Ameriie Shares Exclusive Details on Upcoming Album, 'Cymatika Vol. 1'
Ameriie has kept busy since the release of her last album, "In Love & War" (2009), both in love and work. The singer took time off before recording her upcoming fifth studio album, "Cymatika Vol. 1" (Spring 2012), to plan a "magical" Carribean wedding with music executive, Lenny Nicholson.
After stepping off the plane, Mrs. Nicholson clicked her heels to the studio to continue working on "Cymatika Vol 1," which she says is 80% finished. Ameriie shared exclusive details with Billboard.com's The Juice on the makings of "Cymatika Vol. 1"
The Juice: How has marrying Lenny affected you musically?
Ameriie: It hasn't really changed things. We've been together for a long time, a little over seven years. We've always been a team. He's always kind of been my muse. We're so set in terms of a recording process. I always bounce ideas off of him, he always helps me figure out exactly the sound I want.
"In Love & War" was about the gray area between being in love and not. Now that you're a married woman, is that something you touch upon on "Cymatika Vol. 1"?
This particular album is different as far as the subject matter. I kind of went in a place I didn't go before. Relationships are very important to talk about but I also want to go a little deeper in to what it is that makes us human and what we have in common. Not just only from a romantic aspect, but what it is that makes us tick. I consider myself to be a very spiritual person. I love science, I love quantum physics and metaphysics. I just wanted to put that into my music.
You can figure out how to include anything in music, you just [have] to make sure it sounds good. I don't like to be too preachy, so a lot of the stuff is subliminal or it has such a driving beat so that if you don't want to hear the message, you don't have to. You'll either recognize what it is immediately because you're into the same thing or you want to investigate it further.
What are the core genres of the album?
Trance and electronic. 80's new wave, but not in the sense of the sound, particularly, but more so the song structures themselves. I really wanted to try different things. Even with vocal approach, some of the songs my sister listened to and she didn't even know it was me. I wanted to experiment with androgyny. Some of the ways I was singing, it's kind of androgynous. I felt like, if we strip away who we are on the outside physically including gender… ultimately, we are spirits that have no gender. To me, putting that androgyny into some moments of the songs was able to bring that in. It was a lot of things that I believe, feel, and my outlook on life put into this album, but not just in lyrical ways. It's in the lyrics, it's in the song structure, it's in the vocal approach. I'm really excited about sharing it.
It's a straight trajectory of the "Because I Love It" album which was released in Europe in 2007. In other ways, it's so far down the line it's completely unlike anything I've done.
We've heard you're recording this album in "DNA repairing frequencies," is this true?
To record in 528 [Hz] you have to have specific equipment. Everything we have right now is dissonant. The way everything's tuned, everything is on a frequency that is not in tune with nature. If you go to certain websites, you can hear songs in the one frequency we use now. Everything we listen to right now is actually dissonant.
What I would like to do is record in just [528 Hz] frequency but you have to get that equipment. You have to get producers to tune in their equipment. They can do it but they have to overhaul everything to get into this program to create that sound. Someone told me I should talk to a [specific] engineer because Erykah Badu or someone was experimenting with this as well. But again, you have to overhaul all the equipment. All the sounds that a guy has in his producer's box, all his drum kits, everything, needs to be retuned. It's a big project.
Which producers are you working with?
Different people, but two I've worked really closely are Andre Harris, of Dre & Vidal but has branched off to do his own thing. He did probably a majority of [the album]. He and his team really captured what I wanted and what I really wanted to go for with the project. I also worked with Riley Urick who is just an awesome, awesome producer. He creates things from scratch right before your eyes, really quickly.
Will you and Rich Harrison work together?
We spoke about it not too long ago and I think we wanted to do something with this project. I went over it with him, what I was looking for in general, but we didn't go too in depth because he's been working a lot with his artists. I think that would be something a lot of people have been waiting for and something we're ultimately going to do. It's just a matter of when and in what way. We have great energy. We're going to have to have a block of time where we can sit and really create.
Tell us about a few songs from the album.
There's a song called "Run For Cover." It's kind of like a metaphor [for] self suppression. We're suppressing who we really are or our ideas. We're truly not living 100% authentically with ourselves and representing ourselves to the world as who we really are. We're always running. But we're not running from someone else, we're really running from ourselves. Ultimately you'll run out of places to hide because you can never really run from your true self.
There's another song I wrote called "Sodom and G," like Sodom and Gomorrah. The song on the surface is about a broken relationship. It's destroyed. I compare that to the fiery destruction the city of Sodom and Gomorrah [faced]. I used the biblical story as an example as far as looking back that, I'm looking back at everything I left behind. The twist in "Sodom and G" is that, because I'm so into ancient astronaut theory, [I included] the theory that extraterrestrials were here in ancient times and helped build the pyramids. It's also the idea that Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't destroyed by a fire ball, but was actually destroyed by nuclear weapons from extraterrestrials. People might be like, "What?!" but I use a lot of layers when I'm writing; I like to really layer. Its fun for me as an artist and it really allows me to get into it and tell the story I want to tell.
On the last album you collaborated with Trey Songz, Fabolous, and Lil Wayne. Any collaborations this time around?
I did a Korean version of "Outside Your Body" with Drunken Tiger's (Korean/American hip-hop group) member, [Tiger] JK and his wife (Tasha Reid). Those are my collaborations. JK is like the Korean Jay-Z. She's (Tasha) also a rapper.They're both amazing. I'm doing a record or two for Tasha's upcoming album. I haven't done it yet, and she's probably going to kill me because I've been running around doing so much.
Ameriie's new single "Firestarter" goes to radio this summer.