Ameriie: Love, Music, Life07.13.11
She’s at it again. Sultry songstress Ameriie is getting ready to make us fall in love with her and her music even more than ever before. With her fifth studio album Cymatika Vol. 1 set to release this coming spring, the newlywed is feeling like a new woman with much to share. Splashing onto the scene in 2002 with All I Have and making her unforgettable mark with the smash hit 1 Thing, Ameriie is going for a fresh, electronica sound in this latest project, pulling inspiration from her natural curiosity about the world and pouring her thoughts into several songs personally penned by the Grammy-nominated artist. And with her soulmate and new hubby former Columbia Records executive Lenny Nicholson by her side, Ameriie is opening up with Cotton Candy about the intimate wedding proposal in Paris, the fanciful Caribbean wedding and her evolution into an even more mature, vibrant musician.
Cotton Candy: You recently got married. Tell us, how did you know you’d fallen in love and you were ready to get married?
Ameriie: Lenny [Nicholson, a former Columbia Records executive] and I dated for a good amount of time. Actually, when we got engaged we had been dating for about six years, and I think we kind of knew we always wanted to get married. That’s something we always knew; it was just more so, I think, the timing. It wasn’t a rush. Before Lenny and I dated, I always said, “I want to get married. Not too early, but I want to get married a little later in life and just take my time.” For me, I think it was just the natural thing. Plus (laughs) I think Lenny had to wait awhile because he had to surprise me because we had always talked about getting married (laughs). So, he had to wait and make it a surprise. Everyone knew about it except for me for nearly a couple of months. My sister already knew that he had planned to [propose] for probably about a year. And my family actually knew when it was going to happen, how it was specifically going to happen and everything a couple months before it actually happened.
CC: How did Lenny propose?
Ameriie: Well, he proposed in Paris. That was a surprise too. We actually were in Paris, and it was really a cold day. I was kind of complaining a lot because I was tired, and the plane had lost our luggage. All of this stuff had happened. We were out at the Eiffel Tower, and we went to “our spot.” Our spot is this crêpe stand that’s located right across the street from the Eiffel Tower. And every time we visit Paris, we always go there because we love the crêpes there, and it’s our spot (laughs). So we always have to go visit it. So it was nice. We went and got crêpes, and we went into the Eiffel Tower, and that’s where it all happened. But it was funny because I was complaining so much. I thought it was going to rain, and there was a wind advisory for high winds (laughs). He was even considering postponing it because he thought maybe it wasn’t the right time. But it ended up being the perfect time. I suddenly wasn’t tired anymore, cold anymore, and I was really awake. It was exciting!
CC: Now that you are a married woman, do you feel that your fans will see you differently?
Ameriie: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s pretty much the same. If anything, maybe some of the girls who are married may feel like I joined their club (giggles).
CC: Your fans became familiar with a younger Ameriie, with the debut All I Have in 2002. But now you are more mature and still vibrant female artist. How do you feel you’ve grown as a different and more mature artist?
Ameriie: I just know more now. I feel like I just have more knowledge. As people, we are always growing. And that’s the thing. When you are in middle school, you feel like you know everything, and you feel like you have a handle on everything that’s going on. Then you go to high school, you realize, “Wow, I was such a kid then. Now I really know what’s going on. I know about the world now.” Then you get to college you see that you didn’t know that much in high school, and you feel like you really know what’s going on. Then when you get out of college you say, “Oh my goodness. I was such a college kid. What did I know?” As people, we are always growing, and we are always changing. It never stops. Even when I talk to someone who is 50 or 60 years old, they will reference themselves when they were in their 40s and state how they didn’t know anything when they were 40 years old. You will always feel like you are learning because as a human being, you are always learning. That process of growing will never stop. You’ll always continue to learn more.
CC: With that constant growth and change, how will that translate into your new album?
