Amerie Interviews

Amerie Interview

Amerie Interviewby Hugo Lunny

MVRemix: What was it that brought you to sing instead of to pursue your writing aspirations/begin a small publishing business?

Amerie: I don’t know. I think I was in my last year of high school and I just had a feeling that that was what I was supposed to do. [pause] It’s really weird and it’s kind of hard to explain because I was always academically inclined and more into that stuff. Anyone would have probably thought that I would try to be a professor or a lawyer or a writer or something like that, and I’d been writing for so long. But also I’d been doing talent shows and things like that as well. As a senior in high school I just felt like “Wow, that’s really, really what I want to do.” But I went to college and still pursued my studies also at the same time pursuing a career in music. I still want to write as well.

MVRemix: How did you learn how to sing?

Amerie: I always sang. My mother sings, so that’s something I always did. As far as practicing when I was growing up, I always listened to the radio and tried to do everything that they would do on the radio. So, even if it wasn’t really my personal style of singing I would just try to work my voice to try to get it to do different things; strengthen my voice, things like that.

The raspy-ness in my voice – because I do have a raspy quality as times… I think I can pinpoint when that happened. I’m pretty sure it was my junior year of high school (I played sports – I played Basketball) and it was so weird because I never ever would get raspy, but I lost my voice for almost a week. It was because there was a Basketball tournament on, and… I was a Tomboy at the time. Anyway, I was doing a lot of yelling (everybody was doing a lot of yelling) and I was screaming and screaming so much, and at the time I didn’t really think during those times about protecting my voice and things like that. You know, you’re young and you think “Oh, it’s just there,” you don’t have to do anything special for it – like take care of it, heh. But ever since that time there would be a rasp quality to it. I think I kind of messed it up [chuckles] Or something. I’m glad it did, because it does give it it’s distinctive quality.

It’s like 50. 50 Cent has a very distinctive voice, but it’s more so distinctive after he went through the accident. I guess someone shot him. It kind of changed his voice, but it actually made it so you really know it’s him now when you hear it. It’s weird how things can happen like that.

MVRemix: Tell me about “Touch.”

Amerie: Well, the record was produced by Lil Jon and the point of the song is just it’s a sexy song. The hook is “Don’t be afraid to touch, I know you think I’m a good girl.” The reason why I wrote that was because I didn’t realize ’til a year and a half, maybe a couple of years afterwards; really until I started getting into making this new album that the impression that most people had of me based on the first album was a “round the way” girl. Really nice, sweet, cute and very goody-goody. That’s not all fake, but that’s all so single faceted. And the first time around I really didn’t talk about anything sensual or sexual. I stuck to the emotional side of relationships rather than the physical things. But I went “Wow!” It’s funny how people have this slanted view of me, but it wasn’t just because of music.

Even in high school growing up, people always had this one-sided view of me which was Amerie’s always happy, she’s always smiling and she’s goody-goody and that’s it. My closest friends knew that was a side of me but they’d also seen me upset, sad, angry; they just got to see more of who I am. So with this project I felt I’m ready to reveal a little more of myself this time. Last time I did a song about letting a guy know on a small scale that hey, you should be more confident. Don’t be afraid to really take it there with me because you assume that I’m like “this,” but you don’t really know me well.

The reason why I titled the album “Touch” is because of that. I wanted to get people to see different sides of me and to just open up a little more myself; talk about the sexier stuff that I didn’t talk about last time because I didn’t feel like it.

Original Amerie Interview in full

Amerie Chingy Disturbing Tha Peace Videos

Chingy featuring Amerie – Fly Like Me video

Chingy Bio

Hate It Or Love It

In 2007, it’s all about change for a rapper named Chingy. From his rejoining his Disturbing Tha Peace family to his joining with Def Jam to relocating to Atlanta to unveiling his newest disc Hate It or Love It, Chingy is making all the right moves. “It’s not like I’m trying to prove anything,” Chingy states “For me, it’s all about trying to make good music for everybody around the world. The one thing I wanted to do on my new disc Hate It or Love It was to try and dig a little deeper. I’m older now, and I want to talk about more things than money and cars. I’m a grown man now, and vocally I’m better at expressing myself.”

