For those of us who have been following Amara la Negra‘s career since she first burst onto the Dominican market in the mid-2010s, this moment has been a long time coming. The fearless young artist has been an essential voice in the music landscape since she started turning heads a couple years back, denouncing the persistent and pernicious force of colorism in the music business. Last summer, when she announced her role on the new season of Love & Hip-Hop: Miami, fans knew a major shift was on the horizon. After the season opened with a now infamous incident where she had to school an ignorant producer on colorism, much of the narrative around Amara has centered on the general ignorance there is about Afro-Latinx identity in the United States, and the labor she’s doing by bringing conversations about Afro-Latinidad to mainstream spaces.
But now, we’re finally getting a taste of Amara’s actual music. Today, TIDAL premiered her first new track since signing a record deal with BMG and Fast Life Entertainment. “What a Bam Bam” samples Sister Nancy’s classic dancehall staple “Bam Bam,” a savvy intergenerational hat tip to another afro-diasporic pioneer – and a beat pop producers can’t get enough of. Over an addictive dembow riddim, Amara belts a flurry of empowering lyrics. “No te equivoque que yo ando soltera/e’ta negra no se va con cualquiera,” she reminds us. “Digan ‘whoa,’ las mujeres que no les hace falta un hombre para vivir feliz.”
In the bold and colorful Montoya el Duro-directed music video, Amara hits up a luxe Miami pool party. Watch a preview of the clip below, and catch the full video exclusively via TIDAL here.
Update, 3/19/2018: A previous version of this post referred to “What a Bam Bam” as the first official single from Amara’s debut album. “What a Bam Bam” was a Tidal exclusive. The first single from her upcoming album is “Insecure.”