Today we’d like to introduce you to Mahoganee and Andre Amiger.
Mahoganee and Andre, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We met in 2001 in Atlanta, as we both were in the Music Industry and making great strides. I’m a country girl from South Carolina and was just beginning to get comfortable and known in the ATL music scene as a vocalist and Andre, a city boy from Washington, DC was being courted by a very prominent music label as a producer. Music quickly became the ribbon that tied us together. It was something that was in the DNA of both of us and allowed us to connect even more deeply. We created our first song together shortly after meeting which was a tribute to each of our sisters who both passed away due to drug addictions. This was the beginning of many things we had in common, which only made our bond stronger. After being together for 19 years, we’ve been able to navigate the tumultuous relationship waters by creatively and continuously growing together.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? It has absolutely NOT been a smooth road. Within the first five years of our relationship Andre suffered 2 of 3 strokes which meant me becoming his primary caretaker and our music careers taking a different turn. Having to learn to walk again, talk and having left side paralysis. We lost three parents, both of our mothers and Andre’s father. He had just lost his sister when we met. Add on the challenges that come from baggage we bring into a relationship and having to mentally deal with all of that loss (which we are still unpacking) we continuously with the Grace of God make it work. The blessing is that music has been a form of therapy for both us. There were days when all I could do was sing to make my soul feel better. As a caretaker, you can become depleted but you have no one to strengthen you because you are the one that has to be strong. There were days when Andre was healed enough physically, mentally and got the strength back in his spirit to begin learning to make music but now with only one hand and no longer his primary left hand he had to re-learn to do everything with his right hand. So no it has absolutely NOT been smooth but it has been WORTH IT.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Responsible ARTistry – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Our organization is Responsible ARTistry, a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to arm youth with the imagination to survive thru mentorship art camps, workshops and classes driven by fostering leadership skills, self-awareness & reflection through Music and the Arts. We specialize in working with youth ages 7-12 but we also mentor and work with high school students and adults in the areas of digital music production, songwriting, stage presence and vocal production.
We offer summer music camps, day camps, mobile music camps, artist residencies in schools. We are known for working together as a couple and presenting a united front that displays black love in a positive light. We produce and write together as well. We partner with other like-minded organizations to host positive community arts-related events.
We are most proud of our resilience not only as human beings together as a couple but as individuals who have overcome so many obstacles and found our purpose along the way. We are proud of the music we’ve created and will continue to create. We are proud of who we are continuously becoming. Society calls us Teaching ARTists, we consider ourselves farmers because we sow seeds into our students and that we are extremely proud of.
What sets us apart is our story, our journey. Separate and Together. Where we come from, who we were and who we are makes us unique and only we can tell our own authentic story. Because of that we bring a different perspective to everything that we do. Responsible ARTistry is built on the legacy of OUR journey. We can have honest creative conversations as a means of therapy through music and the arts.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We believe in building through community and we have cultivated some amazing partnerships with other organizations and businesses on the East Coast. We are looking forward to partnering with the Black Dot Cultural Center in Lithonia to bring a monthly music event featuring R&B, Soul & Funk music to give us artists another viable platform. We will continue to offer our summer music camps, music day camps and artist residencies within the schools and to the home-school community on the East Coast.
- Website: www.ResponsibleARTistry.org
- Email: ResponsibleARTistry@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/responsibleartistry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ResponsibleArtistry/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/responsibleart
- Other: https://linktr.ee/responsibleartistry
Christopher Sancho Smalls