There have been a lot of new R&B artist on the scene. But, Amber Mark is one artist that has brought some new elements into the genre. With her beautifully deep voice and musical style that cannot be put in a box. She is a powerful force that has the chance to make a powerful impact in the music community.
Amber Mark was born in 1994 on a “Spirtual midwifery farm” in Tennessee. With her mother Mia Mark the two traveled around the world during Mark’s formative years. Living in different places such as Germany, India, Nepal, Miami, and finally New York. Mark had always been interested in music. While living in Germany she began playing the guitar and became obsessed with Garageband. During her time traveling she was exposed to many different sounds that you can hear in her music. House music from Germany, Hip-Hop from the US and a lot of Bossa Nova from her later travels to Brazil giving her music a global sound. When her mother passed away in 2013, Mark put her grief into her music which ended up developing into her first album “3:33am.”
In Mark’s early career she started on sound cloud where she released her first single called “S P A C E.” The song’s main focus are the lyrics with a background that has many different layers to it. This song was just the beginning of something great. A year later under Virgin EMI Records she realeased her first album “3:33am” with the hit song “Monsoon” on it. The album became a hit and is what launched Mark’s Career into the public eye. People couldn’t stop talking about the heartbreaking hit “Monsoon” which covered dealing with her mother’s passing. The album as a whole though covered Mark working through her insecurities, waves of over confidence and finally learning lessons. This beginning part of her career gives us more of her soul/R&B and Bossa nova sound, bit as she transitioned to the middle of her career we find more Hip-Hop Influences. These influences would be found more on the single “Heatwave” which featured a funky upbeat Bossa nova vibe. Moving into the middle of her career where she is just kind of transitioning out of we find a lot of singles and an EP that received a lot of praise. In 2018 Mark released her EP “Conexão.” This EP featured her classic Bossa nova style along that’s mixed with soul influences similar to what is found in her early music. One song on the EP called “Love is Stronger Than Pride” is a new take on the original song by Sade. The song not only received Sade’s stamp of approval, but she also praised Mark for the work she’s been doing. Outside of the EP you find 5 singles all with different sounds. The sounds range from a more hip-hop/pop sound found on “Put You On” to the classic R&B and funk sound found on “What If.” Finally where Mark is right now I wouldn’t consider it to be her late career as she is still in her prime. Currently she’s been going back and forth between genres as usual with a mix of R&B to a single about the current social climate. Right now she’s on a roll and definitely has more to show us.
Some of Mark’s contemporaries are: SZA, Summer Walker, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani and Jorja Smith.
As previously mentioned her influences are definitely R&B, World music, Soul, Bossa Nova. She also incorporates many other bits and pieces of music and culture that she has picked up from her world travels.
So far Mark has been nominated for a Grammy for “Best Engineered Album” at the 61st Grammy’s. Other than that she has received no other awards. Regardless the future is still bright for this budding artist.
As for her social involvement she’s very vocal. She feels like she needs to convey powerful messages to all of her fans. For instance during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement she was actively posting, protesting and producing music surrounding the issue.
Young artist like Amber Mark are the future of music. While her style could be considered something similar to what we see now she brings a refreshing take on R&B. Whether it’s covering a song or writing something of her own she creates a sound that is different and fresh each time. As one of her followers I must say this is the main reason I come back time and time again. She is the breath of fresh air the music industry has long been waiting for.
Bennett, Kim T. “Who the Hell Is Amber Mark?” Vice, 2016, https://www.vice.com/en/article/6wq9aq/who-the-hell-is-amber-mark. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.
Comita, Julia. “Amber Mark, Where I Come From & Who I am Now!” IRK Magazine, 2019, https://www.irkmagazine.com/post/amber-mark-where-i-come-from-who-i-am-now. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.
Gonzalez, Erica. “Amber Mark Channeled a Famous Destiny’s Child Song for a Seductive Hit.” Harpers Bazaar, 2020, https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/a32169986/amber-mark-interview/. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.
Interscope Records. “Amber Mark.” Interscope, n.d, https://www.interscope.com/artists/amber-mark. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.
Schnipper, Matthew. “Meet Amber Mark, Whose Soulful Pop Will Make You Dance and Cry at the Same Time.” Pitchfork, 2018, https://pitchfork.com/features/rising/meet-amber-mark-whose-soulful-pop-will-make-you-dance-and-cry-at-the-same-time/. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.
Turner, Gus. “Amber Mark On Insecurity, Her Next Album, And Learning To Love ‘Old Town Road.’” MTV, 2019, http://www.mtv.com/news/3132502/amber-mark-pitchfork-festival-interview/. Accessed 28 Oct 2020.