Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, Rapper and Singer-Songwriter Amplified has just released a music video to his recent release “Look Like.”
Amplified is the type of artist that bridges the gaps between genres and creates his own unique blend of sounds with his songs. “Look Like” has an old-school backtrack with a mix of Jazz and Rock and Roll flavors. Having a subtle soundscape leaves room for attention to be placed on Amplified’s impressive vocals. He appears in the video dressed in a vintage beige suit; he sits in a chair with an air of nonchalance.
Seen from the eyes of an old video camera, the video also includes neon doodles for a vibrant effect. A sense of irony stems from Amplified looking so relaxed and laid back in his chair – meanwhile he is spitting mad bars.
The video includes retro-style subtitles that allow the listener to follow along to his witty lyrics despite his rapid delivery. After about a minute, the video takes a turn as Amplified sends a message about the power of the internet. He transitions into a YouTube screen with his video playing in the corner as custom ads pop up to bring awareness to relevant societal issues.
Can you elaborate on your production process for both the song and the video?
The production for this song was kind of wild. I had originally written this song to another instrumental online then later created the original composition to what it is now with my producer friend Xdrixn. I started writing the lyrics to this song in-between my Uber rides/shifts. When I finished a ride, I'd play the instrumental and would continue writing from where I left off then I'd practice the lines in my head or under my breath when I picked up the next person. Once I wrote the whole song we created the instrumental, recorded the first verse, and then didn't touch the song for 6 months... I didn't even know if I liked it or not until I started showing the song to my peers and performing it unfinished to test the waters at my shows. People loved it and freaked out when I'd perform it live so that gave me the inspiration to get back to the song, finish it and be intentional with the production. We spent hours attempting different cuts with choruses, but I just wanted to rap and focus on my message getting through, so we cut the chorus and made this hard-hitting double-time rap song with a major switch up for the ending.
What is your main inspiration when writing your songs? Are there any specific artists or genres that consistently inspire you?
I don't have a primary inspiration. What inspires me is the feeling a sound generates. For example, when I hear a sound, a series of notes, or the mood of an instrument, it hits me in a way that I can't fully explain. I would say my inspiration is circumstantial. There are so many different artists that inspire me for different reasons, but right now eclectic artists like Frank Ocean, Childish Gambino, and Dominic Fike inspire me. They have so many styles in which they approach creating music with and that ability to be different while still the same simultaneously is hella extraordinary.
Can you tell us more about the message behind your lyrics for “Look Like?” What does the ‘YouTube page’ section of your video represent?
Look Like is a song addressing a person's perception and/or pre-mature judgment on who I am, why I rap and make music. I feel that I've never shared who I am and where I come from (in recent years especially). I wanted to get back to why I love this so much, why I do this, and address those questions of "who the f*ck is Amplified.?". I wanted to dig deep into how I got started, showcase the skills I've developed, and comment on the current state of being an artist in 2020 where people do anything for attention.
Why did you choose to give your video such a chill atmosphere when the song has such intense energy?
The music video to me isn't chill at all lol. I think it starts laid back, but for the most part, it's extremely fierce and eye-catching with all the titles and the constant switch up of visuals.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
2020 has kept me inspired because there's no room for excuses anymore. The world has literally stopped moving and our former way of life of fast-paced 'live for the weekend' mindset is gone. There's no excuse for being too busy or not having enough time. 2020 has lit a fire under me to create at my best, and not hold off projects.