‘Neil Diamond is a G, but Sweet Caroline is not for me’: Clara Amfo’s honest playlist | Music

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The first single I ever bought
No TLC cleaning. My father would have given me some pocket money – he might have taken me to the shop too; We used to do everything together on weekends. Must have been a CD single. I remember being really proud of him. I grew up obsessed with music television and the video is so iconic. It’s basically TLC in these fabulous silver spacesuits, capturing how they don’t want to be with the trash – which we can all relate to.

Go to karaoke
We Belong Together by Mariah Carey. Obviously I don’t have her range, let me state that explicitly. But I really love that song and her cadence in it. It has that long note at the end that I expect every time – but I have a fantastic time doing it. We go to karaoke because we can’t sing, that’s the fun part. I hate those people who are like, “Nooo, I really can’t sing,” then get on the mic and be, like, premium soprano. I don’t mind being pleasantly surprised by a good singer playing it – but everyone who goes with me is average, at best. We basically go to laugh our asses off.

The song that made my best concert experience
I’ve seen Solange twice, and it’s a spiritual experience. But it’s a toss-up between her doing FUBU and Don’t Touch My Hair at the Lovebox festival. Both of these songs are such a celebration of wonderful Blackness and feel so deeply – being at Lovebox, singing them with so many Black people, and especially Black women, was absolutely beautiful.

The last song I streamed
America has a Beyonce problem. Played when I was out on the weekend, and my friend and I were yelling at each other. This was me recreating the moment on Spotify. [Sings] “Boy, you can’t get hiiiiiiiiiiii bigger than this!” I am absolutely obsessed with Renaissance, Beyoncé’s latest album. I think it’s one of her best works: all killer, no filler. I need her to give us some videos now.

The best song to play at a party
The Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless) by Crystal Waters. This is a classic house tune that brings the vibe together. Everyone knows it. It’s a classic, and has been sampled and referenced so many times. I would say it always saves a party.

The song I want played at my funeral
Run to the Sun by NERD. I always loved that song. People always think that Pharrell [Williams] he wrote it for a lover but for his grandmother, who passed away. My brother was a massive NERD fan – he got me into them and there’s something so pure and loving about that song. I want my funeral to be a joyous occasion, I want people to riot and wear bright colors. But on reflection I love that song.

I can’t stand the song
Maybe I’ll drag myself on this one, but I don’t really care for Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. There are so many feelings attached to it, obviously because of the lionesses – and, make no mistake, Neil Diamond is a G, he’s written some amazing tunes. But Sweet Caroline is not for me. Please don’t come for me, Football Twitter!

My real favorite song
Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder. I don’t really believe in a favorite song because I’m a tart, I’ll never be able to have just one. Do not make this my last will and testament. But I’ve always said this: I don’t trust people who don’t like Stevie Wonder. I think you must be a walking corpse. There are some artists, like Dolly Parton, who are sacred to everyone. For example, if you don’t like Stevie Wonder or Dolly Parton, you’re a bigot.

Clara Amfo presents Written in the Stars in discovery+ in November.

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