Alas, summer has arrived. No, your local
weatherman didnt remind you when the first day of summer officially appears on
the calendar, but that Ego Trippin sample playing on your radio laced with
high notes by Amerie is the smoke signal fans have been patiently waiting for.
It was 2002 when Why Dont We Fall In Love captivated music lovers and in a
way, resonated the sound of summer love woven through every octave carried on
through her first hit. That single set the tone for Ameries debut album All
I Have with
songs like Talkin to Me and the fan favorite I Just Died. Since then, shes
unofficially been crowned the Princess of Summer when 1 Thing took over the
radio a second time off her sophomore album Touch (2005).However, a disconnect between the R&B
darling and Columbia Records left the songstress unsure about her future, and
the hesitation left fans in the States with twiddled thumbs while fans abroad
received her third album Because I Love It (2007). Such an absence left
room for an overnight boom for one Umbrella Queen to take over and the other
Queen of the Roc to solidify her top position on the food chain of female
entertainers. As the airwaves and news articles continue to be saturated with
the same faces and the same attention grabbing antics, news recently broke out
that the Fitchburg, Massachusetts singer signed to Def Jam. Soon followed was
her single Why R U and the announcement of her fourth album In Love &
Touching on the complicated quandaries of relationships, In Love & War is a direct extension
from her debut album and picking up where she left off with her last hit 1
Thing. Is all fair in love and war? Is this Def Jam move a better situation
than her previous slot at Columbia? What about the Umbrella Queen and the
Queen of the Roc? As Amerie Mi Marie Rogers explains, in order to win you have
to be comfortable in your own skin.
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: The world has been
waiting for your return
Amerie: Youre making me sound so special!
AHHA: What has been going on with you?
Amerie: One, I did an album overseas. I didnt
release it here because I was transitioning from [Columbia] to [Def Jam] and I
wasnt totally sure if I wanted to leave yet. You have to make sure that you
know. You cant just tell the label, Im not feeling it anymore. I want to
leave, and then you actually change your mind. It changes the whole vibe of
everything, so I wanted to make sure and when I was sure, then we worked on
negotiating out of the situation. At the time Ive been talking to L.A. [Reid]
and [weve] been talking back and forth for a few years, so it seemed like it
was going to be a good time.
I went from one situation to the next and I
didnt tell anyone. Actually, people were speculating for a long time, but I
just went from one [label] right to the other until people found out on their
own or until the new project comes out, I guess. I was working on that and that
album was Hip-Hop, Soul, Funk and 80s new wave music fused together. Its kind
of what people are doing at this time, but not with the dance aspect of it. Now
its kind of like Im going into a new project In Love & War created this album and
its like a fusion of Hip-Hop, Rock and Soul. Its like a direct extension of
my first album and an extension of 1 Thing.
AHHA: Did you feel Columbia was down for your
project? Their priority artist on their roster seems to be Beyoncé.
Amerie: Every label should never have one
priority artist. Thats not good because contracts run out and then what are
you going to do? Its always good to just nurture different talent and everyone
has a different flavor. I just felt like I loved the staff, they were really,
really cool on a personal level and had some really creative ideas, but it just
wasnt meshing. A lot people said I really didnt get the support that I
shouldve had, marketing and all of those things, but it really wasnt you just
really have to have that great match. Its like a marriage. It just wasnt
working and I felt like that a little after my first project, kind of after my
second one, too and then I was like, I dont know! Im going to give this one
more try one this one! and then I was like, O.K., this is not going to work,
and thats when I decided it just needed to be a change.
AHHA: When it comes to female artists, Columbia has
Beyoncé and Def Jam has Rihanna. With you coming in, you already have your
whole package to compete with that. How do you feel about it?
Amerie: Its great because as far as [Def
Jam] theres Rihanna, theres Chrisette Michelle, theres Karina, theres
Mariah whos actually technically on Island, but still under the umbrella-those
are some of the female artists off hand singing wise, but everybodys
different. Everyone has their own flavor. To me thats awesome and what I
love is that nobody is trying to make you be like the other artist, which is
great. I always had creative control over my own sound, so that hasnt change
and thats awesome, so Im glad its still continuing here. I love that
everyone is excited about your own thing, which is to me incredible.
AHHA: How proactive have you been with your project
at Def Jam?
Amerie: As far as what stage are we in, or
AHHA: Well, in moving from Columbia there were some
things you werent comfortable with, so moving to Def Jam
Amerie: You know what? The thing about it, even
on my other label the people, I love them. I have some of them who are actually
my real friends. Well go out to dinner and everything, so were really cool
like that. What I love about people over [at Def Jam] is that people are very
passionate, but I love that they are getting it. When someone is in a
zone, I think that Def Jam is really good at the company in general is really
big, but they can move and operate like a smaller company. Why Dont We Fall In Love – Amerie
With music, you have to know when to switch
gears, what people are feeling, what the temperature is on the street and I
think Def Jam is really great at that. Its like the best of both worlds. We
had meetings about packaging and meetings about video and its good because Im
used to doing everything myself. The 1 Thing [single] I co-directed the video
and even with my first single writing the treatments I still like to be very
active, but I also love that everyone is so passionate and everybody has great
ideas that it can be this brainstorming party. Everybody is kind of fresh and
young thinking out the box. I love that.
AHHA: In Love & War is the title of your
new album. Is it a concept album?
Amerie: Its kind of like a concept album in
that its all about the tumultuous times of relationships. Theres no
easy-breezy love songs on there. If there is a Wow! This love is great! in a
song, Im still talking about how we did go through that other stuff, so now its great. Its about
the hard times. Its about the growing pains. Why R U is a record about being
so in love, but hating how that person got this hold on you and knowing that
this relationship isnt really good and knowing you cant do anything about it,
because youre just so into it, unfortunately.
AHHA: Why R U is your first single, but its not
what were used to hearing from you.
Amerie: You know what? Thats what I was saying.
was an extension of the first album, but its going into this other area as
well. This album is a direct extension from the first album combined with the
extension of 1 Thing. A lot of people are saying this single is very
reminiscent of my first album.
AHHA: The world is going crazy for this new record as
they were going for with 1 Thing, what do you have to say about lighting not
being able to strike twice?
Amerie: Lightening does not usually strike twice.
If you have a whole bunch of lightening hitting your backyard in a different
bunch of places then thats good! [laughs]1 Thing – Amerie
AHHA: Your Twitter game is pretty heavy.
Amerie: I was doing a little Twitter and then I
wasnt doing that much, because people are always like, Why dont you Twitter
more? Im like, No. Im good, Im good. Maybe like once a week is good
enough! I have my own website now, but were revamping it and its going to be
kind of like a weblog and its going to have interesting things and its not
just all about me. I dont want it to be about me all the time. I also want to
share with people what Im interested in. It doesnt necessarily have to be
related to me, but it could be great book that I love that was written by this
AHHA: Are you going to be more interactive on your
site than how you are on your Twitter?
Amerie: I dont know how interactive it will be.
I think it will be more of a sharing just open my suitcase up or my purse or my
bag or just let people inside of my head. Thats probably the best way to
describe it. Just letting people in my head.