Q&A: Ameriie Explores Freedom, Androgyny, & New World Order on New Album

  /  07.25.2011


Ameriie breaks out of the box and explores new territory on her fifth album Cymatika, Vol. 1, which includes unorthodox topics ranging from ancient astronaut theory to androgyny to new world order mixed with elements of trance, electronic, house, heavy drums, and new wave.

“There’s a song about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with extraterrestrials destroying them with nuclear weapons,” explained the Georgetown grad of “Sodom & G.” “I don’t feel like that’s really been done.”

Other tracks include the mechanical “Intimidation,” “Run for Cover,” and the likely first single “FireStarter (Private Dancer).” “I really wanted to talk about the human experience,” shared Ameriie. “I wanted to talk about other stuff, but in a way that’s still listenable.” spoke with the newly married singer about what we can expect from her genre-bending album.

How would you describe Cymatika, Vol. 1?
This album is pretty much trance, electronic, elements of house, heavy drums—not hip-hop in that sense, but drums that knock—and new wave with classic song structure. I probably finished about 80% of the project. Now what I’ve been focusing on is creating songs that really have strong essence of each of those elements in one song. I used dubstep ’cause I love the gritty sound of it. That’s my challenge right now is to take all of these five elements and combine them into one record.

A lot of the topics are about us as human beings—who we really are on that level, not a physical level. One thing I was experimenting with from a vocal aspect was androgyny and approaching the vocal in an androgynous fashion. To me it represents the dropping away of the veil of what’s physical and on a spiritual level, we’re not really men or women or age, we’re ageless eternal spirits without gender, without sex, so the androgyny symbolizes that—and of course it’s fun. A lot of the songs don’t really sound like me. I think I’m gonna have to start putting out albums every year because that’s the only way I can keep up with myself creatively. Albums are bookmarks of where I am creatively. I really want to put out more albums.

Who are you working with?
Riley Urick. He’s really talented. He has a great ear for what you want and he works with a crew of guys too. I worked with Andre Harris, formerly of Dre & Vidal. He did about half of the album.

Does the album have a theme?
The theme of the album is what it means to be human. I have songs about not being intimidated by society and what people think you should be, not wanting to be chic, kinda wanting to have your own identity and not feel like you have to follow the crowd. I also talk about self-suppression and how sometimes we suppress the feelings that we have or the ideas that we have. I’m into ancient astronaut theory, so I’ve combined my love for that into a song called “Sodom & G.” I basically compare the end of a relationship to the end of those cities. I make reference to me wanting to look back at the relationship when I still want to hold on just for a little bit longer before I totally relinquish it. Underneath that layer is the layer that Sodom and Gomorrah is not just being destroyed, but is being destroyed by nuclear weapons—all in a very listenable song.

How was the recording process different from the past?
I love to create moods and create sounds. Music is all vibration so I love to experiment. When you break out of a genre, you really have the freedom to do whatever you want. In all my situations, I’ve always had creative freedom so I never felt like the label was trying to get me to do something. However, it wasn’t until I really, really felt free that I realized that I felt a freedom that I didn’t even feel before when I felt free before. Right now, the page that I’m on is I’ma do what I want, and I always felt like I was like that. I do what I want and how I want to do it. There were parts of me that weren’t really ready to totally do what I wanted. No one else was holding me back. It was just myself. It’s kinda like [one of the new tracks] “Run for Cover,” it’s like running from yourself and you’ll eventually run out of places to hide.

What inspired you this time around?
The things that inspired me on this album were everything from fire to the color red to any indigenous people, like with the chanting on “Sodom & G.” Also machines and machinery to ideas of new world order to who we are as spiritual beings. I was like, ‘F– it. I’ma do what I want.’ I don’t care if it sounds really crazy.

What can you share about the first single, “FireStarter (Private Dancer)”?
On the surface, it’s about having fun, dancing the night away basically. A certain part of the song is fun, but it also speaks to our “look at me” culture a little bit. It’s kinda how everyone wants to be in the spotlight, not necessarily being in entertainment, just in some form. And kinda like how the world is a stage and how we are all the creator of our own reality. The hook goes, “‘Cause everybody in this whole wide world wants to be somebody in this world.” It’s very subtle, I don’t go deep into it like in the other songs.

Let’s talk about “Intimidation”…
When I did the vocals on “Intimidation,” that was different. When I hear that song, I hear stark warehouse, people being systematically programmed into doing certain things every day, living in the system, living in the matrix, living under certain rules. When you live under certain guidelines and rules, eventually you’ll adopt them yourself and then you don’t have to control the population because everyone controls themselves. It has this driving beat, it’s like a big, heavy beat, but it almost feels like machinery.

What do you hope people take from this album?
For this project, people will really know me because it’s not just about romance, it’s about other stuff in general and what I believe. If they listen to the CD, they can actually come away with it and say, “I know her and what she’s about.”


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