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Amila - EP Review: Life Changes

19 Sep 2023 // A review by Samantha Cheong

Just in time for the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and Chilean Independence Day, Kiwi-Chilean artist Amila debuts her EP Life Changes. Produced by Dan Martin, the five-track collection is a bilingual blend of dance-ready pop ballads, Latin beats and promising songwriting.

The duet of opener Break The Pattern tugs at heartstrings with little effort, as does the addition of alt-pop artist MACEY’s voice. The arpeggios and repetitive chorus work well with the song title, but I ached a bit for more ad libs or daring harmonies. Regardless, the ballad pulls us in.

Lead single Love Language is about first love and where we stand in those relationships when we overthink. Building on from muted 70's guitar towards bright instrumentation and airy vocals, Amila’s emotions are further felt in the tentative yet boldly honest lyrics.

Must Be A Dream stands out as a rhythmic sensation of Latin sensitivity, merging the romantic language in surprising moments that delectably twist the mind as much as the hips. It’s a strong follow-up, or even sister, to previous standalone single Owe It All To You.

With Latin guitar and the confident attitude of Olivia Rodrigo on Changes, this was an enjoyable listen from start to end. Amila’s higher register and vulnerable narrative complements the masculine angle that featured hip-hop rapper Rhys Rich adds.

The slow burn space of Missing Out reflects its sentiment that “good things take ages”. Despite the withdrawn but beautiful production, if I were lucky enough to catch Amila live, I’d want to hear her voice in its rawest form with just the piano for this one. 

Amila has a tone and way of writing that could potentially benefit from exploring the RnB realm, in the same vein that Cuban American artist Lauren Jauregui has settled herself into. Her lilting voice soars from succinct pop lyrics, mature production and the tying-in of salsa rhythms that feel authentic. They fit like a glove with the groove of her sensual voice. This musician clearly has more to offer and, luckily for newer enthusiasts like me, she has plenty of time for that. Now, give her more stages!

 

About Amila

With her new EP, Kiwi/Chilean starlet Amila is debuting as a refreshing entrant to the globalised pop-sphere.

Camila Roa Nunez, who writes and records as Amila (pronounced ‘a-meela’) is a bright new bilingual voice in the New Zealand music scene. Amila made her first impression as a natural talent in 2018 when she released her debut single and music video Owe It All To You – both of which are dedicated to her family who sacrificed everything in search of a better life.

Born in Chile, Amila moved to New Zealand with her family when she was 7-years-old. Music provided a way for Spanish-speaking Amila to learn English and express herself as a newcomer to life and culture in Aotearoa.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Amila

Releases

Life Changes
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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