Interview With Ametria
It's Not About Her...

In the music industry, youthful exuberance and good looks can make or break a career, and one-named artists with one-hit albums seemingly come a dime a dozen. However, within Gospel, this phenomenon is far from the norm. While some artists are household names by the mention of their first name (i.e., Kirk, Fred, AmetriaHez, etc), few are able to make an impression as a one-person act. However, that may be changing as Ametria enters the Gospel music scene.

The 19-year-old sensation has just released her debut project titled It's Not About Me (see review), marking the first new Gospel artist to come from MCA Records. The Wisconsin native is very humble about her start within the industry. "When I was 16, a friend in church was looking for talent, "says Ametria. "He liked what he heard and then I auditioned for Joseph Carn (of HEI-GHLOG Entertainment). At that point, we did a demo of some Gospel songs and he said that I've got to record. From there, I met Bilal Allah (with A&R for MCA) and showcased for him. We vibed, I met the president of MCA and the rest is history."

The current Atlanta resident is labeled as "MCA's first-lady of hip-hop gospel" for understandable reasons. In addition to her amazing urban vibe, she has collaborated with an list of talent that cements her potency as an artist. On her debut project, Ametria works with R&B standouts Montell Jordan, Mary J. Blige, JoJo Hailey (of K-Ci and JoJo fame), and Wanya Morris. Ametria takes no issue with her label-given moniker. "I absolutely love that title. It describes who I am. I'm definitely young, hip-hop, and I'm aiming straight for our youth," says Ametria. "If we're going to touch young people, we have to meet them where they are. My music does just that. I can relate to what we as young people go through and encounter and I want to reach them."

Her project is certainly geared toward the young and the young at heart. Dealing with a variety of life issues, Ametria seeks to make a profound difference in the world through her music. "All of the music on this album is based on my personal experiences. The song 'Wait' with Wanya Morris was inspired by a conversation Ametria CDthat I had with my manager one day about God's will for my life. I'm not ashamed to wait on God's timing in my life. Yes, we all want to be in relationships but I know that if I wait on God, He'll give me everything that I need," states the MCA artist.

Certainly, Ametria's style is comparable and reminiscent of other R&B divas such as Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, and Monica. However, she's quick to note that there is a difference. "The difference between me and the others is that I'm singing for the Lord. I know my mission and my purpose. I'm here to let young people know that the Lord is there for them. There are so many negative things in the world. If young people would just trust and believe in the Lord, He'll lead and guide us into great things," declares the 19-year-old sensation.

Influenced by Gospel mainstays such as The Clark Sisters, John P. Kee, Daryl Coley, and Yolanda Adams, Ametria has no problem merging both the urban vibes with the more traditional mix. On her project, she joins forces with her most influential force, her mother. "I love my mother and it was a joy singing with her on the project. She joined me on "His Love" and it was great. The song ended up being a family affair. The arrangement of the song was by my choir director and my church choir sang background as well. It was wonderful," says Ametria.

As her album hits the market, Ametria prepares for what should be an intriguing career. She's already been busy. "We started the 'Casting the Net' tour in October where I began introducing myself to the churches first. The tour will continue after the album release as well," says Ametria. The diva takes her album title to heart and realizes that her success is not about her, but about Jesus Christ.

With this perspective and some amazing talent, Ametria may just become a household name within the industry.

interview by Gerard Bonner

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