There’s more than one thing that keeps Amerie going.

The R&B singer/songwriter may have immersed herself in the music industry during the early 2000s, but Amerie has blossomed into various avenues outside of making hits.

The best-selling artist who has a great love for reading, just launched Amerie’s Book Club, a modern, social media-led book club highlighting diverse and unique voices.


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Making Way For More Creative Control

Before hitting the AT&T Dream In Black stage during the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture, AfroTech caught up with Amerie to get her perspective on the future for creatives and artists.

“The great thing for creatives is having control,” she told AfroTech. “However, it is different. One, I think having control and ownership is great. It’s a beautiful thing, and I think a lot more artists have that now. You don’t have artists who are basically creating something and not having ownership over it or being led so now, you can kind of do your own thing.”

She continued: “Having that control means you can have more creative control, but not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur either, and I think that’s a lot of work. I think it’s okay to feel like you have to do that, but as an artist, you want to stay true to your vision, and it’s the best way to be especially because the internet has, like, democratized everything.”

Where Artists Fall In The Evolution Of Technology

Staying true to her vision has never been something Amerie shied away from, and the “One Thing” crooner suggests using the same approach when it comes to artificial intelligence within the entertainment industry.

“I think on one hand we will evolve and so it’s like, technology constantly evolves and it’s exponential, so where we’ve come in the last 50 years or so is much greater than where we’ve been if you look at hundreds of years ago,” Amerie said. “And, you don’t want to say we can’t have these cars because they’re putting these horses and buggies out of business, right?”

She continued: “At the same time, when you do have artificial intelligence that can really mimic, you know, illustrations and stories, books, or songs that are all taken and taught from actual human artists, you have to really wonder where we’re going.”

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Much like the very beginning, Amerie still relishes in the small things life has to offer. As a matter of fact, she recalls using her first check to simply purchase a latte.

“I think I got like a latte because when I was in school, I would get this allowance and it was like every month, and every month I would get this coffee because it was like four dollars and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get one. I can get one,’” Amerie said. “And that was it, and so when I got some money I was like, ‘I’m gonna get one this week, and I’m gonna get one next week, too (ha).’”

Today, Amerie continues to showcase her gifts and talents through music, her love for reading, and more… all while doing it her own way.