Jessica Nwokike, formerly of the R&B duo VanJess, has officially launched her solo career under the moniker AMAKA with the release of her debut single “Cruisin.” Produced by the talented KAYTRANADA, who AMAKA has previously collaborated with on VanJess tracks such as “Dysfunctional” and “Taste,” the party-ready groove is the first offering from her highly anticipated debut project, set to drop later this year.
In a recent interview with Rated R&B, AMAKA shared that “Cruisin” was the first song she wrote after her father’s passing in 2021. The track served as a form of empowerment and healing for her during a difficult time. She stated, “I just wanted to write something that made me feel powerful, made me feel strong, made me feel like I could do anything at a time where I felt the complete opposite.” The song’s upbeat energy and uplifting message of perseverance make it a perfect anthem for anyone going through tough times.
Just two weeks prior to the release of “Cruisin,” VanJess announced their disbandment, leaving fans disappointed. However, Jessica reassured her followers on social media that this change provided her with the opportunity to explore her artistry as a solo act. She wrote, “This has given me the opportunity to start creating music of my own. I’ve spent the last few months finishing a project I’m beyond excited for you to hear. With my sister’s blessing, I will continue to post here and hope you all stay for the ‘ride.’ Tomorrow is the start of something new.” And indeed, “Cruisin” is an excellent introduction to what’s to come from AMAKA’s solo journey.
As for the debut project, details are scarce, but fans can expect more exciting collaborations and powerful tracks that showcase AMAKA’s impressive vocal range and musical versatility. With KAYTRANADA behind the boards and AMAKA’s own creative vision guiding her, it’s safe to say that her solo career is off to a strong start. “Cruisin” is a promising first step for an artist who is sure to make waves in the R&B scene and beyond.