• Stefan Amali

Amanda Reifer: Liberating The Minds Of Bajan Women

Caribbean women have always been a pillar of tremendous strength; they have functioned as the backbone of our society for the longest time. In a Bajan society that has held on to very traditional values in regards to gender normativism, the need for catalysts of change definitely exists. Through her art and awe-inspiring beauty, Amanda Reifer has definitely solidified herself as one of these catalysts.

©Junior Sealy

The essence of a woman can never be holistically defined by her class and decorum. Undoubtedly, the social graces are important but the ability to exude sensuality and embrace body positivity is equally necessary. “I don’t have to sacrifice one thing to be another. I can be a boss and I can be vulnerable, I can be a bad b*%ch or I can be a sweetheart. I think that’s something a lot of women struggle with, being made to feel that they can’t be vulnerable and fierce at the same time. One part of you doesn’t have to cancel the other. I think you need to embrace all the different aspects of who you are.“ she stated. If you analyze the artistic journey of Amanda Reifer, you will see the evolution from a young woman into a belligerent, self-assured sex symbol.

©Junior Sealy

Initially, I didn’t feel any pressure to be conservative because when we started Cover Drive we were kids, carefree, and hadn’t experienced too much, so the music I was writing then was a simple reflection of where I was at. Towards the last few years of being in the band though, I definitely struggled with having to maintain that version of myself that I had outgrown. I needed to figure out and express who I was as a woman, for myself.

When Amanda was the lead singer of the Bajan band Cover Drive her music was innocent, safe, and youthfully exuberant. Despite the chart success she experienced in the UK, the band eventually split and Amanda decided to go solo. It was then that she began to unleash a more sensual dynamic to her artistry, as the naivety of adolescence and life in the early 20’s dissipated. Not everyone was immediately accepting of Amanda’s new edgy side, but being the confident pisces she is, it’s hard to fathom that she really cared.

©Junior Sealy

I get it ! Cover Drive is where some people originally know me from so that is always their reference point but being an artist is just like being a woman- you grow! You are growing and constantly evolving, it was important for me to allow myself to do that .“ she calmly asserted.

Amanda has mastered the dynamic of emotional inversion through her artistry, taking painful aspects of failed relationships and disappointments, channeling them into heartfelt lyrics that have resonated with the next generation of Bajan women.I have a hard time stereotyping all Bajan women or women in general in one way! I know Bajan women that are super sweet but are still feisty and fierce. I love that! That’s what makes women in general special; having the capacity to be all these different things”

Her writing style now bears the tone of a fiery, sexy, and truculent woman who is blatantly uncompromising. To some that evolution is intimidating but to her cult following of diehard female fans, it’s inspiring to say the least. Amanda’s audacious curves, candescent bronze skin, and dreamy green eyes pair well with the regalia she exudes with her aura.

©Junior Sealy

Though she understands that there is more to her essence than the physical, Amanda isn’t shy about flaunting her resplendence. She does it not only for her own enjoyment but also in the hopes that it will inspire more confidence in young Bajan women who are yet to embrace the fullness of their femininity.

I’m definitely not going out of my way to be disruptive but I also don’t care if I am. I’m just expressing myself. If I can do that while inspiring other women and making them more confident in their decisions and career paths, then I feel good about that! The qualities I admired in women when I was a little girl, was the power in their femininity, having strong opinions, and going for what they want so I try to embody all those qualities now.”

As we wait with bated breath for the announcement of new music from Amanda, it’s not only permissible but imperative that we acknowledge her contribution to Bajan culture thus far.

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