Amerie Talks IN LOVE & WAR With!

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Three albums deep into her career, R&B singer Amerie still
manages to find herself in emotional turmoil. But like the powerful
music that’s graced her previous efforts, she’s turned to music to deal
with heartache and happiness on her forthcoming album In Love & War, her first album for Def Jam.

Following an amicable split with her previous home at Columbia,
Amerie has already completed recording for and is currently mixing the
highly anticipated In Love & War, which sees the artist
treading on both old and new ground. “This one is more hip-hop, soul
and ‘60s and ‘70s era rock fused together,” she says in the restaurant
of her New York City hotel. “There’s different kind of rock music, but
the rock during that time was very rooted in blues. See, I didn’t
reference anyone, because it wouldn’t be honest to say it’s like that
or this. I do listen to Led Zeppelin and some of that stuff, but it’s
not that.”

From the sound of her album’s lead single “Why R U?,”
there seems to be less rock influence and way more of an old school
hip-hop vibe this go-around. The single, produced by The Buchanans,
features a sample from Ultramagnetic MCs’ “Ego Trippin” and is as close
to hip-hop that R&B can get.

And she didn’t stop there. The remix for the single boasts a sample
of Whodini’s “One Love,” featuring a smorgasbord of rappers including
Nas, Rick Ross, Jadakiss and her own signing Kain. But despite the
version that you may have heard blasting on the radio or making its way
around the Internet, the remix to “Why R U?” wasn’t the way she
intended for you to hear it. “The remix just leaked, and it was coming
soon anyways, but the version that’s out there is not even mixed,” she
explains. “All the guys did it at different times and places, at
different studios by different engineers. My levels are here, we were
putting drops in the track – but it sounds good. I love the record, but
I’m just like ugh, it’s not mixed yet! I hate that!”

Amerie claims that the reason that her records have been slowly
leaking out to the public comes with the change of scenery. Before she
headed over to Def Jam, she considered herself a “control freak” when
it came to protecting her tracks, recording songs on her own drive and
handing it over to the label when it was all finished. “I never really
had issues with leakages before,” she says. “That’s because I used all
my own stuff, I didn’t give music to anyone. I give the label music,
but Sony? They never had my music. Ever. I also didn’t have any
leakages, so go figure. But it’s cool. I’m not like, devastated.”

You would figure that she would hold it against Def Jam for the
leaks that have sprung from the project, but she’s pretty low-key as
far as musicians go. In fact, her switch from Sony to Def Jam was
entirely drama-free, with no formal announcement made by any involved
party – and the reason that it flew under the radar. “I didn’t leave
one, and I already knew I was going to the other,” she says. “There was
no drama in that. There was just negotiating a whole situation, which
took some time, but that got done, and I didn’t make an announcement
about it. I just would rather work on the project and then when it
comes out, people will know. But people speculated about it for months.”

Her public silence also stemmed from the fact that she shies from
the limelight, referring to herself as a “homebody” that doesn’t leave
the house much. But while she’s been consciously avoiding the paps and
steering clear of the clubs, Amerie has also been keeping her long-term
relationship with her manager under wraps, going so far as playing coy
when directly asked about it. “Am I?” she says with a smirk as she
plays off a question about whether or not she’s in a relationship. “I
don’t know, maybe,” she adds with a laugh, batting her eyes as her
manager looks on from the adjacent table.

Much of that personal relationship fuels In Love & War, which is
mainly inspired by her romantic past and stories that her friends have
disclosed. “The things that I’ve gone through life in general, the
lessons I’ve learned, those definitely find their way in there,” she
states. “The album is very much rooted in things that I’ve been through
and what my girlfriend have been through. It’s so funny, because we can
listen to the album and kind of laugh, because it’s so specific, stuff
that actually happened that we’ve talked about. I’m like, ‘Is that OK
that I put that in there?’”

So far, the tracks that have been released from the project show
Amerie at her most visceral, with the rest of her album promised to
take the listener even deeper into her world. In Love & War will
also feature guest appearances from Trey Songz and Fabolous and
boasting a rich production roster from beatsmiths like Christopher
“Tricky” Stewart, Bryan Michael Cox, Dre & Vidal, Teddy Riley, Sean
Garrett and more.

Before the album drops, Amerie plans on releasing a lot more music
to build some hype around the release, having entertained the idea of
doing a sequel to her excellent mixtape Because I Love It Vol. 1 and having already released a mash-up mixtape dubbed What Cha Know About Amerie
with DJ Ruckus. But at the end of the day, Amerie just wants people to
enjoy listening to her music as much as she loves to make it. “Really
what it is, I love to create,” she says. “It’s just fun for me, so
that’s why I do it. So hopefully, there will be more music that’s out.
I just really want people to hear the project, because it’s not really
about any one record. And I want people to hear it and get a feel for
what it is.”

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