When Aminah Hughes steps on stage she does more than fill the room with her honeyed voice. She draws her audience into nostalgia, calling us to remember the beauty and rebelliousness of an analogue world. “Inspiring” and “strong” are words that are often passed around at her performances as she embodies the empowerment we are all aching to feel. “An intelligent and vocal woman of extraordinary musical talent – a powerful musical force” (Robert James, GANGgajang/Yothu Yindi), Aminah is unafraid to touch the rawness, giving voice to pain, laying it bare, and finding the light in its grace.
An Australian Roots artist playing somewhere in between the worlds of Folk, Alt-Country, Blues, Jazz and Spoken Word, Aminah is a seasoned performer in Australia and Europe. She performed in the Sydney Opera House at the age of sixteen and has shared stages with Tommy Emmanuel, Declan O’Rourke, KILA, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Waterboys fiddler Steve Wickham. She has been featured in US magazines, appeared on Irish TV, RTÉ and BBC Radio and performed with various orchestras both as a singer and flautist. A songwriter, producer, vocalist, flautist and spoken word artist, she appeared on eleven albums in Australia and Europe, including albums by Australia’s Shane Howard, Ireland’s Martin O’Connor Band and European folk-fusion outfit No Crows, before producing her debut solo album, Blue Wooden Boat.
Recorded in Ireland, USA, Australia and Germany, the album features special guests Emmanuel, Wickham and Nashville gospel singers, The McCrary Sisters.
Mixed in Nashville and mastered in Memphis by Grammy award winning engineers, the album launched her independent label, Blue Wolf Records, distributed worldwide by MGM. It has earned her a growing list of accolades, including nominations at the Independent Music Awards (New York) and Berlin Motion Picture Festival, and has received airplay in Australia, UK, Ireland and in 26 states across the US, charting as high as #6 on US Core and College radio charts.
An award-winning screenwriter and director who also helms her own music videos, Musical Notes Global (New York) cites Aminah as “a true Renaissance woman.” Her music videos have premiered in New York, Nashville and Melbourne and screened at international film festivals.
“A strong, soulful singer” (All About Jazz), her voice appears on a variety of productions, including Australia’s Who Do You Think You Are? and highly anticipated NBCUniversal game, Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock.
Some press quotes about Blue Wooden Boat:
“A gorgeous emotional journey…Hughes demonstrates powerful vulnerability…enhanced by stunning, soulful vocals…not only does Blue Wooden Boat have something for everyone but it will open and heal those parts of your heart that need it most.” – Musical Notes Global (New York)
“Where heartbreak and struggle blur into uplifting gospel – a perfect song for healing.” – American Songwriter Magazine (Nashville)
“Nothing short of spectacular…a song cycle that will have enduring appeal” – Around the Sound magazine
“A hint of Eva Cassidy’s vocal versatility and interpretive powers…(Aminah’s) own songs of nature and self-examination enchant…3 ½ stars” – The Weekend Australian
“Trying to pin down what this singer can do with her voice is hard because she can do some amazing things. She can belt out a roof-raising blues tune just as readily as she can deliver a folk tune sweet enough to make you cry.” – Nadia Mitsopoulos (ABC Radio)
“A wonderful ability to invoke realms of magic and beauty.” – Scenestr
ACCOLADES – MUSIC
Berlin Motion Picture Festival 2019 – Nominated, Best Song
Independent Music Awards (New York) 2019 – Nominated, Best Blues Song
Unsigned Only Music Competition (Nashville) 2019 – Honourable Mention, Best Blues Song
Unsigned Only Music Competition (Nashville) 2019 – Semi-finalist, Best Folk Song
International Songwriting Competition (Nashville) 2016 – Honourable Mention, Best Blues Song
Recording Festival International Song Competition (Dublin) 2015 – Finalist
International Vocalist Competition (Nevada) 2015 – Semi-finalist
Rebel Yelp Songwriter Award (Canberra) 2008 – Finalist
Unisong International Song Contest (California) 2006 – Finalist, Best Social/Political Song
Unisong International Song Contest (California) 2005 – 2nd Place Winner, Best Social/Political Song
Unisong International Song Contest (California) 2005 – Finalist, Best Lyrics