warner Music) and it wasn't necessarily a linear or fluid process, as it was partly woven in the middle of a tour, between hotel stays.
When she released the single "Sweet But Psycho" (2018), she claims she didn't know for sure she had such a success on her hands. "The only thing I was clear about at the time was that I wanted to release a pop song. Two years ago there were hardly any songs of that style on the charts and I think part of what happened is that I did something different," she reflects.
And when everything was practically ready for the release of the album in early 2020, came the usual pandemic. "It was not the right time. Now it is. For me music is medicine and the truth is that I can't keep it any longer," she says.
The album features contagious themes that are not lacking in content, such as "Kings & Queens" about the inequality between men and women. "You have to keep working in that field and that's why that song exists. I don't think we should try harder than men to be women. It sucks," Ava says.
"I love duality as a theme, as you can see in other tracks like 'Sweet But Psycho' or 'Heaven And Hell'. I believe that we all have many faces and that we must expose them," she points out.
Ava is clear about what heaven and hell are for her, which is alluded to in the title of the album. "Hell would be 2020, this uncertainty about the future and getting stuck," she says, "and heaven? they are the fantasies that we build in our minds. My dream right now is to go on tour," she concludes.