The Music World: Interview with Renowned Artist Amina Zhaman (AM/NA) Part II

Amina Zhaman in front of Radio City Music Hall, New York, 2010

Amina Zhaman, Ph.D. is a renowned Circassian artist, writer, composer, film and stage director. In this exclusive NY Elite Interview Series (Part I, II, III) , Amina discusses her love for theater, film, and music. In the music scene she is known as AM/NA.

NY Elite: What is the song Ex-Somebody about?

Amina Zhaman: It’s about breaking up with someone who is more than a boyfriend but less than a fiancé. Genius Freddie Mercury sang in The Show Must Go On: “Another heartache, another failed romance…” This line from my favorite Queen song captures the essence of Ex-Somebodyas well.

NY Elite: Which particular songs do your listeners favor the most?

Amina Zhaman: Ex-Somebody, Oriental Pearl, My Feelings Died, I’m New and Brilliant Greek Artist.

NY Elite: Which performances are you most proud of?

Amina Zhaman: I’m proud of my solo concert at River Rock Show Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. during the 2010 Olympic Games, as well as of my N.Y. performances for Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at the legendary jazz club Birdland and for Tatyana Peter’s fashion show at the UN headquarters.

NY Elite: Name the biggest influence on your musical life.

Amina Zhaman: That has to be King of Pop Michael Jackson. The bar that was set by him is the pinnacle of show business. In my opinion, no one can surpass him in terms of the sound originality, the meaning of the songs, the variety of music videos and the scope of performances.

NY Elite: As a singer-songwriter, what is your definition of success?

Amina Zhaman: When someone told me he had listened to my song Brilliant Greek Artist for 60 times in a row, I was truly happy as a singer-songwriter. After my every show in theatre or following every screening of my film in the cinema people from the audience keep telling me how much they loved the soundtrack. Not only does the audience listen attentively to the music, but they also distinguish it as a very important element of film/stage production. It means a lot to me. I believe that the foundation of any successful film/show is built upon a strong script/play and great music.

NY Elite: Can you tell us about your composing experience for films?

Amina Zhaman: I’ve written original soundtracks for all my films. Since I am the author of the script, everything is clear to me from the very beginning. I know how the movie will start and how it will end. Normally, I write music way before the filming part. At the editing stage, there may be minor changes in timing. In general, from what I have written, I always try to accurately select a work for the scene based on the spirit of the film and the mood of a particular scene.

NY Elite: What would you advise to aspiring musicians and songwriters?

Amina Zhaman: Keep on writing and recording your songs. Make demos if you can’t afford professional studio recordings. Perform as often as possible to stay confident on stage. Write music for films, theatre shows or commercials. Collaborate with independent filmmakers. And never doubt that one day the world will get to hear your beautiful compositions.

Instagram: @aminazhamanofficial

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