‘Amy True’ is an independent artist who inherited the strength and vitality of her Irish mother’s roots, and the cultured obligation of self from her Ugandan father. There is so much history already from the originality of her parents history; that it shapes to me a formation of what lies within a young woman whose work-rate matches those who seek to make a clear difference, and why not? Why shy away from an independent artist’s work-rate that can naturally go unnoticed? I could mention her name to a few and none would of heard the name, as annoying as that is it gives me great pleasure in uncovering those who really do work wonders underneath the radar; and that is what I will do with Amy True.

 It was through hitting up ‘Kingpin’ a member of the Claxton Press that I stumbled across Amy True on twitter (a suggestion via email, twitter can get it right) I checked out her page and came across her bio which uncovered moments of jaw dropping, and even times of, “damn!!” There was slight admiration for what she has done. She has performed/worked with names such as: Mos. Def., Slum Village, Public Enemy, Benjamin Zephaniah, and Afrika Bambatta. These names are sure-fire hits that a mediocre hip-hop head would/should know. Or maybe the direct and confident poetry of: ‘Benjamin Zephaniah,’ who was a literature sensation with the topic of: ‘half-caste’ is something more familiar to you? Mos Def, is now known as: ‘Yassin Bey, and Slum Village, have influenced many in the hip-hop game within a sure-fire doubt to the point of being leaders. It’s a combination of contemporary reinforcements, and passionate issues; that politically and verbally industrializes action – and thus brought me to want to interview such a pioneering identity.

 ‘Amy True’ has a good sense of humour and it shows with the few questions that I asked. It made me smile to receive a response from the question: “Where do you come from?” To which the response was, “Stardust.” It’s a nice informality to the seriousness that comes with asking questions.  I figured I had an idea of what I would ask and that would be that; I also jokingly expected an essay of responses to which she didn’t disappoint. It was her music that I wanted to uncover and that’s what I got:

- How did you get into music, and what was your most influential album?

 Her response was:  “Music is how I express myself; I started writing my feelings down at a young age, which turned into poetry, then rap, then songs. Expression is very important; it’s therapeutic to the soul and music is a great way to heal people.
I don't have a favourite album it all depends on how I feel, but growing up I had a wide variety of music in my home, from East African Music, Motown, Soul, Funk, Folk, Rock, Disco, Jazz. As I got older I was drawn to Mary J, Jodeci and others but Tupac was defo one of my favourites, I was drawn to artist's who had a certain tone in their voice. I could feel their pain and frustration yet they lifted people in a bad situation, it was motivating and it was real. I never looked at artists as my idols either, more so it was a way to release what I couldn't express at that particular time. The music I listen to now is a lot more varied than when I was younger...I listen to a lot of music without lyrics that opens & unlock doors in my mind to think freely.”

 The ‘Caxton Press’ is an intellectual bunch of young Mc’s who came together to withhold a vital message to those who wish to hear it. With members like “Kingpin’ involved it’s a close unit of lyrical persuasion and tempo:

 -So you were a member of the: ‘Caxton Press.’ Could you talk us through your time there? What was it all about?

 Amy’s detailed response was, “Well...I actually found this cd in my friends hostel room when we were helping her move in, it was English Frank (Frantic Frank at the time) the cd was called: 'The Hard Way'. It really got my attention as he was talking about real issues that resonated with me. At this time in my life I had already been writing & performing where I lived. A small town called Crawley, doing positive work in my community and had also approached the local MP at the time called Laura Moffet to help me get funding to build a performing arts school to help mentor young people as the town really needed it, trust me it needs it! She took me too see Gordon Brown giving me the impression that I would get some help, to my disappointment and lack of experience in this department it seemed only a publicity stunt. I carry no hate of course just awareness and experience.

This disheartened me. I continued to do my own thing and generated funds by asking local business's to sponsor me as I had an idea to direct & host a documentary called which I named 'Reprezent' ...I wanted to show the young people in Crawley that there were positive places to go, where they could channel their energy into something constructive for their soul and bring some unity.
The area I lived in (and the world may I add!) has a lot of misplaced identity, a lack of cultural education & spirituality. Which leads to racism, insecurity. Which leads to anger, frustration, fear, drugs and violence etc. I'm sure those who understand know exactly what I mean. I grew up a troubled teen at times but always with a big heart putting others before myself, having many people that I felt had good hearts but not a lot of confidence in my home feeding and supporting them, we supported each other but I was like the big sister/mum.

