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Who is Amanda Reifer? Kendrick Lamar features Bajan artist on Die Hard

Bruno Cooke May 13, 2022
amanda reifer kendrick lamar
Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Republic Records

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Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album, Mr Morale & the Big Steppers, came out today (Friday, 13 May 2022) as a double album – its fourth track features the vocal work of Barbadian songstress Amanda Reifer. Who is she?

Meet Kendrick Lamar collaborator Amanda Reifer

Barbados-born singer and songwriter Amanda Reifer first gained international recognition as a recording artist in early 2012.

She started out as the lead singer of Bajan pop four-piece Cover Drive. The band consisted of Amanda on lead vocals, T-Ray on percussion, Barry “Bar Man” Hill on keys and guitar, and Jamar on bass. 

They went to number one on the British singles charts in January 2012 with their track Twilight. The group members’ ages ranged from 18 to 23 at the time, meaning they’re now between 28 and 33.

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Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Born 17 March 1991, Amanda Reifer recently turned 31 years old.

“We’re so excited, so elated,” Reifer told Daily Nation at the time. “There’s not one word that can describe our feelings right now.”

But after a string of minor successes, including debut single Lick Ya Down, debut album Bajan Style and 2017’s Fall Forward, the group disbanded in 2018.

Reifer has since burgeoned as a solo artist

Republic Records profiled the Barbados-born artist earlier this year. It described her as a “dynamic and diverse international disruptor”.

“My music is like tie-dye,” Republic quotes her as saying. “It moves from blues, purples, and greens to bright oranges.” 

“It’s always bold, unfiltered, and honest,” she says. “When you listen to me, I hope you have a sense of your own power, ability, and confidence. I’m like a blinding energy source surging through.”

She grew up in the Caribbean. Many of those praising her performance on Kendrick Lamar’s track Die Hard note Amanda Reifer’s Barbadian heritage.

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As an artist, her influences include Sade, Amy Winehouse, Madonna, Lauren Hill, MIA, “and, of course, [fellow Barbadian singer-songwriter] Rihanna”. 

Collaborating with Kendrick Lamar was ‘the greatest creative experience’ of her life

Amanda Reifer thanked Lamar for including her “in this masterpiece”. 

“I’m speechless”, she wrote on Twitter this morning. “Working with you has been the greatest creative experience of my life.”

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A Message From Brianna | Trailer

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After obtaining a degree of success as an independent artist, Amanda signed with Republic and Title 9 Ventures to release Bag. It came out on 14 January this year.

But she also has several composing credits on others’ tracks.

Listen to Reifer’s other tracks Crazy, Bag, Girl Like Me and Bang Bang via YouTube.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.