Based in London and raised in New Jersey, Amani’s roots span around the globe, across south Asia, particularly India, and also Iraq. Her powerful writing explores growing up between sometimes contradictory cultures, “always feeling like a constant other, being perceived as both a foreigner and a westerner, a Muslim who is ‘not Muslim enough.’”
With her ability to effortlessly blend the personal and the political in performance, Amani was an obvious choice for Odes to Nature. But unlike other participants in the project, such as folk musician Sam Lee, whose work is heavily inspired by nature, Amani is a self-described “city girl.” Living, writing and performing mostly within the urban jungle of London, Amani felt like she had long lost her connection to nature – becoming alienated with it, even.
“I mean, the first thought was panic, given my fraught history with all things natural and green,” Amani reflects. “My process is that I put pen to paper, see what comes out and take it from there. You write the crap out of it: essentially a free-write, trying to find out what nature means, what it means to me. I was searching for some kind of connection. But the more I kept writing, the more this relationship with water and memories of family came out.”