ASICS’ philosophy of keeping a healthy balance between body and mind has been an integral part of the brand’s legacy since day one and continues to show in all of its ventures as it strides into the future. Amongst the 2021 releases were the Novablast 2, which was accompanied by the MindUplifter Tool, a virtual tool enabling people to see the effects of movement and exercise on their minds through facial scanning and scientifically developed questions.
Earlier this year, ASICS also revived its iconic GT-II sneaker. The shoe was first released in 1986 and featured ASICS’ innovative GEL technology cushioning, which ensures long-lasting comfort, durability, optimized movement, and stability. It was the first ASICS shoe to be sold internationally and quickly became a favorite among runners. The GT-II’s 2021 release was in celebration of the model’s 35th anniversary and for the campaign ASICS’ tapped London-born musician Ama Lou.
The 23-year-old singer and songwriter began writing her own songs at the age of 11. Her song ”TBC” put her on the radar and helped her establish herself as a newcomer in the music industry. Ama is a true self-made artist: she writes, produces, and publishes all of her own music and music videos. For an all-around creative force like her, maintaining a healthy mind and body is essential. We caught up with her to chat about her creative process, her daily routine, and more.
Can you tell me a bit about your background and how where you grew up influenced your music?
I’m from London. I think the place where an individual grows up has the majority influence over who a person is and becomes, so of course, London will be inherent in anything I do really. But I haven’t taken anymore from it than the next person would take out of the place they grew up. It’s foundational and I'm very aware of that but it's not the source of all my inspiration necessarily.
How did isolation affect your creativity and production levels?
I am a very independent person. I spend a lot of time on my own anyway so the isolation periods over the last two years (still being empathetic to the circumstances in which they came about) were a great comfort to me. They came at a perfect time to be able to slow down and solely focus on my work and this album, without any other life pressures.
How was the process of making this upcoming album for you?
I made it with a great friend and I think the process has been mostly healing for both of us. I have been immersed in this world, we created for so long and so intensely at times it completely becomes you. So yeah it's been everything. A journey. I'm sure later down the line I will be able to explain it a little better. When we started coming to the end, I pivoted to start building this EP, ‘AT LEAST WE HAVE THIS’ as a fun preface project to the album. I wanted to create it in a month and drop it before the album as I’ve been on such a long hiatus.
Do you practice mindfulness or anything spiritual?
Yes, both. It would be too much to explain in one conversation so I won’t! But yes. My whole being is spiritual and a lot of the balance I find in life comes from those practices.
What are some of the things you do to look after your mental health?
Walking. I walk all the time, it’s a really good way for me to process, reflect, and get clarity.
How important is your routine?
My routine is very important to me. My mind tends to be in a lot of different places at the same time so I like to put certain things on autopilot to keep me in my senses. Of course, at different periods I will have different projects going on that take me out of that space but that’s why it’s important to me to find that consistency in routine when I can. A normal day looks like this: wake up, shower, start working in my office, then drink a coffee, work some more, drink another coffee, work some more, eat, go for a walk, work some more, meditate, sleep.
You’ve said before that being as authentically you as possible, in every sense, is what you aim for — going off of this, can you describe your aesthetic and style?
I would translate that to my style in a way that means I just choose and wear whatever I feel like that day or for that period. I don’t have an adhered style, I just tend to like what I like without putting a cap or perimeters on things that I choose so I can often surprise myself. I sometimes think my subconscious buys unexpected things so I can learn about their history. I really enjoy fashion history and the origin story of fabrics and other wears.
What are some of your go-to garments of choice?
I am in constant search of the perfect pair of white pants or jeans, they are always a go-to for me. And ASICS, I have a great amount at this point so I am able to alternate but always have a pair that works and they are just the comfiest. In summer, a tank top and in winter a cashmere jumper or vest.
As you are the recent face of ASICS’ campaign for the GT-II, how do you feel you relate to the brands’ concept of Sound Mind, Sound Body philosophy?
I mean that’s my whole situation. I feel like I am always clearing out and listening to my body and self so I can be at peace and in harmony with my whole being. So I can relate a lot. I think ASICS stands for betterment, not perfection, as perfection is a perceptive concept which often stands in the way of betterment. And so in that, a sound mind and a sound body is something I truly do understand