Getting real about what it’s like to create an accidental hit.
Photos by Andy Baptiste (Asst.- Kristen Crouch)
I first met Amindi during a semi-competitive game of foosball at a bar/lounge for a showcase she was singing in. Minutes later (after our game ended), the cool chick that let me win in foosball had the entire room in a trance listening to her hypnotic vocals and lyrical melodies. From then on, I came to know Amindi K Fro$t–the super chill teenager with 7 million streams (and counting) on her single Pine & Ginger, even more bangers on Soundcloud, and endless style moments on the gram. Amindi recently stopped by Nasty Gal HQ to play dress up and talk all things music and growing up in Hawthorne. Let’s get right to it…
Tell us where you’re from…
I’m from Los Angeles, California. My parents are from Jamaica but they met here and had me. I’m first generation American, so I guess I’m Jamaican by association. Born and raised in LA though, barely been anywhere else.
“I didn’t really let myself sing because I didn’t think I could.”
When did you first get into music?
I’ve always been into music. My dad is a songwriter, growing up he was always singing and writing music. I’ve always looked up to him–he’s literally my best friend, he’s a virgo, and he’s such a cool dude. One of my earliest memories is looking into my dad’s mirror and pretending like I was performing for people. I’ve always loved music, and eventually I learned to make it. In 4th grade I started writing poetry and poetry turned into raps. I didn’t really let myself sing because I didn’t think I could. It wasn’t until 8th grade when I transferred to a new school. I started ukulele lessons in an effort to make friends. I was like “well I can’t rap over a ukulele so I guess I’m going to start singing”. So I started singing and making songs with my ukulele. And in 9th grade my high school gave us all iPads, so i started making beats on Garageband and uploading songs onto Soundcloud.
When did you begin to take it seriously and start doing shows?
The summer before 11th grade and it was really rainy. I was asked to do a local show–I’m from Hawthorne, California and this guy who is also from Hawthorne wanted to put together a show of all of these local creatives. It was literally in a dude’s backyard and it was weird because it was raining in July in Los Angeles. My dad came and two of my really good friends came. I was performing on my backing track, and all of my backing tracks were lined up on iMovie (which I still do to this day) and I just let them play. Since my first show, that’s just what I’ve done.
What’s your favorite thing about performing?
There are always different reactions to everything. I take my lyricism very seriously–that’s my favorite thing about songwriting. It’s one thing to put music I wrote onto the internet because people are going to listen to it and like it, which is cool, but I’m not seeing their reaction. But I think my favorite thing about performing is when someone who has never heard my music before is actually listening to what I’m saying and reacts to that vocally and makes a noise. That’s always my favorite. In “Digital Echo Field” the part where I’m like, “the beat goes off” and then the beat goes off–whenever anyone catches that it’s a Chief Keef reference that always makes me so happy.
Speaking of a Chief Keef reference, who are some other musicians you’ve looked up to over the years?
So many. I have such a vast music taste. Growing up in my household there was obviously a lot of reggae, a lot of dancehall–my mom is super Christian so she played a lot of gospel. In terms of reggae, I love Beres Hammond, obviously Bob Marley, Buju Banton and stuff like that. My dad played a lot of Sizzla and Capleton. Growing up in LA and being a teenager, I veered into other stuff too. I really like Vampire Weekend, Two Doors Cinema, and Grizzly Bear and very soft stuff. I have a bunch of brothers and they got me really into rap music. So there’s definitely a spectrum of what I like. I love Goldlink and Mick Jenkins and Isaiah Rashad and all of TDE really. I love ignorant stuff, I love Lil Uzi and Lil Yachty. I don’t like country, I will admit [laughs] but I do have an open mind to most genres.
But who is your all time favorite?!
Honestly, Frank Ocean. I love Frank Ocean.
“Pine & Ginger” has made some pretty big waves–can you tell us about that and the journey behind it?
So in December of 2016, my friend Greg who goes by Valleyz sent me this beat that he had been experimenting with, and he had never made a dancehall beat before. He was like “Hey, do you like this? I know you’re Jamaican, is this cool?”. He was literally so insecure about it, I was like “no, this is good”. So I thought of something to record to it and send it back a few days later and he loved it. He was like, “I have a Jamaican roommate (Josh, who goes by Tessallated), he says this is really cool and he’s asking if he could do a verse on it. So I check out Tessallated’s music and he’s dope as hell! He finesses a way to get it premiered on Film Noir Sound, which is a Soundcloud page that is run by a couple of people that Josh knows from Jamaica and it has a lot of followers. It got so much attention and love by itself. And then a couple of labels came along and wanted to sign it. It was super weird because I didn’t expect anything like this to come out of it. It got signed in April in the UK and we didn’t get it signed in the US until this summer. I was able to get myself a car and I was able to pay for things by myself–it was really nice. I was 17 and it really blew up globally, like people from countries I’ve never heard of were DMing me like, “love from Estonia.” It was just literally a song I recorded in my friend’s closet studio. Obviously it’s a cool song, but I didn’t make it with the intention of it doing the things that it did. I’m still super shook. To have 1 million is insane, but it has like 7 million. Mick Jenkins who I love even tweeted it.
What’s next for you?
I’m releasing another single produced by Valleyz, hopefully soon, within the next couple of months. It’s a really cute song, very upbeat and catchy, that I’ve been working on for a little over a year. I like to sit on things before releasing them and I’m also enjoying a hiatus for a little bit. “Pine & Ginger” was overwhelming and I think people are expecting a lot from me, so I need to dial back and re-center myself before I put myself out into the world again.
“I didn’t make it with the intention of it doing the things that it did. I’m still super shook.”
How would you describe your style?
Semi-masculine, girly ballerina. I dress weird sometimes.
Sneakers or heels?
Sneakers, I can’t wear heels.
Faux leather or faux fur?
I love them both equally.
What’s your favorite snack?
Brookside chocolate covered pomegranates and everything salty. And eating anything salty with chocolate!
Most embarrassing moment?
I don’t get embarrassed easily.
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