Sit back, close your eyes and listen. Is it Amy Winehouse singing? Then you open your eyes and discover 12-year-old Ameya Kohli, who is a perfect vocal match.

This talented soul singer from Harrow is the youngest artist to be signed by D/A Music Group and if you asked her, You Know I’m No Good would be something of a personal anthem because Ameya or AmeyA - her stage name - suffers from Asperger syndrome, a form of autism which makes her deeply sensitive and self aware.

She finds social interaction and communication difficult and will often have extreme anxiety and tendencies to fear the worst, as do many sufferers of this hidden disability, but Ameya who also sings and writes her own songs, draws upon her struggles to create meaningful, relatable lyrics, which she combines with her unique sound that fuses elements of pop and jazz.

Her father. Sanjeev Kohli, explains that it is difficult for adults to understands Asperger syndrome let alone children and this is where the deep emotions in Ameya’s songs comes from. “There’s a hurt inside,” he says, “she yearns for good friends.”

On writing her latest single Release Me, she says: “Sometimes in my head I’ll start humming a tune and sometimes I’ve just picked out a few words that I thought were right for the song.”

Ameya has a great bond with her mother, Nidhi Kohli, who understands how her daughter feels and helps her write the songs. She says: “She’s not somebody who will say I’ll sing everything exactly how you want me to, she definitely has her own opinion and if she doesn’t like something I’ll change it. For example she says I can’t use the word love in any song because she thinks it’s cheesy.”

Speaking about her condition ahead of World Autism Awareness Week, which runs from April 2 to 8, Nidhi adds: “She was first diagnosed with complex learning difficulties from the age of two and a half. We didn’t know much about it but we knew that there was something about her that was different, she would never play with other children and was always by herself.

“She found organisation difficult and sequencing, listening to instructions - it was the speech and language side of things she’d take things too literally or not understand what was being asked of her.

“They say some people with Asperger’s are brilliant at maths but she struggles. With singing she’ll remember the words and the lyrics and the melodies but she has certain difficulties on the academic side. Even with instruments she finds it hard because there’s a way of playing and learning the notes so she struggles with that. It’s the listening she can pick up.”

While singing comes naturally to this former Northwood College pupil, whose inspirations include Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele, performing can be a challenge. “I never look at the audience - I focus on a clock or something,” says Ameya, who has taken part in Teen Star and open mic competitions. “I feel that it helps me.

“One time I tried looking at the audience and it was probably the worst my voice has ever sounded.

“Half way through I’m settling in a bit more, but it is still very nerve-wracking waiting for the song to end and I’m worried that because I’m so nervous my voice is going to muck up, so I’m always rehearsing the words again and again. When the audience applauds at the end I feel really happy.”

Ameya, who carries a lucky charm with her when she performs, also puts together prompts to help learn and remember a song. She will often colour code certain words so she knows to bring it down, add power or emotion. Recently she has even conquered being interviewed on live radio, but says it is kind of strange sometimes hearing her voice back on it.

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Despite her promising career in music, Ameya, says she still finds it hard socialising with friends. “All the time - it’s like a challenge for me to be with them. I’m even conscious when I’m eating in the dining hall for example; even just drinking and eating I feel like they’re watching my every move so sometimes I prefer just to eat alone by myself.

“I tried explaining a few things to teachers but they don’t really get it. Mum definitely understands me the best. I can speak openly to her, even for me it’s quite challenging to speak out to a teacher, I don’t really feel they could help me that much.”

But there are some subject she says that make socialising easier she says. “Art especially makes me relaxed and takes my mind off things and makes me feel happy like singing. Sometimes just when doing art I find it easier to make conversation with people.”

The Kohli family, who lived in Harrow for 15 years, moved to Ascot, Surrey, last year in order for Ameya to go to a smaller, more nurturing school explains Sanjeev, and says his daughter, who loves being in a recording studio, is much happier there.

Ameya has recorded several songs, which she hopes to release over the next year.