Looks like Canada is on the map-and not just the world map. The map of Canada is slowly oozing with more and even more talent. Amir Shahid,also known as Am1r, is one of those talented artists who, if you didn’t know who he was yesterday, today you will be a fan. The singer/songwriter/producer can be seen performing and slaying covers to some of our favorite songs on YouTube and singing some of his original music.
Am1r’s skills exceed writing and producing for just himself. The singer has produced the official remix for Canadian Rapper Imaan Faith’s single “Wanna be loved” featuring Colby O’Donis, and for American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. His self-produced debut album “Reality” took the number 2 spot on Japan Itunes RnB chart and his music has over 5 million plays online-which are steady growing.
RnB Magazine had the pleasure to chop it up with the singer/songwriter on working with Ruben Studdard, teaching himself to produce music, what’s to come, and much more.
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I am an upcoming R&B artist / producer from Toronto, Canada. My sound is basically 90s and early 2000s R&B with modern production!
Your name is unique. What does it mean?
I believe it means “Prince” haha!
Who are some of your musical influences?
I would say I’m most influenced by the R&B of the 90s and the early to mid 2000s. There are too many artists to name, but I’m a huge fan of Usher, Tank, Brian McKnight, 112, Craig David, and Marques Houston. As far as producers go, The Underdogs are definitely the biggest influence on my production.
What drew you to RnB music?
There isn’t anything about R&B that I don’t love! The passion and emotion that R&B singers put into their vocals, the colorful chord progressions, the rich melodies, I love all of it! I enjoy many genres of music, but the emotion and feeling in R&B just resonates the most with me.
You stated after graduating and obtaining a business degree, you taught yourself how to produce music. Can you tell me a little more about that decision? How was that process for you? Was it challenging?
Yes, it was definitely scary at first because it was a completely different and non-traditional path, and I didn’t know a single soul in the music industry or have any idea how to produce and record songs! However, I had a strong desire and passion to learn because music was my true calling. Luckily my mother taught me how to play piano at a young age so that expedited the learning process. I started by imitating tracks from my favorite producers and as my skills grew over time I developed my own style!
How did you end up working with Ruben Studdard?
I met Ruben through a website called Blazetrak. I submitted a few songs to him and he really liked them so he invited me to work with him in Alabama. It was an amazing experience for me to work with such a talented vocalist, just being able to see his process and learn from him. A lot of people don’t know this, but Ruben is also a phenomenal songwriter. I was pretty new at writing and producing at the time so it was great to be able to collaborate with and learn from someone so talented and experienced.
Your single “Real Love” appeared in reality shows such as “Washington Heights” and “Football Wives.” What was that like for you to hear your music on tv?
It was pretty cool to see that happen, going from making beats and recording songs in my bedroom to hearing my music on TV was awesome!
Valentine’s day is approaching. Any plans?
Not that I know of yet! Haha
What can fans look forward to from Amir?
Fans can look forward to a new album during the
second half of the year. I also release covers pretty regularly on my YouTube channel, going forward I will be focusing more on covering some of my favorite R&B songs from the past. In the meantime, fans can listen to my 3 song EP which is exclusively available for download on my website: http://am1rmusic.com/kisses-ep
What do you love the most about making music and what’s the most challenging?
I love the process of having a concept and seeing it develop into a full song, it’s a really rewarding experience. The composing/writing process is the most fun for me. Sometimes it can be challenging working alone because ideas can run out and you hit a wall, but I usually overcome this by stepping away for a bit; and for original songs I like writing with others whenever possible.
What is your “go to” song that’s out right now?
Right now, I’m really liking “Pillow talk” by Zayn Malik! Also love “No pressure” off Justin Beiber’s new album! I might have to cover one of those!
Where do you see yourself, this time next year?
2015 was a great year, I saw a lot of growth, so I definitely want to expand on that and reach as many people as possible over the next year! I love seeing people connect with my music, so I want to amplify that!
Anything else you would like to say or add?
Yes, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me so far, as well as RNB Magazine for this interview and opportunity! For those who might not be familiar, you can check out all my music and social media links from my website http://am1rmusic.com – Thank you and appreciate the support!
Interviewed by: Simone Grant