When I heard Frank speak about the Peoples Army on his cd I contacted him on Fb, he messaged me back after seeing some of my YouTube vids and invited me to a Peoples Army session where we recorded music and met other like-minded people. From this I met some great artist & Free Thinkers: Logic, Nate, Big Cakes, Non applicable, No lay, Mic Righteous, the list goes on. I was then introduced to DJ Snuff who invited me to go to Berlin with 'End Of The Weak' an International Hip-hop movement. Myself and other artists went there to represent UK HIPHOP... English Frank, Stig of the Dump, Manage, Emcee Killa, Kingpin, Justice Innes, Bgirl Lyra, Bgirl Corina, Kwake Bass (Drummer) to name a few. It was one of the best times of my life ...for sure we all had a great experience.

On my return back to lil old Crawley I was still doing my thing there...I had a call from Manage asking if I’d like to come to the studio to lay some vocals down for this new group Caxton Press (Manage/Kingpin/Emcee Killa). I had shared some good times with these people and respected them so I agreed.
After the first session at CrossBone T's studio in Eltham...it was safe to say Caxton Press was a full group!

 The ‘People’s Army” is another group that has offered Amy individuality and movement:

 -You’re a member of the ‘People’s Army’ (etc.) worked with some prominent names (if you could name some for us) what is the difference between Caxton Press and ‘People’s Army?

 Amy’s response was, “Being a member of Peoples Army is not recent. I was with Peoples Army before Caxton and always saluted for Peoples Army whilst on my journey with Caxton but I am always my own person, I choose to work with who I feel and I don't belong to anyone. Peoples Army is a positive movement for artist, speakers, dancers, producers, teachers, nutritionists, personal trainers; life coaches, musicians, children or old people anyone human and even some animals that believe in a positive change & reality.

I have been on tracks with Logic, English Frank, Rodney P, No Lay, Nate, Lowkey, Big Cakes and many more. Peoples Army has many tracks not yet released from past sessions. The difference between Caxton Press and Peoples Army is... Peoples Army is open to anyone, hence the name...Caxton Press was a group created by Snuff, Manage and Kingpin.”

Moving on from this I knew that Amy had also gone solo prior to her participation with the ‘Caxton Press’ 

 -Your decision to go solo, I’ve come across another member ‘Kingpin’ and wondered is this like an expansion of members wanting to seek different directions? Was it not working for you?”

 Amy’s replied that: “We had some great times together and achieved a lot with the help of DJ Snuff & Natty Speaks and everyone doing what they could to make it work. At times when things were going well, certain energies would change...being in a group it was difficult sometimes when everyone has their own mind or agenda perhaps. Looking back I feel naive at how I looked at the music industry as I didn't see it like that...I saw it as a group of people that wanted to make a positive change, I felt these people were my family. Certain things happened and everything started changing...Kingpin left and then it was just me; Emcee Killa, Manage and Snuff. It never was the same after that, even though we tried to make it work with discussions on a many occasion. The energy on stage was different. We were a family. But now broken. We tried for a while but it didn't last...We will always have what  we done together and nothing can change that. I do believe we all wanted something good for the world and a place to heal and grow but we all have our own issues and journeys. I have no regrets. This is life.

 It is life and I fully agree with the naivety of when starting out. It’s no shame or gain, and when seeing ‘Caxton Press’ you’ll see the unity that vibes with them as they perform on their visuals on tracks like ‘Running The Press, Why, Broken Dreams, and Hunger.’ It’ gritty, raw, aware and directed at you! The people. But Amy’s solo Ep “Question Authority” is something that deserves the same sort of awareness.

 -Your solo EP “Question Authority” was very much politically based would you agree? Full of samples, messages, quotes, hip-hop definitely seeps through in this EP and you have something to say, what is that overall message?

 To Amy her message was ‘To Question Authority! Ask why people are doing what they are doing, why our natural way of thinking is being challenged and what is the true agenda behind it. Who is really benefiting?

Ask why certain things are pushed in our faces every day, and what does is mean on a bigger scale. Question yourself. You are your own authority onto yourself, ask why you do the things you do, where you are coming from and where you are going with it. I always speak as a human being if politics is tied into everything I cannot stop that. As an artist it is my duty to write what I see and feel. The name Amy True means to be true to myself.’

