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A song about my Black ancestry, a tribute to the many contributions made to society by Black people and People of Color,
a song about reflection, education, understanding, inclusion and most of all LOVE!


Lyrics, awards, a link to the music video
and streaming links are posted below.
The official FYC promo link is available via
this link.
Make sure to click on the "
Reviews" tab too for some great reviews of this song!

AMARU - FYC 2024-6.png


The line “traces of my melanin” slid into my head on January 26th. 2021 and almost immediately thereafter there was a melody.
Songwriting is a different process for everybody and sometimes ideas and thoughts arrive in a very strange way. Regar
dless of that, I felt like I had something here and I sat myself down to further dive into these lyrics and the melody. “What was I going to write about?”, “what was this song
going to be about?”, “what was going to be the story?”… I penned down a few words and set my pen and paper to one side…
The melody that kept playing in my head was then recorded on my phone, just so I wouldn’t forget it.

Cut to a few days later when I stumbled upon an article online about a tremendous amount of inventions by Black people…!
That was the catalyst for me. I returned to my pen and paper… I’m sure I was directed by the Divine, as the lyrics for the song
came to me with ease, freely… almost automatically! My new song was born!


I decided that “Traces Of My Melanin” had to become a tribute of sorts. A tribute to my people and the many contributions we have made to society.
The change we have helped to bring, the fight we fought and the fight we still fight… The undertone in my lyricism is always love and I wanted nothing less for “Traces Of My Melanin”. The song can be dissected into three parts: the past, the present and the future. “Traces Of My Melanin” is not an “anti” song in any shape or form.
It is a song about truth, adversity, reflection, inclusion, education, hope, unity and love.

The concept of the music video however was equally as important to me as the lyrics were. I posted several casting notices and finding the right people was not an easy task! I knew that I wanted to showcase the very rich Black culture from my native country,
The Republic of Suriname (South America). I also wanted to feature Black hair, as it is another feature in our culture that also tells our story.
As a director and small time filmmaker I wanted the visuals to match the lyrical content and it took me over a year to finalize this
whole project! From various castings to post production, it was an incredible journey and I was adamant to do nothing short of my very best!

I filmed certain scenes in
Fortaleza, Brazil in 2022 and some scenes were shot in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, The Netherlands over the course of 2022 and 2023! While I shot an incredible amount of footage of many of the items invented by Black people (or people of color), I decided to focus on historic figures instead. The thought behind that was the fear that the viewer may be lost watching the video and not know why there is a pencil sharpener in a music video… or a sanitary napkin… or a view master… or the automatic gear shift of a car, a remote control…
all things that were invented by Black people, mind you!

Featured in the video are also scenes of the Black culture from my country, as mentioned earlier. People from my native country will immediately recognize some of them, such as the ladies dressed in traditional wear and the lady fanning herself with a specific hand-made
native Amer-Indian fan. The branches of a certain species of the palm tree family is also a very important part of our culture, as are the
cowrie shells of which I am wearing a bracelet in the video and on the cover of the single (and album).


A very important reference to the Black men that were lynched is also featured in the shape of the artwork of an old Billie Holiday record.
Scenes that still take place in our modern day society, albeit no actual hanging, but a reference to the horrendous act!

It was the craziest thing... I had just finished editing the video and it was ready for its release date, when the news broke of this
Brazilian soccer player in Spain, who was the victim of racism on a global scale! He had been the object of ridicule and hatred for months,
to the extend that it became world news. To further emphasize their disdain for this dark skinned Brazilian athlete, these racist individuals
then hanged a brown blow up doll, dressed in his soccer jersey, from an overpass and spray painted all kinds of racial slurs on the doll...
The images gave me chills, to say the very least! This was exactly what I had included in the music video months prior,
thinking that sort of thing was a thing of the past, that as a people we are in a different place in time, in a different frame of mind...
Boy was I wrong! But I can only attribute my vision to God...! And that is why "
Traces Of My Melanin" is very near and dear to me
and I hope it makes a difference!

