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Her looks are sexy, yet sultry, the result of her African-American/Korean parentage.
She chats unselfconsciously, punctuating her conversation with an uninhibited laugh rather than the standard-issue diva's icy formality.
And, with the release of her third album, Because I Love It, she has moved beyond the influence of early mentors - such as 'Crazy in Love' creator Rich Harrison, who crafted her earlier hits, including 'Why Don't We Fall in Love' and '1 Thing' - to write and produce much of her own material.
She insists that she was inspired rather than disturbed by her parents' itinerant life: 'I enjoyed all the moving around and starting again,' she says. I've never had a problem making new friends, and the legacy of it is that I'm able to adapt very quickly to different situations.'Likewise, she maintains that her singular lineage presented her with no special difficulties.It's the perfect introduction to Amerie's skittish persona: girlish but fierce, seductive but sweet.'I am all those things,' she nods, 'and I think we've nailed them on this album.'Many of the tracks on Because I Love It betray an 80s influence; 'Crush' boasts a candles-aloft chorus that wouldn't have shamed Duran Duran in their pomp, and 'Some Like It' samples former Sex Pistols manager and early champion of hip-hop Malcolm Mc Laren.She became the popular girl at school with the clique of girlfriends who went off to the mall, and I'd spend all my time in my room reading my books and studying my atlas.My parents thought my sister would be an actress or singer and I'd be a lawyer.'In fact, the opposite turned out to be the case.
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But whatever groove I'm in, melody will always be important to me,' she adds, with a toss of her long, ink-black hair.