Hypnotic and honeyed, Rich Amiri's voice is like little else in rap. Having only recently started taking music seriously, his syrupy melodies have already helped him stand out from his peers in the burgeoning plugg&B subgenre–a particularly slurry blend of soul and cloud rap that’s been taking over the internet. As distinct and unique as his sound is, he’s already gotten used to fielding questions about how his vocals came to sound so striking.
“People always ask me the question, but that’s just my voice,” the rapper born Amiri Chase says with a laugh. “I don’t try to sound like this. That’s just how my voice developed.”
Amiri’s humility and nonchalance about his gifts haven’t stopped him from becoming one of his scene’s most engaging and free-associative songwriters. In the span of a few seconds, he can jump from pouring his heart out to an ex to making not-so-veiled threats toward his opps. He switches lanes with grace, as evidenced by some of the highlights from his recent EP Chase. Tracks like “J10” are low-key and sensitive, while “Never Fail” allows him room to rage, showing off his many sides in quick succession. For Amiri, that sort of approach is natural and honest.
“I just try to be as diverse as possible,” he says. “I don’t try to just make one type of music to confine myself, I try to make as many good songs as I can.”
Though the 18-year-old hails from Boston, he’s a child of the internet–part of a disparate scene of young boundary-breakers who united through SoundCloud. Amiri credits an older cousin with introducing him to the exuberant figures of the platform’s initial run–Diego Money, Rich the Kid, MexikoDro. He also cites Lil Tecca, Lil Keed, Brent Faiyaz, and Speaker Knockerz as among the influences he pulls from. He started recording from his Massachusetts bedroom–his first few tracks hit SoundCloud in 2020, and he’s credited as a co-engineer, proving his DIY cred.
Like many Gen Z stars, Amiri is something of a one-man army. He says even before he made music, he was on TikTok “from sunup to sundown,” meaning he knew exactly how to get “Never Fail” to go viral. A “slowed + reverb” version spread across the app, and the song’s been used to soundtrack skate clips and basketball highlights. (It’s all part of the Amiri agenda.) With that, he demonstrated the kind of know-how industry folks wish they had. He’s now aligned with the proudly independent 10K Projects—the label that helped make stars out of Trippie Redd and Iann Dior—but, all the same, he has no interest in messing with a successful formula.
“I do have a lot of help, but at the same time, I still want to be at the forefront of my music,” he says. “I still want people to see who I am.”
And though he’s just getting started, Amiri is already starting to accomplish that goal, reaching fans and sharing his innermost feelings. “Never Fail” is inching closer to 2 million SoundCloud streams, while “Walk In” and “Venice” are into six figures on Spotify. He’s reached the point of success where his unfinished snippets and demos find their way online—a sign of an eager fan base hanging on every word.
And as he continues to rise, Amiri is proving to be an unrelenting worker. He estimates that when he’s in the studio he finishes five or six songs in a day. He’s already established a cadre of trusted producers like Rio Leyva and ThankYouWill, whose tracks fizz like Pop Rocks and make perfect soundscapes for his rich voice. As a rising star, he’s inundated with instrumentals, but he’s learned not to force anything. He’s made it this far by trusting his gut, after all.
“I’ll hear a beat right and try to come up with a freestyle flow off the top. If I get it, I’ll hop on it,” he explains. “If it’s a good beat, it’ll speak to me. And then I make it speak to other people, too. “