Battle of the 1Bands


For as long as she can remember, 23 year-old singer-songwriter Amindi K. Frost—better known as just Amindi—has always loved telling stories. “I’ve been writing songs since I was maybe four or five years old,” she shares. “I always say that my songs are manifestations and stories.”
Coming up in the age of the Internet, the Jamaican American artist—who describes her music as “pastel rap” for its intentional storytelling and melodic sound—first got her start posting her songs in the early days of SoundCloud in 2013. “My high school gave us iPads with GarageBand my freshman year, and I’d make little beats, record, and upload them onto SoundCloud,” Amindi says. One thing led to another, and her dancehall-inspired track “Pine and Ginger” with Tessellated and Valleyz went viral on the platform her senior year—catapulting Amindi into the spotlight at just 18 years old.
In the years since, Amindi’s slow burn has been undeniable: She’s been featured on Isaiah Rashad’s The House Is Burning; released her debut EP nice, an intimate exploration of self-love and resilience, in 2021; toured with artists like Dream Isioma and Saba; and is now gearing up to drop her newest project, Take What You Need.
Growing up in Los Angeles, the Inglewood-based artist has never felt lacking in inspiration. As a child, Amindi recalls her father (who’s also a musician) taking her to Jamaican clubs and late-night jam sessions and carrying around a tape recorder to record vocals when she spent time at his house: “I remember him walking around, singing and writing songs that I still know today,” Amindi recounts.
But as Amindi got older, she began to form her own music taste—an amalgamation of LA’s thriving hip-hop scene and the massive indie alternative wave that defined the late 2000s and early 2010s. An older cousin put her on to TDE, Chance the Rapper, and Dom Kennedy while she discovered indie artists like Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend, and the Strokes during her middle and high school years on the Westside. “The artsy scene in LA helped me develop my music tastes which, in turn, influenced the music that I make. It’s hard to say that I make one genre, but I do think I’m a really good writer—which is what rappers are and these alternative bands are too.”
In Take What You Need, however, Amindi moves away from the cohesive story she told in nice. Instead, the project is a mixtape in its purest form: a 15-track compilation of Amindi’s favorite songs recorded in the last two years—”like if I burned you a CD of songs that I like that’s still enjoyable on shuffle,” she describes. Through its diverse, almost-random tracklist, the project—which features production from Monte Booker and cameos from Kenny Mason and ChloTheGod—serves as a deeper expansion and evolution of who she is, illuminating novel facets of her as a person and artist.
From the catchy and tongue-in-cheek “diddy crop” (which plays on P. Diddy’s well-known habit of editing people out of photos) to the soft guitar and nostalgic regret of a love lost on “i thought u were different,” each track offers a brief snapshot into a specific moment in Amindi’s life over the past two years. And while Take What You Need’s myriad styles showcase Amindi’s
genre-melding prowess, her vivid lyricism and easygoing sound carry seamlessly through the project—ensuring that the mixtape feels unmistakably like her from top to bottom.
For Amindi, the sheer breadth of her multifaceted project makes sure there’s something for everybody to enjoy—for everyone to, like the title says, take what they need: “I know that every song is not going to be for everybody, but I'm so confident that there's at least one song on here for everybody—it’s like trail mix,” she jokes. “I just want people to walk away with their M&M.”


Attention all rebels, misfits, and non-conformists! It’s time to mark your calendars because AFROPUNK BROOKLYN 2023 is coming. Get ready for an unapologetically fierce celebration of black culture and music, taking place on August 26th and 27th.



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