A lot of people suppose that they know what they want to be at a young age. Maybe many do, but it seems for the most part we all begin our career journeys in a quite blind state, searching and wondering where next to go. Amerie was no different, and although creative, her academic strengths lead people around her to believe she'd go into a completely different profession.
Years before Richard Harrison produced the hugely successful "Crazy In Love" by Beyonce, he met with Amerie in a MacDonalds parking lot at which time she wowed him with her singing ability. From then on the road to success had to be traveled. Amerie signed to Columbia/Sony and released her debut album "All I Have" in 2002 which almost reached platinum status. She continued moving forward, taking acting roles and collaborating with other artists up until this point. 2005 will see Amerie's sophomore album "Touch" released on April 26th, hot off the heels of her hugely successful "1 Thing" single.
MVRemix: "1 Thing" sounds like it has some D.C. Go-Go music elements. Is this what you and Richard Harrison were going for?
Amerie: Definitely. I went to school in D.C., I was there for numerous years and Rich was also out of D.C. The first album we actually had Go-Go elements in one of the records that we did, but it was a slower kind of vibe. It was funny because they actually played that song before the first album was even finished; they were playing that song on the radio. It never did end up being a single. We were thinking about it, but we just opted to go with a different one instead. This time we wanted to revisit that and make it up-tempo. It was great because we also really wanted to show that D.C. kind of side, which was great because he's out of there, I'm out of there. And also Chris Robinson, the director (Chris and I directed the video together) is out of Baltimore. So we kind of wanted to give it that whole flavour.
MVRemix: How do you feel being compared to bigger stars like J. Lo and Beyonce because your current single is sonically very similar to past hits of theirs?
Amerie: I don't know. I guess because we have the same producer working on our record. The Neptunes, when they first came out had a very distinctive sound and were doing their tracks but it kind of had a running theme. Rich and I have been working together since no-one knew who we were. So, I don't know. I think it's kind of something that we created together. For the people who had my last album, they got to hear that. But for the people who didn't, it's kind of new for them.
MVRemix: Now with regards to your last album, do you feel "All I Have" received the promotion it deserved?
Amerie: I think it did really well. I think it did well for a first album, there were a lot of people who were coming out... new artists were coming out at the time. But I think probably one of things was I came out, and again, nobody knew who I was and no-one knew who Rich Harrison was (he was an unknown producer at the time), and that was a time when everyone was big into cliques. You know? If you were with a smaller record label that was kind of like a family, then you would sell one artist off of the other. We didn't have that. We just had our music and that's it. So I think we really did well, I ended up almost going platinum - we went gold. I think we sold something like 700,000 records, I think it was a great start.
MVRemix: Oh, definitely.
Amerie: Thank you! [chuckles]
MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"
Amerie: Oh! You know who? Angelina Jolie a la Lara Croft. I am so ready to be in "Tomb Raider 3." But yeah, they need to set us up against each other.
MVRemix: With regards to film, what's going on with that? Do you have anything in the works or...?
Amerie: Right now we're looking at different scripts. For the most part, the scripts film in like April or May and that's exactly when I'm promoting the album and I want to go on the road and I want to be able to do everything that's related to the project. So, I've kind of decided to opt out of some projects, but I definitely want to do some movies later on in the year depending on what's going on with the album. I think it's definitely something that deserves my full attention. Just like when I did "First Daughter," I didn't start recording the album while I was in the movie because I really wanted to keep my focus.
MVRemix: Do you have any plans to further your creative writing?
Amerie: Definitely. I was a writer first. I was writing stories and stapling the fronts and the backs together and making covers since I was in fourth grade. That's definitely something that... I never like to talk about something before it's done. But I can say that people can definitely expect those types of things in the future.
MVRemix: Aside from the album, what else have you been working on musically?
Amerie: I just wrapped the album last week. We just finished the album last week with a song that Carl Thomas and I wrote called "Can We Go," which is hot. It was wonderful to work with him. He's someone I've wanted to work with ever since he first came out, before I even started working on my stuff. There are some other things but I hate to talk about them before they're done! [laughs]
MVRemix: Any last words?
Amerie: I just want to say that I feel the album is truly, truly enjoyable. I don't just say this because it's my album, but I think it's a hot album. It's really different, it's a lot of fun too. I think it's important to express yourself and take yourself seriously in a sense, but also to loosen up and have fun and not take yourself too seriously. I think it's hot. I think for the people that loved the last album, we have things for you - the slower stuff, mid-tempo's, the driving records. For the people who can't listen all the time and are like "Oh, we want her to do some faster stuff, some up-tempo stuff," we've got ya.
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"...We didn't have that. We just had our music and that's it. So I think we really did well, I ended up almost going platinum - we went gold. I think we sold something like 700,000 records, I think it was a great start."