Throughout the video the viewer will see certain bloody frames hanging from trees and laying on the ground, as discovered in the forest by the lead character. These symbolize the men that were hanged from trees, lives that were ended abruptly, souls that were discarded like trash…
Luckily there is a mother that picked up these “children” and starts to rock them as if to send them into the afterlife with a little bit more dignity.

The final part of the video features clean frames with the names of many historic figures, symbolizing the fact that their lives
were not in vain, their names have grace (or have grace again). And they still do!

While present day music is mostly about a nice catchy beat and simple lyrics, “Traces Of My Melanin” is more than that.
As a singer, songwriter, lyricist and filmmaker I wanted to share and present a piece that would hopefully not only celebrate my people,
but also educate and inspire those who may not be aware of the story of a large group of people, a story that is not always talked about or taught in schools, but one that is equally as notable as the Holocaust and one that is also very much part of our collective history!


And speaking of our collective history, I don't think it needs any explanation why
I decided to release this gem on 19 June 2023, right...? 


Happy Juneteenth! "

LYRICS
 

Intro:

Can you see the traces (3x)

Of my melanin

 

Chorus:

(Traces of my melanin)

You tried to wipe them out, but they survived

(Traces of my melanin)

I see the guilt in your eyes

(Traces of my melanin)

They will always stand the test of time

(Traces of my melanin)

This world is yours and mine

 

My home I had to leave behind

You tried to take my voice

I fought and fought with all my might

You left me with no choice

 

There was nowhere for me to run

My soul you tried to break

The damage cannot be undone

My freedom was at stake

 

Chorus repeat

 

If loving me is hard to do

That's something you must face

I have as much the right as you

To see the break of day

 

My joy will not be measured by

Your tyranny and hate

There's one thing you must realize

I wasn't made to break

 

Chorus repeat

 

The fact that I'm still here today

Will prove to you my strength

Why did you bring me all this way

If you won't make amends

 

The past will be the past

It doesn't matter what we say

May peace and love and hope at last

Wash all the pain away

 

Chorus repeat

 

Can you see the traces (3x)

Of my melanin


"Traces Of My Melanin" by AMARU was symbolically released on Juneteenth 2023
(19 June 2023)
 and the maxi-single is now available on digital download
via these online streaming platforms.

 iTunes Apple Music Spotify Tidal


AWARDS:


09 February 2024
Rotterdam Independent Film Festival
(The Netherlands)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best Music Video
Winner notifications available via this link.

31 December 2023
Tokyo Shorts
(Japan)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best Music Video
Official winners notification and certificate available via this link.

16 December 2023

International Network Film Festival
(Italy)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best European Music Video
The official winners notification link is available via this link.

09 December 2023
Accolade Global Film Competition
(USA)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best Music Video - Award Of Merit
Official winners notification available via this link.

05 December 2023
Athens International Monthly Film Festival
(Greece)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best Music Video - Honorable Mention

03 November 2023

International Music Video Awards
(Hungary)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"Best Black Music Video
Official winners notification is published via this link.

22 September 2023
Bright International Film Festival
(UK)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin" - Best Music Video
Official winners notification is published via this link

22 September 2023

Naples Film Awards
(Italy)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"Best Original Song
Official winners notification available via this link

31 August 2023
8&HalFilm Awards
(Italy)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"
Best Music Video
🏆 WINNER: 
"Traces Of My Melanin"Best Original Song
Official winners notification available via
this link

31 August 2023
Vesuvius International Film Festival
(Italy)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"Best Director

Official winners notification available via this link

18 August 2023

Rome Movie Awards
(Italy)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"Best Music Video
Official winners notification available via this link

01 
August 2023
Sweet Democracy Film Awards
(France)
🏆 WINNER: "Traces Of My Melanin"Best Music Video (Billy Wilder Prize)
🏆 WINNER: AMARU - Best International Singer
The winners are published via this link.

CREDITS:

Lyrics & melody written by: AMARU
Produced by: AMARU & Marcel van Ling
Vocal arrangement by: AMARU
All vocals by: AMARU
Recorded at MoSound, Zoetermeer (The Netherlands)
Video produced & directed by: AMARU
Camera by: AMARU & Lewis Leandro
© AMARU MUSIC (2007 - 2023)

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