AMAKA, formerly of R&B duo VanJess, brings the bass and mellow vocals to her new single “Leave it Behind.”
On the Kaytranada-produced track, AMAKA’s wispy vocals glide over electronic-tinged instrumentation as she urges her partner to leave their situations at the door and tune out the world for the sake of sanity, at least while they’re on the dance floor.
Speaking on the inspiration behind “Leave it Behind,” AMAKA shares, “[It’s] a song I wrote about letting all your worries go and enjoying life. I wrote it from the perspective of being in that space and wanting whoever is around me to join in and absorb that same energy: having a good time and being present in the moment no matter what life has thrown your way.”
“Leave it Behind” is AMAKA’s second Kaytranada-produced release this year. She first shared the tingly jam “Cruisin‘” in March, and it served as the launching pad for her rebrand.
“‘Cruisin’ was the first song that I wrote after my dad passed away in 2021. I really wanted to write something to empower myself and overcome. That was really the theme of it — to keep going,” AMAKA told Rated R&B.
She continued, “‘Cruisin’ is kind of a substitute of saying like, ‘Keep going on. Keep cruisin’ on. I just wanted to write something that made me feel powerful, made be feel strong, made me feel like I could do anything at a time where I felt the complete opposite.”
“Cruisin'” and “Leave it Behind” will appear on AMAKA’s forthcoming debut EP, Oasis, out this summer. Both new solo tracks follow the disbandment of VanJess.
“Hi guys, it’s Jess. I see you and know how much you’ve been wanting to hear new music and see more from the both of us. The truth is, about 8 months ago my sister decided to step away from VanJess. I fully support and respect my sister in pursuing what makes her the happiest,” AMAKA wrote.
“I know this news is disappointing to you all, but want to thank you for your love and support over the years from watching us record covers in our bathroom to making our wildest dreams come true.”
Listen to AMAKA’s new song “Leave It Behind” below.