On the surface, it appears that they popped up out of nowhere and then voila, they’re on the radio. But in actuality they are working diligently behind the scenes to get that one moment to prove themselves and they either sink or rise to the occasion.
The first time I heard Ameriie was during the summer of 2001 and it was by way of her music video for “Why Don’t We Fall in Love.” I remember it was the start of the summer when that single came out because to this day when I hear it, it gives me a warm summer feeling even in the ice cold of winter.
There was something so carefree about Ameriie’s presence and sound. Her voice was slightly raspy and angelic yet aggressive.
She had the magical amount of power behind her vocals just enough to grab your attention. Her look was that of a girl next door. She had flare and sort of a unique look. There was sex appeal but you could tell she didn’t rely much on it.
Her debut album All I Have was her official intro into R&B as an artist to watch. The album went gold and Ameriie received rave reviews for her musical prowess as well as the album’s production. Around this time, the singer was teamed up with producer Rich Harrison.
Ameriie and Rich made a great pair and when a producer and artist work well together, magic happens. They would team up again for Ameriie’s sophomore effort, Touch (2005), which spawned Ameriie’s biggest hit, “1 Thing.”
But then something happened. For Ameriie’s third album Because I Love It (2006), the singer didn’t team up with her partner Rich and the album was a flop. This is not to say that Ameriie was unable to move units without the help of Rich, it may have just been coincidental.
Because I Love It is considered to be a very dynamic and creative project from Ameriie, many critics would agree.
It’s no question that “1 Thing” was a game changer for Ameriie. She basically solidified her position as a go-to artist for good music. However, competition within R&B was beginning to get steep and someone was about to change the game on what a female performer should embody.
You see, around the time Ameriie was hammering in her brand, Beyoncé was also making a name for herself as a solo artist. Once Beyoncé’s style started to become dominant, every artist seemed to mimic it. Ironically enough, Beyoncé’s mega hit “Crazy in Love” (Dangerously In Love, 2003) and her single “Freakum Dress” (B-Day, 2004) were produced by Rich Harrison.
Ameriie was one of the artists that stuck with her brand of music to her fans delight.
I couldn’t find anything documented where Ameriie addressed why she stopped working with Rich after her first and second album. If I had to use my yummy sense, I would say after seeing much success, Rich’s plate got a little too full with other opportunities to work with other artists.
Pair that with Ameriie having a unique vision of her brand of music and a fearless attitude when it came to experimenting with a different sound, and you’ve got an impending hiatus.
Soon after Because I Love You, Ameriie was dropped from Columbia Records.
Island Def Jam would quickly sign her and release her fourth studio album, In Love & War (2007). The album didn’t chart well on Billboard’s 200 but would chart at #3 on their Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums.
Following the release of In Love & War things got quiet with Ameriie. You’d hear her name in passing but wouldn’t see or hear any new material. Even if you go to her page on Def Jam’s website you’ll notice that news about her hasn’t been updated in a few years.
In 2011, Ameriie revealed to Concreteloop.com that she would be releasing a new album titled Cymatika, Vol.1 in 2013. So far, there hasn’t been any news about the release date for Cymatika or even leaks of singles that are supposed to appear on the album. However, a leak of her single “Every Time” that’s supposed to appear on her impending EP, The Prelude, which was also scheduled for a release this year, hit the net in March 2012.
Since then, nothing.
Ameriie, who announced she was adding the extra “I” to her name in 2010, hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth – this I know. She’s kind of active on her Twitter although she has the tendency to go unnoticed. She’s a married lady now having tied the knot in 2011, so I’m sure she’s just living her life.
However, talent like Ameriie’s has a place in R&B. She has a unique voice that you recognize the moment you hear it.
She confirmed with CL that she planned to link back up with Rich Harrison so surely something great will come of that. We just need to know when we can expect some new material. Hopefully some new information will be released sooner than later.