Girl bands may be making a comeback!
Atlanta trio Amor Kismet debuted on the scene in early 2014 with their refreshing sound on “Don’t Know What To Say,” and “TV,” after winning a Billboard competition for unsigned artists. However, unlike most R&B collectives, sisters/members Erica, Crystal and LJ write their own songs and play instruments; the guitar and congas. There talents took them further to L.A. where their first performance was at the BET Experience, and shortly after, they performed at the legendary SOB’s in NYC.
Since then, the musical beauties have been in the studio working on their first project The Love EP, which drops today (Feb. 5). All four songs were co-written with Michael Dean and produced by Bill Zimmerman for a sound they’ve coined “pop fusion.” Upon listening, you’ll immediately hear their refreshing harmonies and fluid melodies, as well as pop, R&B, neo-soul, dance, and world music influences.
Along with giving us first access to their brand new EP, the ladies took some time to answer some questions for us. Get to know Amor Kismet and stream The Love EP below!
As sisters, when did you know that not only did you guys like music, but and were good at it and wanted to pursue it as a siblings group?
Erika: I honestly don't remember when we realized we were good at music! Music is the biggest memory from my childhood. All of my siblings are musically talented. I remember being 3 years old and singing. We officially decided to become a group in 2010. That is when we started posting YouTube videos and performing shows together.
Crystal: Our oldest sister was one of our biggest inspirations and she was really into music when we were young. So, it just happened naturally.
LJ: Us three were always the entertainment in the house! We had to put on talent shows at home for our siblings. The desire to pursue music has always been there.
How did you ladies come up with your group name?
Erika: We were initially going by our last name, but we felt like we needed to have something more meaningful. We started to think about what we were influenced by and what we stood for. Eventually, we came up with Amor Kismet. Amor means ‘love’ in Spanish and Kismet has Arabic-origins, meaning ‘fate.’ Our name is a fusion of cultures, just like our music. Also, it was love’s fate for our parents to create such a musically talented family!
Crystal: We were going to go by our last name at first, but we thought that was kinda cheesy. We wanted something meaningful and that’s when Amor Kismet was born.
Since we’ve posted your previous releases “Don’t Know What To Say” and “TV” last year, the reception has been great. You'll also be featured as emerging artists in Billboard's Power 100 issue. What's the grind been like since gaining major buzz?
Erika: Since our video releases we've been invited to do some really big gigs. Our grind has consisted of a lot of practicing, writing and recording this new music! Recording has been really fun because we got to develop our style and create a cohesive sound.
Crystal: So far so good! We’ve been busy making music and just waiting for this EP to come out!
LJ: First off, I would like to thank you for posting about us and covering our journey. We really appreciate it. The buzz we’ve had over the past year hasn’t really changed our attitudes—have to keep pushing!
What was it like performing at 2014’s BET Experience?
Erika: Performing at the BET Experience was amazing. It was our first plane ride ever! So everything was totally brand new. It was so much fun interacting with the crowd and sharing our passion with so many people.
Crystal: It was so exciting! it was a great experience to showcase our music to a much wider audience.
LJ: It was awesome! We had never been to LA before and we had so much fun. The performance was definitely the highlight. It was great performing for all those lovely people. Lots of love to BET for the opportunity.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the The Love EP.
Erika: The inspiration behind The Love EP is… love! Every aspect of it. Not just the “when I see you I get butterflies and weak in the knees love,” but also the confusing, redundant, and quite frankly, the insane aspects of love. What makes me love The Love EP so much is because it is so relatable. I know for a fact everyone has experienced the feelings described in at least one of these songs.
Crystal: Music and love are the two universal languages. Everyone can relate to those things. These songs all relate to different stages of love—that’s why we wanted to name it The Love EP.
LJ: Our name inspired us. Our name means "love’s fate", so we decided to call it The Love EP. The actions and stages of love also inspired us because every human can relate to it. The four songs represent four moments in love—from falling in love to falling out of love (and everything in between). We wanted to sequence them in a way to create a story.
How would you describe your sound?
Erika: We have come to coin this term–"pop fusion"–to describe out sound. We literally listen to all types of music and it shows in our work.
Crystal: Pop fusion. We like to mix pop with R&B, soul, dance, and world music flavors. Our sound is a big fusion of many genres.
LJ: We’re inspired by so many different cultures and listen to a lot of different music, so it’s definitely a unique mixture of things.
Amor Kismet can actually be called a "girl band" because you guys play instruments, the guitar and congas. Why those instruments? Who plays what?
Erika: We picked up the guitar when our older sister had one. Like little siblings always do, we stole her belongings! Just so happens it was a good steal. LJ and I taught ourselves on guitar with a little help from YouTube tutorials. Crystal was never really that interested in guitar so she picked up percussion.
Crystal: Our older sister started playing guitar and Erika and LJ borrowed her guitar and never returned it! I started playing congas and added them to the songs they were writing on guitar.
LJ: Our oldest sister had a guitar from Walmart and we just picked it up. Crystal has been playing tribal drums since she was little. She eventually picked up congas when our mom suggested it and we started getting more serious with the guitar.
What other instruments would you like to learn to play?
Erika: I really love piano. I definitely want to learn how to play.
Crystal: I would like to learn how to play all instruments really!
LJ: This is crazy to say, but I want learn how play everything! I try to think BIG!
What's the songwriting process when you collaborate together?
Erika: It really depends. Sometimes we start and finish a song on our own and then arrange it together. Other times we just all sit together and vibe.
Crystal: Sometimes one of us will write a full song and then share it with each other. Sometimes one of us will come up with the hook and then we’ll split up the verses. It all depends on what we’re working with really!
LJ: Sometimes we write together. But what we usually do is go off in our own little space—write what we feel and then share. That's how it usually goes down.
What’s next for Amor Kismet?
Erika: What's next is… more music, more performances, more everything!
Crystal: Being known worldwide!
LJ: More music, more shows, and more writing. And hopefully more interviews with Singersroom!