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AMAAL is an 18 year old pop singer/songwriter haling from Washington, D.C. He’s been studying and performing music since the tender age of four and began singing lessons at fourteen. He gravitated towards pop and counts artists like Prince, David Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Jay Z, amongst others. He has battled with chronic pain and depression for years, and has found solace through music.

This song, Need It Too, is his debut single. It was written by himself and produced by Thomas Mansur. It is a pop ballad in the vein of modern Justin Bieber, and AMAAL’s voice is well suited to the material. It starts with simple piano chords, allowing the focus on the vocals and words.

Lyrically, it is honest and emotional deeper than most pop music, as you can tell from its opening lines: “Your breath reeks of whisky, used to say you missed me…”. It’s about a relationship where each others needs aren’t being met, with hedonism seen as a means of emotional escape. The vocal melody is memorable and catchy, with insistent rhythmic hooks keeping the listener gripped to the end.

Overall, this is a fine debut single for an artist with an emotional maturity beyond his years. His voice and music are perfectly in sync with what’s happening in the current pop scene, and the way his lyrics dig deep and capture his emotive rawness will win him many fans. With further material of this quality, there’s no reason why he won’t break into pop’s major league.

VERDICT: 8.3 out of 10 

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

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