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A New Genetic - Human Bean Band!
I grew up in the middle of everything. I walked the streets alone, I rode the trains alone, I came home at three in the morning alone, that was what I did." "The city had a huge influence on me because it's such a diverse place. As hard as [growing up in it was], I always felt very blessed about being able to recognize different cultures and styles, people and places. I feel like the concrete alone just gave me a certain drive. I really saw everything: every negative I could possibly see from the time I could walk until now; and also every positive, every bright future, every dream that I could possibly see. So growing up around this big dichotomy definitely influenced my music.
Early life and education
Amerie Mi Marie Rogers was born to a South Korean mother, artist Mi Suk and African American father, Charles. A few months after she was born, the Rogers family moved to South Korea, where Amerie lived for three years. Her father, Charles, was a chief warrant officer in the U.S. military, so the family lived in many different places, including Alaska, Texas, Virginia and Germany. She has a younger sister, Angela, who is now her lawyer.
Amerie has described her parents as conservative, protective, traditional Christians. Growing up, she and her sister were forbidden to leave the house or use the phone on school days. The singer enrolled at Georgetown University to study literature, and was in Navy ROTC: "My dad didn't force me into it or anything. I joined so I could afford an education." She quit ROTC after her sophomore year and graduated with a B.A. in English and a Fine Arts minor in design.
While studying at Georgetown, Amerie befriended a Washington, D.C. club promoter who eventually put her in touch with producer Rich Harrison. During an interview with Maxim, Amerie said she agreed to meet up with Harrison at a public location because she did not know Harrison so she chose a well placed McDonald's parking lot, Harrison played his tracks and Amerie sang along and instantly they knew it was something special.
Harrison, who had just worked on Mary J. Blige's albums Mary and No More Drama, began recording and developing demos with Amerie. This led to her first record deal with Columbia Records. According to Amerie, she and Harrison immediately hit it off. In a 2002 interview, she said: "For some reason we had a very special chemistry. When we would work together something great would happen."