By now most of social media users and watchers of Love and Hip Hop Miami have knowledge of who Amara La Negra is. While you know of her complexion, hair, and vivacious attitude, not to mention her advocating for all the Afro-Latinas and anti-racism, there are some things you still don’t know.
The statement stands true that amid the things that a person is popular for, there is still much that lies beneath the surface.
Amara’s Earlier Life
“I am daring, playful, very focused and a fighter. I bring a new taste to music. I am very optimistic. I want to use my voice and my talent to deliver a positive message.” –Amara La Negra.
Amara was born and raised in Allapattah, Miami, but she is of Dominican descent, with her parents being Dominican. He hometown is coincidently known as “Little Santo Domingo” because of their cultural ties to the Caribbean country, Dominican Republic. When she was eighteen she visited the Dominican Republic where she got the opportunity to embrace her culture; she is a very proud Latina, more so Dominican.
Her real name is Dana Danelys De Los Santos, but she changed it to Amara La Negra to better encompass who she is. The word Amara is Latin for external beauty and women of cinnamon skin colour and she put La Negra in her name as a way of showing that she is proud of her roots, being black and that black is beautiful.
As a child, Amara enrolled in dance, acting, and modelling classes which she was committed to attending every day since she saw the importance of investing in her future. Amara was nothing less of a star from a young age as she entered numerous children’s pageants and singing competitions. She won her first award in 1991 at a tender age, and since that time, she knew performing was her calling.
“I was in a dance academy; I used to dance Monday through Friday. I had acting classes, and I had singing classes. I also had modelling classes. I was doing it all. My childhood pretty much revolved around my future. In fact, I don’t know how to ride a bike or how to swim or even roller skate. I don’t know how to do anything that a normal kid did for fun while growing up.” –Amara La Negra.
The dedicated singer revealed that she felt she missed out on her childhood because of her focus on her future career at such a young age. At the age of four, she participated in being in the children’s group of the popular Latin ‘Sabado Gigante’ program and later joined the Univision dance troupe with Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino and Olga Tañón. She attributes her pride in her roots to Celia Cruz.
At fourteen, Amara focused on her singing and since being exposed to her Dominican roots, she has found her style in urban Latin music with hints of salsa and hip-hop; she promises to never lose her Latin essence.
When she reflected on her childhood, she made her preparations something she had a passion for, so it never felt like ‘work’ per se
Amara’s Relationship With Her Mother
Amara was raised in a single parent household by her Dominican mother who emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic with hopes of making a better life for Amara. At five years old, Don Francisco asked her, “If you were a millionaire what would you do with the money?” and she said she would help her mother. Being grateful every day for the invaluable sacrifices of her mother, Amara wants to in turn provide for her mother.
“She worked up five jobs in order to maintain the household and still keep me in the music….I do everything I do to make her proud.” –Amara La Negra.
Amara’s mother works as a cook at a local Miami restaurant, and she has a healthy and strong relationship with her daughter. Mama Ana, Amara’s mother, has always been supportive of Amara and taught her Spanish, Spanglish and English all in one. Amara confidently admits that she takes her mother to her business meetings and even dates.
“I’m grateful for the way she raised me and the things she instilled in me. It’s made me the Dominican-American I am today.” –Amara La Negra.
Not Just a Singer
Other than her music releases and being an Afro-Latina advocate, she has launched her clothing line, ALN. The ALN brand has a wide array of swimsuits, bags, hats, shirts, hoodies, sportswear and girdles made in Columbia. She is also slated to act in a movie later in 2018, so we will be able to see her acting skills exhibited on the big screen.
There are so many facets to one Amara La Negra that fans and critics are on the edge of their seats anticipating what she has to reveal next.
By Alexandra Daley