Ameriie: Well, this is my fifth album. With the new album [Cymatika Vol. 1] I wanted to talk about some different things. Again, I’m always growing, always changing. I’ve always thought about a lot of things, interested in different types of works. People who know me know that I love reading history, quantum physics and medi-physics. But I never really had that in my music before. In fact, some of my friends were saying, “The stuff that we talk about when we are just chilling at home, I would just love to hear it in your music.” And I would tell them, “When it’s the right time.” Now is that time. So, Cymatia is really about what we experience as human beings: who we really are, what’s our purpose, even the quest for figuring out our purpose. It’s about how to just live and love and live to our fullest potential. All of these things are the subject matter for the album. I talked about being true to yourself and who you are, not running from yourself and being intimidated from society’s rules and how you should fit into a box. It represents not only not fitting into a box as an artist with a genre, but stepping outside of the box as other people try to place us into a a box that doesn’t allow us to be ourselves. The album is definitely conceptual with different topics based around humanity.
CC: When did you realize that you wanted a career in music?
Ameriie: When I was younger I was always doing creative things. I’d like to color and paint and draw and sketch. I loved to write short stories, and I would write comic books with my friends. One time I wrote this long novel. I don’t where that is. It’s probably in my parent’s storage somewhere (giggles). But I wrote this long novel that I started in 3rd grade and was writing until 6th or 7th grade. It was a story that I just kept adding to, like a saga. … But, I was in my last year in high school, I thought, “I think I’m really going to pursue being a professional recording artist. That’s what I want to do.” But I lived in Alaska at the time. And I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I just knew I was going to pursue music. I always tell people, “If you have a dream, go after it.” The answer will never be no, unless you just don’t try and go after your dream. … You have to believe in yourself. You know, so many people can always tell you why something cannot be done and have an explanation why something can’t be done. But that doesn’t have anything to do with you.
CC: Then how does a person get past feeling discouraged?
Ameriie: I just stand for what I believe. You want to look at everything and say, “Why does this not work?” Think about what you can do differently in a situation where you or others have failed. That’s what you do. Even though there are some people who will be discouraging, you have to be your biggest cheerleader and be the one who believes. In fact, sometimes you may be the only one who believes, and friends and family may not be able to see the vision that you have. You have to believe in yourself. You have to go for it. Even if no one has been able to do something before you, it doesn’t mean it cannot be done. It just means it hasn’t been done yet.
CC: Why do you think your fans connect and relate to you?
Ameriie: I know a lot of my fans tell me that my songs have gotten them through hard times, or they love the feeling that the music gives them at a certain time period in their lives. With music, it’s not just about the artist. When people love music, movies, art – myself included – it’s always about how does it make you feel about you and your life. … Music evokes a feeling about where they are in their lives or what they remember in their lives. So, [my music] is a vehicle in a way that transports you to a time or a feeling.
CC: Do you feel like people get a real sense of who you really are in the media?
Ameriie: I think they know me as much as a person can understand me without actually knowing me personally. The people we are familiar with in our lives we know to a certain extent. But there’s always a side of them that you are not familiar with, and you don’t know them completely. So when you think about someone you’ve never met and you only see through media, you’ll only know a part of them. I think through my music and through interviews that I do, I feel that people get the best sense that they can. I think with this album [Cymatika] people are going to get to know me in a bigger sense and in a deeper sense who I am and what I’m about. … I’m just me, and I live life.
CC: What does the title of your album, Cymatika, mean?
Ameriie: Well I changed the spelling from cymatics to Cymatika. Cymatics is the study of sounds. Sounds and vibrations have geometric shapes. And to me that’s a fact that opens up a whole door of the mysterious. To me music is a universal language. And music is vibrations. It causes people to feel happy, sad, excited or even ready to fight. (giggles) So I feel music really has [changed the shape] of our emotions; music is vibrations, and we are being exposed to those vibrations. To me, naming the album Cymatika is talking about the vibrations and really how the song speaks to us as human beings, the spiritual side versus physical.
Written by: Natasha Danielle Smith