Behind the Creativity of Aminé's Bright & Colorful Style: Exclusive

Courtesy Photo
Aminé, "Caroline"

Adam Daniel, better known as Aminé, is a Portland-based rapper who is climbing the Billboard Hot 100 with his bright and infectious track “Caroline,” which currently sits at No. 12. The accompanying music video, which was released in June, has garnered over 47 million views. And though the rapper is a self-described “small-town boy,” his success is no coincidence -- his full, melodic music and feel-good persona are a refreshing contrast to hip-hop's darker sounds, like Drake's cold OVO beats or Travis Scott's serious verses.

Aminé, who counts Kanye West and Andre 3000 as his biggest style inspirations, wears his personality in bright colors and loud cultural references, qualities that propel both his sound and fashion forward.

The “Caroline” video was a self-directed, yellow-tinged ode to bananas and the streets of Portland, where he grew up with Ethiopian immigrant parents. Pulled together through favors from friends, the video is entirely self-styled with his crew dressed in Aminé's own clothing. He debuted his “Caroline” look with a friend’s borrowed Pulp Fiction shirt and bright yellow Docker pants he turned into the already iconic yellow shorts. “A lot of people ask me where I got the shorts from, like what designer it was,” he tells Billboard. “And I'm like nah, they're just Dockers.”

 

#happynationalbestfriendday --

A photo posted by Aminé (@heyamine) on

 

Like many great creatives, Aminé doesn’t want to be confined to one art form -- he saw the video as an opportunity to express his love of film, especially anything directed by Quentin Tarantino. Along with the song’s reference and the Pulp Fiction tee, he incorporated Big Kahuna Burger, a fictional Hawaiian-themed fast food restaurant from the Tarantino movie, in his visuals. 

Along with film, Animé keeps his eye for style relevant in his music as well. He references street brands Fubu and Dada in his Amharic-laden single “Baba,” and poses with his favorite Supreme and Opening Ceremony gear on Instagram. “My music is colorful. The intention for it is to be good for whoever's listening to it, and my style is good for me,” Aminé says of his clothing. “I just like wearing what I like and I can't tone it down. I like bright shit that pops.” And though he claims he could “never rock all-black,” he does like to stick to the basics, often wearing T-shirts with H&M swim trunks as day shorts.

 

1mill

A photo posted by Aminé (@heyamine) on

 

For his politically charged national television debut performance of “Caroline” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the emerging rapper worked with stylist Christina Pacelli to create a simple yet eye-catching outfit. Aminé sported a yellow leather moto jacket by Danish brand Soulland with custom hand lettering on the back reading “Silence and Darkness,” a Ksubi white tee, and Han Kjobenhavn jeans (a brand he wears often). The ensemble was clean and confident, much like his debut.

With an exciting merch line -- which includes a cut and sew sweater he designed himself -- and a studio album debut on the horizon of 2017, Aminé’s future career as a rapper, style icon and overall influential creative is as bright as his Dockers. When asked what to expect from him in the new year, his reply is very on-brand: “A lot of yellow.”