Amerie's "Love and War" dropped yesterday and ESSENCE.com caught up with the sassy songbird to find out what inspired her to create this album, why it's important for her to keep growing as an artist, and why she's not concerned with recreating the success of "1 Thing."
ESSENCE.COM: What do you prefer, to be in love or at war with a guy?
AMERIE: I definitely prefer to be in love! But the concept of "Love & War" is that there are so many similarities. Sometimes you can be on the same page, sometimes you can be on the opposing side of the argument. Not to mention the mental energy that goes into a relationship. It can be very volatile.
ESSENCE.COM: You're heavily involved in the look, concept and production of your work. Why do you choose to be so involved?
AMERIE: I don't know any other way to be. For me, it wasn't just about getting into the business to be on TV, I love the whole process of creating music. Thankfully, I've always had a lot of creative freedom.
ESSENCE.COM: Your single "1 Thing" was such a massive hit. Do you find you're under pressure to recreate that, or do you want to take your music in a different direction?
AMERIE: It's really about continuing because everything continues to grow, change and evolve. As an artist I'm always on to the next thing. Like, in my head right now, I have a couple of records for my next project. For me, it's about constantly creating. You can't stay the same. I think sometimes people want artists to stay the same, and that's fine, but that's because they use that music to always take them to the same place. Whether they want to be comforted or wallow, they need that artist to make them feel like that familiar feeling. So, I get it, but at the same time, artists are going to change.