‘I’m Raising Teen Daughters, Which Is A Job:’ Amel Larrieux On Her Five-Year Hiatus And Making A Comeback
It’s been quite awhile since we last heard from soulful songstress Amel Larrieux—five years to be exact. Thankfully she’s back and bless us with more of her soothing melodious tracks. The 40-year-old mom recently caught up with Essence to discuss her new album, titled, Ice Cream Every Day, her new single, “Afraid,” and why she took such an extended hiatus in the first place. Check out some highlights below.
On her five-year hiatus and motherhood:
“The album will be released August 27 and the first single, “Afraid,” will be out on June 13 It took five years for a number of reasons. First, I’m raising two amazing teen daughters—which is a job. I’m not one of those people that say I can do everything. Throughout making the album, I’ve had to stop one thing or the other to focus on what needed my attention at that time. Funny enough, it was easier when my kids were younger but now there are different things I have to be available for, questions I have to answer.
And there were other things. We’ve moved a few times. We’ve always had our own studio and, when we started moving around, it made it difficult. We’re independent. I don’t have a machine behind me. I have a beautiful, small group of people that I work with. Not having a studio at home created some problems. That can make it take a little longer. Lucky for me there’s the Internet and people who support me. Having that support extends how long you can take as an artist and gives you new life because more people are constantly discovering you.”
On realizing that she was a talented songwriter:
“I’ve been writing songs before I could even speak. I would just make them up. My mom is a professor of history and a researcher. All of her work was around chronicling things with tape recorders and she would record them. Before long, I was writing my own stuff. The moment I realized it could turn into a job was when I was working for Karen Durant, a music publisher. I was her assistant. I was actually labeling the cassettes. Bryce Wilson was signed there as a producer. He was trying to get a group together and shopping a deal. He said, “Well…look do you want to try writing one of the tracks?” When he heard it, he said why don’t you just be the singer too. And that was the beginning of it.”
On struggling financially during the early years of Groove Theory:
“It wasn’t quite that fast. There were years when we were in a demo deal. We signed to Sony when I was 19 and the album didn’t come out until a few years later but it didn’t feel prolonged. My nature is very Buddhist. I never really thought about the future so I don’t remember being too upset about it. I knew I was broke but I was always able to eat and pay my rent. I kind of just went with the flow. It never dawned on me that anything incredible was happening.”
Turn the page to listen to her new single, “Afraid.” Are you feeling it?