Though it has been four years since Chingy released his popular first single “Right Thurr,the world has not been the same for the popular rapper. “I come from a neighborhood known as the Bad Blocks,” he says. “I grew-up around pimps, dope fiends, whores and gangs. Thankfully, it
was music that gave me a way out. To go from being a Blood to touring Japan was unreal. Now, Japan is one of my favorite places in the world.”

Growing-up as the middle child with two older brothers and two younger sisters, Chingy has been a music fan since he was a boy. “I was already trying to rap when I was a kid,” he says, citing Run-DMC and Ice Cube as early beatbox heroes. “I also listen to my share of old school music, so I know as much about Luther Vandross as I do about NWA.”

Already writing lyrics by the time he was nine and recording raps at ten, he says, “I wish I had kept those old lyric books that I used. I had so many of them.” He pulls from these older days on one of Chingy’s favorite new tracks from Hate It or Love It, “Kick Drum,” where he laces the lyrics with some of that old school inspiration. “I just wanted to do something that was pure hip-hop,” he says. “That’s why I gave it a little Das-EFX flavor.”

Besides rhyming, in the last few years Chingy has spread his acting wings, making appearances on sitcoms My Wife and Kids, The George Lopez Show and One On One. “Acting is something I really want to take seriously,” he says. “I also would like to have my own cologne. We can call it, Confident.”

Traveling the world has also made Chingy a bit of an expert on life abroad. “Australia is another one of my favorite countries, because I feel so much love when I go over there,” Chingy says. “But, being a real history buff, I want to go to Egypt to see the pyramids. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

While signed to Capitol/Disturbing Tha Peace Records (the powerhouse team behind Ludacris), Chingy released the Double platinum selling Jackpot in 2003, which propelled the laid-back rapper into a household name, teen dream sex symbol and fly-boy lyricist. Still, his success
was not without trouble.

In a public dispute with his managers over money, Chingy broke away from the crew at DTP in 2004 and released Powerballin’ in the same year, dropping the singles “Balla Baby” and “Don’t Worry.” Putting out his third album Hoodstar in 2006 under his own label, Slot-A-Lot
Records and Capitol, the album had two popular singles–“Pullin’ Me Back” and “Dem Jeans.”

In April 2007 Chingy signed back with DTP, and left Capitol Records for Island Def Jam. “It was all a mistake,” says Chingy. “I was new to the industry, and I trusted people I shouldn’t have. However, after the Billboard Awards last year, me, Luda, Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon met. Afterwards, I was back with the DTP; we left all our issues in that room at the MGM Grand.”

The first single is “Fly Like Me,” produced by L.T Moe and features Amerie. “Many of my fans are women, so I wanted to create a track that spoke directly to them.”

From the hypnotic debut single “Fly Like Me” to the cultural commentary of “They Don’t Know” (featuring Anthony Hamilton), Chingy is on a mission to be taken seriously.” In addition, Hate It or Love It (whose title track is hotter than the third rail) features appearances from Ludacris, Amerie, Rick Ross, Bobby Valentino, Trey Songz, and Anthony Hamilton. Still, while there is no shame in the party vibe, Chingy also wanted to pay tribute to the “real women” in his life on “Lovely Ladies.”

Produced by Khao, the sizzling song, says Chingy, “Was written with my mom, my sisters and my two grand mothers in mind. If it wasn’t for women guiding me when I was younger, who knows where I would be. Just because I’m not considered a ‘conscious rapper’ like my man Common, doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about things.”

Another track that Chingy is quite proud of is “They Don’t Know,” which loudly speaks to critics from Bill O’Reilly to Oprah who has verbally slammed hip-hop culture. “Those who are attacking rap need to take a closer look at the communities that produce this music,” Chingy
says. “They are ignoring the real problems like poverty and poor school systems, then they blame the very people who are the victims. Rappers aren’t creating these problems, we’re just telling the world about the dramas we see.”

Unafraid of showing his true colors, the beauty of Hate It or Love It can be heard in Chingy’s honest lyrics, impeccable flow and precise production. If you are ready for a flight, this is the disc that will take you there.

Amerie Chingy Videos

Chingy & Amerie behind the scenes at the video shoot for Chingy’s brand new single “Fly Like Me”

Chingy & Amerie behind the scenes at the video shoot for Chingy’s brand new single “Fly Like Me”

Chingy’s official return to DTP “Hate It Or Love It” will be in stores 12/18