Interview with Amanie Illfated

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 11 Min Read

Amanie Illfated (pronounced ah-MAH-nee eel-fay-ted) is an award winning international recording artist who incorporates her personal experiences growing up as a refugee in Canada to deliver powerful messages of empowerment.

Tell us a bit about your company and why you do what you do.

I am a South Sudanese born recording artist. I use music to connect with people around the world and inspire those who have overcome hardships in life.

Is there anyone special who’s inspired you to forge ahead with your business?

My biggest inspiration for singing is Celine Dion, whose voice I’ve admired since I was 4 years old and for music style, it is M.I.A. who shares a very similar story of coming from a war to another country and adjusting.

What makes your business different to any others doing a similar thing?

My music tends to stray from the musical standard – everything from word selection to instrumentation. I grew up listening to diverse music growing up. From soukouss to opera to drum&bass and those influences can be heard throughout the songs I write.

As a public figure, how do you think being hailed as a role model impacts on others and what pressure does it put on you? 😊

Being a role model is a massive honour to be given. Sometimes, the pressure is hard to deal with but for the most part, I appreciate showing others, especially children, that many things are possible and sharing my story to help someone write their own story.

Can you tell me one favorite humorous story from your career?

I think the most humorous moments come from the recording process in the studio. So many bloopers like recording an entire song and relaxing once it’s finished, only to both realise we missed the “ooohs” in a verse. Sometimes studio sessions can get monotonous and a little too serious, so we’ll spruce things up by showing up in ridiculous outfits or take breaks to watch really odd youtube videos.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

Bringing joy to people.

Do you have a motto or a mantra you apply to either work, life, or both?

Live with purpose, love your purpose, fulfil your purpose.

How do you cope with stress?

Dancing in my living room to 90s music in my thick silly socks with that nobody likes.

Give us some details about a typical day in the life of *YOU*

There really isn’t a typical day for me except that each day begins with a cold shower, a hot coffee and at least 30 minutes of envisioning/thinking. It sets the tone for travel days, studio days, rehearsal days, photo and video shoot days and much more. Whenever I can, I love to end my days with a hot cup of herbal/chai tea (with fancy teacups if possible), a very ripe mango, a hot shower and either read light subjects or watch really silly Youtube videos.

What trait do you think most benefits you in your line of work?

Persistence. In this industry, so many things go wrong, so many things need to be done that sometimes I don’t feel like doing, and so many people can cut you down and reject you, but each day requires you to still continue and be persistent.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


What do you think is your greatest success in business?

I would say my greatest success is releasing my album, SATURN.

What do you think is your greatest success in life?

Doing every single thing that I had set my mind to as a child.

What would the closest person in your life say if we asked them, ‘What is the one characteristic that they totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane?

I think Stubbornness would apply to both. When there’s something that seems impossible to do, my stubbornness comes in quite handy to get it done. It also irritates people.

Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Mangos are the most important food in existence.

Can you tell us about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?

I come across so many challenges that make me feel like giving up, but the one that really stands out the most was during the pandemic in 2020 when it felt like I lost literally everything and fell into the worst depression of my life. It started in the summer with a feeling as if there was no sun every single day, then warped into not feeling like practising or making any music, then turned to sleeping for 23 hours a day and ultimately resulted in being hospitalised. I don’t even know exactly what snapped me out of it completely but it had a lot to do with connecting with other people and being able to share our raw feelings rather than covering it all up.

What are your success habits?

The one habit I know I can do no matter what is the “one thing each day” rule. Basically, it is doing one thing towards your goal each and every single day, even if it is just for 5 minutes. That could be writing one verse or paragraph, planning one part of an event, or sending one email to someone. That habit makes sure that you get at least 7 things done each week, which leads to 365 things done towards your goal at minimum each year.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing. I believe that we were set out on our paths and everything we’ve done is exactly what we were geared up to do.

What is one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with most strongly?

I have this super big dislike for the “forgive and forget” advice. Forgiveness is necessary, but the idea that you now must be around the people that hurt you or cause problems in your life, or even just keeping people you don’t want in your life just for the sake of forgiveness is detrimental. We have to respect our own boundaries and do everything possible to keep people who have violated those boundaries outside of our lives, even if we have forgiven them.

Amanie Illfated Photo 3

What is the most useless talent you have?

I learned to write with both hands… and now I have not really needed to use my other hand for writing for about 15 years.

Do you have a cherished childhood teddy bear or other stuffed animal sitting on your bed at home?

I used to have a stuffed unicorn when I was younger that I loved but I lost it when I was moving (or my baby cousin may have added it to her collection). I now just have a green monkey called “Italy” that I hasn’t left my possession since 2013.

What was the last TV series you watched on TV?

I binged 4 seasons of Elite in less than 2 weeks in November. What a show!

What historical Figure would you love to see in 21st century life?

Ludwig Van Beethoven. I’m sure there would be a lot of culture shock differences but if he could just provide an in depth play-by-play of how he came up with his biggest pieces, I’d be really happy!

If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be? If

I could make up my own name, it would be Mango Spice.

What makes you nostalgic?

90’s Pop music. Just amazing.

As a kid were you ever frightened of a monster under the bed or in the cupboard?

It was the closet for me. I knew that whatever was under the bed had to be small enough for me not to notice, but in that big closet… I dunno what kinda freaky monsters were hiding in there…

Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?

Dragons, only because I’ve always loved Daenerys Stormborn of Game of Thrones.

What movie ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?

I’m still frustrated by Don’t Look Up’s ending. I would never change it because it is so accurate, but it still just irks me!

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