 And working alongside those who stay true to themselves was next on my agenda of questions:

 -You’ve supported acts such as: Mos Def, Slum Village, Public Enemy, Afrika Bambatta, how would you describe them as people as they are very much people with messages to say – did this in-fact help your growth? What did this add to you?

 Amy’s reply was ‘We all help each other grow, whether we choose to accept that or not... there is always a lesson in life with the people we meet and come across. These particular artist though I was very happy to support as of course they are BIG pioneers in Hip-hop, growing up I listened to them, it was an honour. I feel they all have good messages and have done great things for humanity. My favourite was Chuck D...he was standing watching me while I performed and when I came off stage he told me how great my performance was...it’s like a boxer being told by Ali...'hey that was great’. With sincerity. He has continued to support my work and is truly a gentleman and great activist.”

 Another great achievement for Amy was being contacted by the man they labelled as a dub poet; the respectable and honourable -Benjamin Zephaniah, who writes genres of teen fiction and poetry.

 -Benjamin Zephaniah…a true poet in every form. I remember growing up with many of his poems man, it’s amazing that you got to work with him - it must have been crazy?

 Amy’s response “It was a great pleasure that he and his producer Corin reached out to me, it means they respect me as an artist and value what I have done and see my potential. I have the upmost respect for them both.”

 Amy also does a few workshops like True Stories and also other bits and bobs that involve working with the young people and encouraging their talents and crafts within music and spoken word

 -You do a-lot of workshops like ‘True Stories” and “Freedom of Speech” if I’ve missed any others let me know, but for those who don’t know can you tell us what you offer/do at these workshops? Who’s your chosen target audience?

 Her response was that, ‘I have done MC workshops in the Philippines with Hip-Hop for Hope & Bboy Mouse. I have organized events back in Crawley on my own and with the local Theatre as a youth ambassador; I've done workshops in Oxford studying female writers, like Maya Angelou & Jane Austin. Also African studies on Mandela and his life history and achievements. Teaching young people about their own identity, breaking down mainstream music videos and certain agendas. Poetry and writing, performing, recording, shooting videos, self-confidence, delivery...nutrition. Writing workshops in Belfast working in a youth Centre that brings kids from catholic and Protestant communities together. Workshops in southern Ireland this list goes on.... wow...I have done a lot haven't I lol No rest for the blessed we say.’

 And the blessings kept on coming with Amy winning an award a few years back which put her efforts to the eyes of the beholders who appreciate and understand her hard work, I had to address it.

 -You won the 2012 Reader’s Choice Award for ‘Best Female Artist” congratulations, how did this make you feel?

 She replied ‘I actually get shocked when I get recognition, not that I don't feel I deserve it but because sometimes I just don't realise what I do and what I have achieved...I just keep going. I felt happy and overwhelmed.’

 Winding down to my last question was a hard one because I had so much to ask Amy which was unreal but had to be done for the sake of length and sanity, it’s hard not to ask a multitude of question to somebody who forever seems to be doing something constructive and positive with her life; but as it happens I asked the (A) typical question that passes through every interview to keep you on the side of: “what is to come next for the artist.”

 -Amy it’s been a pleasure researching what you’ve done, is the future going to be filled with many more projects and albums, any tours, any new singles? What’s in-store next…?

Amy’s duly and nicely response was, ‘Yes of course...I feel I’ve only just begun lol I have 'Amy True Live' coming on the Global Faction Channel, were I host and perform tracks with different live bands & Artists of all genres in a studio, bringing on guests, speaking on certain topics and social unrests...positive and negative for growth and understanding.

My Album is to be released this year also it is called '11' ...I plan to release that independently. We can do a lot ourselves these days it all depends on what it is you wish to achieve and why. I don't wish for anyone to change or control me, we must find the right people to grow and work with. It is my choice to take the path I wish and many lessons I have learnt, I am always learning, I am a student. I'm happy where I am and how I am doing things. Help is always appreciated but it has to be from people with the right mind state for me and my vision...I will have single's, remixes and videos being released this year and I plan to do discussions on issues that I feel need addressing. A UK tour will be coming soon and I’m sure more workshops and international moves of course.’

 It truly has been a real pleasure interviewing Amy and I only wish that her pursuits are met with the same levels of respect that has already passed her awards cabinet.