REI AMI isn’t here to make friends.
Imagine if Billie Eilish really didn’t give a fuck. Well, you don’t have to imagine, because now we have REI AMI. The Maryland-based newcomer, who was originally born in Seoul, South Korea, is ready to explode onto the scene– demons and all. Her dark and grimy new song “MAKE IT MINE” opens with a very friendly “Can you shut the fuck up?” before breaking into absolute madness. The makeshift music video features REI AMI and a man dressed up like bears dancing in front of her webcam, giving off some of the same DIY vibes that the song conveys.
The juxtaposition of REI AMI’s almost whisper-like vocals and otherwise sweet voice with what she’s actually saying– like “Did I take this shit too far? / When I hit you with my car?”– is quite jarring. The heavy and infectious hook on “MAKE IT MINE” will keep you hitting repeat but the ending of the barely two-minute track is what will really have you waiting to see what’s next from REI AMI. The song fully devolves into a vaporwave-esque beat before REI AMI completely adjusts her flow and delivers one short verse before declaring “I’m out.”
When asked about the inspiration behind her heated new banger she said, “I want people to feel empowered and almost feel a sense of rage… I want people to think back on all the times others doubted them, misunderstood them, defamed them, and just shrug it off and be like, ‘I’m going to do me, regardless. Why? Because I can.’”
Her edged persona and ranging musical styles can somewhat be explained by her strict upbringing. While her family adhered to the belief that “any ‘worldly’ music was banned,” their rules became her fuel. She noted, “The only time my parents encouraged any musical endeavor was for worship purposes — they put me through piano and guitar lessons so that I could perform in the church.”
Her middle school days brought exploration of the so-called world music, from Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey to Britney Spears, as well as a ton of K-POP. Later, she would seek out the catalogs of Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Luther Vandross, A$AP Rocky and Drake as further inspiration to her own burgeoning craft. “I remember getting in a lot of trouble from my parents whenever I got caught listening to music that wasn’t Christian. There was this one time my iTunes popped up while my dad was using the computer, and he saw ‘Birthday Sex’ by Jeremih and flipped out on me and told me I was going to go to hell for listening to that kind of music.”
Now, REI AMI is 24 years old and ready to make a name for herself doing whatever she wants, however she wants. The newcomer has her first full project scheduled for release next year but you can find “MAKE IT MINE” on our Tasty! Jams playlists now.