In “Supa Woman,” the first single off herLife Experience EP from ’07, Amanda Diva sings about being an “Outstanding, Extraordinary, Supa Woman…” and with a new web show (“The Spark” with Amanda Diva on AOL Black Voices) to add to her already impressive résumé, she has continued to be just that—SUPA—so today we honor Amanda Diva as a woman making history!
Get familiar with the witty charm of Amanda Diva via DivaSpeakTV:
The spunky Diva got her start as a young actress on Nickelodeon sitcom, “My Brother and Me.” She left Orlando, FL for New York in ’99 and fell head-over-heels in love with hip hop. She began writing spoken word poetry and in ’02, and again in ’05, she was chosen to appear on Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam.
Amanda was then discovered by a Program Director from Sirius Satellite Radio and was quickly hired as a radio personality where she thrived from ’03-’08 with her morning show “Breakfast at Diva’s.” During that time she also obtained a Master’s in African American studies from Columbia University and served as the face of hip-hop on MTV2 interviewing artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Mariah Carey, Pharell, and actors Tom Cruise and Jamie Fox, to name a few.
Miss Diva also serves as comedy commentator and music expert on VH1 and is the writer & creator of “Diva Speak TV” a weekly humor based news/sketch comedy show featured on ThisIs50.com & “Diva Diva Ya’ll” on Karmalooptv.com.
Amanda is also an accomplished visual artist who shows in exhibits, does live painting events, and has a hand-painted bag line, Spectrum, available on Karmaloop.com and AmandaDiva.com.
The recording artist’s latest release, a Free Ep titled, “Spandex, Rhymes & Soul” combines hip-hop, soul, alternative, and a touch of electronica with lyrics on life and love that speak universally.
Yep, she’s what every female artist should be: real!
Amanda was recently featured on Q-tip’s “ManWoman Boogie” on his album “The Renaissance,” she also replaced Natalie Stewart in the Grammy award winning R&B group, Floetry in ‘07, and has worked with notable artisans Questlove, James Poyser, Green Lantern, Estelle, The Cool Kids, and more.
The Diva gives us the run down on who she really is:
Once upon a time I was radio host, then a tv host, a poet, a visual artist, an actress, a journalist, a singer, an emcee, and a web show producer. Now however, I’m just Amanda Diva. All of those things still remain, but as opposed to being different streams going in the direction of trying to “make it” they have come together to form one strong force carving its own known niche. The goal was once to “make it”. Now, it’s just to keep on doing it. Doing this. Making quality work to fill people up and cure their hunger pangs for the good shit. I’ve worked with the greats. I’ve been on the computer screen, the small screen, and the big screen. I’ve interviewed my heroes. I’ve seen a number of my dreams come true. However, I now work to help make others’ come true and apply all that I’ve learned so far on this journey.
And sometimes, she just likes to rock neon…
Women Making History: Amanda Diva
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
M.I.S.S.: You’ve had an interesting career that has spanned many areas. How did you get your start?
I got my start dancing in Disney World’s “Sparkling Christmas Spectacular” when I was 8 yrs old.
M.I.S.S.: How did you transition from television to radio, from writing and poetry to music and then art?
It was totally random. I met the Program Director at Sirius Satellite Radio one night at a poetry show and he told me I’d be good on radio. I came in that week and the rest is history. I’d been doing art since high school but Swizz Beatz was the one who really pushed me to put my art out there in a major way when he saw me doodling once at an event.
M.I.S.S.: Of all the facets of your career, what do you find the most fulfilling?
Making music. By far. I love it so much. I feel so honored to be able to do so.
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
I really loved doing my DivaSpeak TV web series. It was so fun just being carefree and sharing laughs with my directors Lyndon McCray and Quincy Ledbetter over the 2 1/2 years we’ve been doing it.
Def poet, Amanda Diva, is Hot Shit!
M.I.S.S.: From The Roots to Q-Tip, you’ve worked with some hip hop heavy weights. Who else do you want to work with?
I want to work with Andre 3000 so bad. Man, oh man. Also Maxwell, MGMT, Elton John, jazz singer, Gregory Porter, and Kanye West.
Below, “Neon” off of Spandex Rhymes and Soul at The Roots Jam at Highline Ballroom, NYC.
M.I.S.S.: In a male dominated field, you manage to rep for the ladies and keep it positive. You aren’t afraid to be sexy but you do it in a way that’s not demeaning or objectifying. How do you find that balance? How do you stay positive when so much of the music industry depicts women in such negative ways?
LOL. I’m not sure how I manage to do that other than I just stay true to self ya kno? I mean, I’m not a pretender so when you see me in chucks or stilettos you’re seeing me for real. I think honesty and being genuine is what makes someone confident and in turn sexy w/out losing integrity or chill without giving up class. I stay positive because I truly believe I can make a difference by example. Each one teach one.
M.I.S.S.: At M.I.S.S., we’re big fans of Diva Speak TV – what was the inspiration for the show?
When I was fired from Sirius Satellite radio folks started hitting me on myspace saying they missed my opinions and thoughts on current events so I decided to create a platform where I could give them that.
Diva works of art...such a vivrant thing!
M.I.S.S.: Your newest project is painting and customizing bags. Have you always had an interest in art and fashion? Do you see yourself expanding to include a full apparel and accessories line?
Yes I’ve always been an artist, but the bags were my mom’s idea, lol. I would love to one day have an entire line. My dream however is to have a home line with bedding, bathroom essentials etc, in Target.
M.I.S.S.: What part of writing/making music/painting is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
writing-figuring out the concept
painting-outlining (uggh i hate it!)
Amanda Diva gets her Bob Ross on...
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
Stick to your guns…especially when it feels like everyone else’s are aimed at you.