Belgian pop/R&B artist AMERY kicked off the year by being named an Artist to Watch both by Belgian and British press. His songs feel very intimate, which allows him to fully express himself and be vulnerable on each track. I got the chance to talk with him about the Michael Jackson music video that inspired him to pursue a career in music, the Belgium music scene, the story behind his latest single, “You Know” and so much more! Keep reading to see what he had to say.
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
In the beginning, I was just making covers. Then I started writing my own songs. I ended up sharing what I was doing with my friends and on social media and it all went from there, really.
Was there a specific moment or person who made you realize music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
It’s not a person but a Michael Jackson’s music video: Billie Jean. I just remember watching it and being in awe of the way Michael was singing and dancing. This is exactly when I told myself that I wanted to make music for a living in the future.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
I think I would go for versatile because whatever I write or create I make sure that the music completely fits my personality and my mood, whether it’s me being happy, sad or just feeling proud and sexy.
You’re from Belgium — what’s the music scene like there? How much does Belgium play a role in the music you create, whether it be references in the lyrics or just the overall sound of your music?
The music scene in Belgium is relatively small but growing. There are many talented artists over here – like Stromae, who I can really relate to, not just because he’s also Rwandan (I was born in Rwanda and lived there until I was 12 years old), but he managed to make it big internationally, and that is something I want to achieve as well. I’m very lucky ’cause ever since I dropped my second single, “I Need Lovin’”, Belgium has been my biggest supporter so far, which allowed me to do several concerts. So for that, I’m very grateful.
Let’s talk about your new single, “You Know.” What’s the story behind that song?
“You Know” is about a heartbreaking situation where I was too confident that I could pursue a relationship with someone. We quickly got to know each other, so I thought we could become a thing. And when I finally confessed my feelings I hit a wall. I was disappointed and feeling hopeless because, deep down, I was convinced we were good for each other. It’s a song about vulnerability, rejection, and this emotional baggage we all carry from one relationship to the next.
What was your writing process like for this song? Did you write it by yourself or did you collaborate with others?
I wrote the track with the help of my producer, James Lowland. I came to the studio that day to record the demo. I had already written the verses, but I was stuck with the chorus. That’s when James came in. We finished the song in 2 days.
What was the recording process like for this song? How long did it take for the final version to come together from start to finish?
Recording this song took quite some time. I wanted to pour all my feelings into it. My producer would say, “Let’s record the final version today” and I’d be like, “Not today James, not today.” I wanted to feel ready and comfortable with myself to record the song. I went to Rwanda for a month, and it was a very moving experience. So when I came back I told James that now was the time to record: I was in the right state of mind and full with emotions.
Were there any major changes made to the song once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
There have been some changes in the production. I recorded the demo at the end of 2016, and we didn’t touch it for a whole year. So when we heard it again we had to change a lot of things sound-wise to update and refresh it a bit but also to take it to the next level with some background vocals etc. I’m blessed to work with a producer who works so fast and knows what he’s doing – it makes the process so much smoother!
“You Know” is the fifth single you’ve released. Any plans to release an EP or a full-length project sometime soon?
I’m currently writing more and more music. I think at this point, I know where I’m heading in the future. But you’ll have to wait and see….
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks you aim to reach in the next couple of years?
I definitely want to break through the music scene in America… and maybe have a Grammy Award someday?
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something you nerd out about?
This is funny, but I know everything about pop culture, especially when it comes to music, of course! I’m always watching what’s poppin’ in that world.