Born Amantle Ntshole and now going by the name Amantle Brown, the former My Star contestant seems to be destined for greater things in her music career.
She won the hearts of many Batswana while at the show and even though she didn’t make it into the top three, she didn’t throw in the towel.
In fact being eliminated turned to be a blessing in disguise as it pushed her to prove to the nation that she is equally good.
This week, The Voice Reporter Leonard Matota had a chart with the rising artist to know more about her and her musical journey.
Q. Good Day Amantle, how are you?
Finally we meet, I am fantastic, can’t complain.
Q. So, should I call you Amantle, Amantle Ntshole or Amantle Brown?
(Laughs) Its Amantle Brown now, this is my stage name and I don’t think I will be changing it for branding purposes.
Q. But you started as just Amantle, why did you add Brown?
People were confusing me with Amantle Montsho or calling me Amantle wa Moratiwa.
So I thought you know what, I need a name that will stand out and define who I am.
Q. How did being confused for Amantle Montsho make you feel?
Yoo! It was horrible. At the time Montsho was a superstar so being mistaken for her hurt because I was new in the industry and still trying to make a name for myself.
Unfortunately I had to keep explaining myself.
Q. But to choose Brown off all names, isn’t that copying?
No not at all, but it was a risk I must say. You see I love dancing and just this one day while dancing one of my crew mates said girl!
You dance like Chris Brown, maybe we should call you Amantle Brown.
So it happened and it was a risk I was willing to take.
Q. What was your fans’ response when you introduced yourself as Amantle Brown for the first time?
Many did not get it, there were lots of mixed feelings with some saying it will be confusing.
Others said it was a draw back to my career but I had made a decision.
Like I said it was a risk I was willing to take and fortunately people are now falling in love with the Brown.
Q. Where did you and music meet?
I started singing as a child but by then I wasn’t sure that was something I would take up as a career.
I actually grew up loving and enjoying studying, I would read like my life depends on it and I would do exceptionally well at school.
So singing was just a hobby, nothing much and nothing less.
Q. So what motivated you to join My Star?
It was after completing Form Five at Ledumang when I was bored and there was nothing to do.
So I decided to try it out at My Star just for fun, I wasn’t even in it for winning but I ended up staying long enough.
Q. And how would you describe your experience at My Star?
It was horrible and more like torture in the sense that I was still young and naïve.
I would do anything to get more fans and votes from people, I would just dance and sacrifice my performances.
I just feel it was torture for an 18- year- old to join My Star because you are expected to do your clothing, your vocal trainings and everything.
Q. Ok, but surely there must be some positives…
No doubt that I am where I am because of My Star.
When I was voted out of the show I was hurt and had to prove it to people that I had what it takes to be a star.
That is how I got in the music industry.
Q. So you felt robbed by My Star?
Very much, I felt I had what it takes looking at people I was competing against.
Not that I am taking anything away from other contestants but I still feel I should have gone all the way.
A lot of people were actually appreciating me more and they were hurt when I got eliminated at position nine.
I felt cheated and cried for two good days. That’s why I started working with a lot of producers in the industry.
Q. Ok, so would you say being eliminated from My Star turned to be a blessing in disguise?
Definitely! Ideally people who win in the show should be somewhere in their music career but no.
Winners are spoilt with money and recording deals in UK then they relax.
So if I had won, maybe I would have relaxed also.
Q. Good for you, but why did you work with many different producers after My Star?
You know when you are new in the music industry you try out a lot of things, trying to figure out where you actually fit.
So I was trying a couple of genres plus I wanted people who would understand me and I would understand them.
Some wanted me to do Kwasa Kwasa, House Kwasa and Jazz because they sell, so I had to keep moving until I found what I wanted.
Q. Are you happy now at Music Expirer?
I am hey! I am because they listen to my craft the way I want it to be, not claiming to know everything.
They gave me a chance to do it my way and they came in with their contribution as well, especially on the beats and everything fell into place.
Since Moratiwa we have never looked back.
Q. Help me understand something here, what’s your genre again?
Eish! I don’t know man, honestly, I am still trying to come up with a name for it.
I know that when I do come up with a name, critics will be all out, with some saying who do I think I am.
Maybe after five videos I would able to categories my music.
Q. The energy that you always have on stage, where do you get that? There are also allegations that you are on drugs?
No not at all, I am not on drugs and I hate that stuff.
To me it’s always about keeping the brand Amantle Brown on a positive note.
I know there are artists who believe that drugs help them write great songs of perform better, but I think drugs are a quicker way to the downfall of your music career.
Q. Interesting stuff, so what was going on in your mind when writing the controversial ‘Mahitshwana’ songs?
(Sighs) This song will get me into trouble you know, Mahitshwana has just proved how versatile I can be.
This is a love song with the use of deep Setswana language, just to appreciate my mother tongue and see how people would react to the use of deep Setswana.
Q. Artists always complain of being cheated by their managers, have you experienced that also?
Yes, it’s like that thing is a rite of passage in the industry.
Managers don’t allow artists to have connections or negotiate their contracts or anything.
They make sure that everything is done by them and own you, so that when you want out, you leave with nothing, broke and it becomes the end of your career.
Q. And what are you doing to curb this?
Some people call me stubborn and all sorts of names but I don’t care because I know my worth.
I don’t get into anything I don’t understand and every time there is a contract to deal with I seek legal advice to make sure it favours me as well.
Q. Wow, that’s commendable. Thank you for your time Amantle, so Feel Good Its Friday, what are you up to?
Thank you for having me, I am preparing for a private function that I will be performing at this weekend.
I love private functions because they are usually laid back.