'She's a Really Interesting Pop Star' (Exclusive): Amaarae Recalls Moment That ‘Drew’ Her to Sabrina Carpenter

Amaarae couldn’t be more ecstatic about her year of touring — especially since she’s joining two superstars on the road later this year

Published Time: 05.07.2024 - 21:31:17 Modified Time: 05.07.2024 - 21:31:17

Amaarae couldn’t be more ecstatic about her year of touring — especially since she’s joining two superstars on the road later this year.

Months after the Ghanaian American vocalist, 30, unleashed her acclaimed Fountain Baby album last June, she announced a spring 2024 international headlining tour to give fans the full live experience. She even extended her run with more ongoing dates just in time for festival season this summer.

But now, as a special act accompanying Sabrina Carpenter and Childish Gambino’s highly-anticipated fall tours, the lauded artist is ready to show the world what else she’s made of.

Speaking to PEOPLE during her roses are red, tears are blue — A Fountain Baby Extended Play press run, Amaarae gushed over the chance to share stages with a “low-key legend” like Gambino (whose real name is Donald Glover) and fellow breakout star Carpenter.

According to her, both opportunities came as personal requests from the musicians, but only one genuinely surprised her since she’d just only been recently introduced to their music.

“They had reached out to my agent like, ‘Hey, Sabrina Carpenter wants Amaarae on tour.’ And I remember thinking, ‘What? Who? Bro, are y'all so for real right now? This s--- don't make no sense,’” Amaarae recalls in shock. “But I remember thinking, ‘This is such an interesting and unique opportunity. I'm actually going to take it because it's a fun way to challenge myself.’” 

As the “Wanted” producer explains, she discovered Carpenter through the pop star’s latest runaway hits, “Espresso” and her chart-topper “Please Please Please.”

“I just remember thinking to myself, ‘She's a really interesting pop star,’” Amaarae shares while praising Carpenter’s career. “It doesn't seem like she's being forced. It seems like a very chill, mellow, genuine thing.”

Now, what piqued her interest when it came to Carpenter? Apparently, the impending arrival of the breakthrough sensation’s fifth studio album, Short n’ Sweet.

“What drew me to Sabrina was the announcement of her fifth album,” Amaarae notes. “So this is an artist that's had the opportunity to develop over time. And this isn't like, ‘Okay, we just popping out with this random pop artist, and we're going to shove her down your throats.’ No, this is development. This is an artist really trying to become an artist. And after five albums, this is their breakout moment. I could see myself in that.”

Ahead of their joint tour run, Amaarae reveals she ran into Carpenter in June after the -

two walked Vogue World during Paris Fashion Week. So, she took the opportunity to ask who exactly requested her for the singer’s tour.

“I'm at an afterparty, and I see Sabrina. And I ask her, ‘Sabrina, who made this choice for you?’” Amaarae recalls. “She's like, ‘Well, I made it myself.’ I'm like, ‘What do you mean?’ She goes, ‘My best friend put me on to your album, and we f---ing loved it. And we loved it so much that I genuinely wanted you to be on this tour.’”

Per the “Diamonds” artist, her musical counterpart believes she can “bring such an edge and an energy” to her upcoming tour that “fans can benefit from." “I was like, ‘Wow, that's crazy. But yo, I feel you. That's hard. Period,’” Amaarae adds. “Tastemaker vibes.”

When it came to Gambino’s touring offer, Amaarae says the pair already had a studio rapport from working on the former's forthcoming project, Bando Stone & the New World, the “final album” under his musical moniker, releasing on Friday, July 19. It wasn’t until after one of the rapper/actor’s A&R’s attended her live concert, though, that she learned she’d be an essential piece to his The New World Tour.

“They were like, ‘Yeah, we came to your show, and we realized your fans are a whole world in and of themselves. We love that vibe and we just wanted you to bring that to what we're about to go do on tour,'" the New York native recalls.

The A&R added that Amaarae was already “such a big part” of Gambino’s new album — she’s featured on four songs and a skit — that the tour collaboration just made sense. 

From late September to mid-October, Amaarae will support Carpenter on the North American leg of her Short n’ Sweet tour. Afterward, she’ll join Gambino for all of his overseas 2024-2025 dates, starting in France on Thursday, Oct. 31 and wrapping up in Australia on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

There’s no word yet on whether Carpenter and Amaarae will cook up a collaboration while on the road together, but the latter’s got her fingers crossed.

“I think I'm going to try to nail her on a record during the tour," she says. "I have a really great idea for a record, and I want to pair her with someone that's way out there. I want to try to put her on an interesting vibe, so fingers crossed. She's a huge pop star, so you never know. But we going to see.”

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