The songstress says her fans need not worry about pronunciation because the guttural “R” in Amaar is elided and the result is a gentle Ama that is as Setswana as some of her mmino. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI chatted her up recently
After surviving a name scandal and bullying that nearly ended her blossoming music career in 2020, award-winning songbird is adopting a new identity.
In the midst of a public backlash and bullying that progressed past the name scandal in 2020, songbird Amantle Ntshole, famously known as Amantle Brown, found herself consulting Google for fresh ideas around her shortened first name “Ama”. The Google search ended with “Amaar,” which was defined as the essence of seriousness, intuition, intent and wisdom.
“This definition defined my character and I knew then that I needed to steer my career in a different direction,” she told Time Out. “This was probably one of the hardest decisions I had to take because I worked so hard and popularised the Amantle Brown brand, but it had to be done.”
While some artists can easily get away with a scandal, this crooner found herself looking down the barrel of a ruined career just for sharing a name. The scandal came after a woman – also an artist and namesake, laid claims to Amantle Brown as her authentic names and went on to protest on social media that the artist had labelled her “a fake”. From then on the songbird’s career went into a downward spiral, sustaining several blows as she couldn’t adopt the name legally.
“That was the hardest time of my career as it made me lose credibility to a brand,” she said in an interview. “There was so much admin needed from me to legally register and claim the name with CIPA because I wanted to open a company and protect it. That is why I decided to embark on the difficult journey of rebranding so I may carry out my new projects.”
But the “Kgantele” hit maker’s new brand name is already attracting controversy as most of her fans fail to grasp the right pronunciation. She explains that the “r” in “Amaar” is silent and the name carries the Setswana pronunciation of Ama, which is a shortened version of Amantle.
“It has a nice ring to it for my upcoming projects,” she said. “Even so, my old music projects will still carry Amantle Brown. Amaar Brown will be launched officially by the end of March.
Amantle, henceforward Amaar Brown, will also be releasing a new song titled “Moya” on 15 March. The song speaks to the love and hate that she has received throughout her music career. The facelessness the Internet provides has wiped clean any trace of empathy, leaving trolls to hurl hate at strangers with no consideration for the consequences and Amantle has fallen a victim to this many times.
She has been bullied for her weight and choices and eventually chose music as her outlet. “I even became suicidal but I thank God I am still here,” she told Time Out. “I just want people to get out of the habit of the ‘pull-her-down syndrome; not just among artists but everyone around them. We are human beings and I have lost count of the times I wanted to quit but kept pushing.”
Over the years, Amaar’s music has changed from ballads to upbeat tunes and she is now experimenting with other musical genres that she will soon be sharing with her fans under her new brand.