Having worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx, Busta Rhymes, and even the late Michael Jackson, Marsha Ambrosius is most notably known as the former member of the English R&B duo Floetry. Despite much delays, the singer/songwriter finally released her debut album as a solo artist in March 2011. She decided to take a hands-on approach with her debut, as she is listed as the executive producer on the project, distributed under J Records. Her singles off of the project include “Hope She Cheats On You” and “Far Away,” which included a controversial video regarding the violence amongst homosexuals. Currently, Marsha is performing throughout the states on the BET Music Matters Tour with Melanie Fiona to promote her album. She will be following this tour by joining Jill Scott’s tour this summer.
Singersroom: Now Marsha, you have clearly redefined your style and sound by going solo and changing your entire look. What was your inspiration and how have other people reacted to you?
Marsha: For me, I haven’t at all. I’m really kinda getting back to what was me prior to being in the public eye. Because what the music industry does to you is offer you everything for free, such as your rider. And when you’re an artist, you request what you want for in venues, what you want in dressing rooms, what you want in the studio.. And for me, I exhausted every possibility as far as that was concerned and I got very, very selfish. So it wasn’t a healthy option. It was the unhealthy option because I was so hyped to be in America that it was cheese steaks, that it was pizza, hot wings, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, more pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Burger King; this is all in one day. This is all because I was so excited to be out here and image was never really a concern as far as getting a deal. The music drove what was my career versus image. So when you get caught up in the luxury of that, you can become lackadaisical.. And I did. And I knew that. Because prior to being in the industry, I was a basketball player. The only reason why I don’t play is because I tore a ligament so my plan B was music. But with that is the same eating habit as a basketball player without working out. [Laughs] Hence the weight gain and then me getting just really comfortable with just having to play a backseat to whom I am as a person because I had compromised opinion; I was in a group situation where I don’t have to be in the forefront. I can just sing the songs and go back to the studio, write the music, sing the songsâ¦ and it’s just my late nights and early mornings were very unhealthy back then. So getting to where I am now was just getting back to me and not lying to myself about being comfortable. No pressure whatsoever from outside sources. It was really a conscious decision to get right. With that came weight loss, and people were like “oh my gosh you lost so much weight” but without really seeing me in the public eye since what was 2005, 2006. It was years later. I didn’t lose weight overnight. I didn’t have gastric bypass surgery. I did Weight Watchers from 2004 through now, which implement a point system that gives you a calorie count based on your weight. And it’s worked. Clearly. [Laughs]And I’m just rolling with it.
Singersroom: So what was your real waking call to realize that “I need to go back to how I used to be?”
Marsha: Just when I wake up and I feel lazy. Like I’m slow today, what’s up?! And I look in the mirror and I look at old pictures and I realize when I pick up a ball and I want to run up and down a court, it’s not as easy anymore. And that was my whole twist; is being able to run with the best of them. That was my thing to impress boys. [Laughs] When I couldn’t play as well, it wasn’t very impressive. [Laughs] So I wanted to get right. So that was it.
Singersroom: When you look into the mirror now, what do you see? Is it different compared to how other people might see you?
Marsha: I don’t know what people see when they see me in the public eye, but I do make it a habit of being myself 100% of the time regardless of the weight, if my hair is did that day, my makeup is on that day. I’m always Marsha Ambrosius when I look at myself; I still see myself. I see me, 5 years old excited and hyped because I want candy. Or you know now, I’m tired. I have to be up to do radio. It’s just me every day, all day, 100%.
Singersroom: So you’re actually nominated on Singersroom’s newest campaign NextDiva to be maybe the next diva following the likes of Beyonce, Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin.
Marsha: What?! Wow!
Singersroom: And your fans can vote until the end of April 30th.
Marsha: Aww, that’s cute!
Singersroom: So what is your definition of a diva and how has it changed for you overtime?
Marsha: A diva always been someone that could glow. Someone that could genuinely sing and entertain and you know, capture your spirit versus just listening to someone that creates music. Anyone can do music. But you feel them spiritually, soulfully, that’s a diva. And for fans to be able to vote and I’m up there, that’s nice and I’ll take the compliment. For me, if I was a “diva” per se, I’m just someone that doesn’t hold her tongue. Not saying that I don’t care what people think, but that’s the last thing on my mind and the least of my concerns. I want to be a woman with a perspective that’s heard regardless.
Singersroom: So like confidence basically!
Singersroom: What are some qualities you need from a man in your life? And how can he complement your diva side?
Marsha: Have my back. That’s all. I just want to fall and know that he’ll catch me. Cause I know meâ¦ I’m a little feisty. I’m a Leo. And I know when I’m with the man of my dreams, he recognizes me for me. He will allow me to be as insane as I am and still be there. And be like “pshh this woman doesn’t shut up.” [Laughs] Be that dude that knows I’m silly, knows I’m a goofball, and lets me be that. And just catches me when I fall.
Singersroom: So are you still looking for him right now?
Marsha: I found a few. It’s just that I have an album out. I don’t really have the time to settle down ’cause that’s what I would do. I’m a Leo. I can’t find that balance within my career and my personal life. I’ll either concentrate on my personal life and not sing, or I’ll have a career. Right now, I’m concentrating on my career. But I’m still entertaining the prospects/possibilities of who that may be.
Singersroom: So you’ll be willing to settle down after your career?
Marsha: Hmm. I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I don’t want to call it. I didn’t call a lot of things in life, so I’ll see how this goes. [Laughs]
Singersroom: So let’s play a quick game..
Singersroom: I’m going to name a few things and you’re going to name what’s the first thing that comes to your mind
Marsha: Oh lord. Okay go. [Laughs] I have the filthiest, dirtiest mind ever. That’s the disclaimer. You’ve been warned.
Singersroom: [Laughs] Okay.. “Say yes”
Singersroom: First thing!
Marsha: No! That’s not fair! Because I can’t say what’s the first thing that came to my mind. [Laughs] Orgasm
Singersroom: Michael Jackson
Marsha: The best.
Singersroom: Late nights and early mornings
Singersroom: Hope she cheats on you
Marsha: Him [Laughs]
Singersroom: Okay switching gears.. What are you most proud of for this album as a whole?
Marsha: That I did it. That I didn’t compromise anything whatsoever. As far as going into the deal with J Records, they were aware of me prior to being signed over there because I’ve worked with Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx. I already had the affiliations but in going over there, I told them that I want to produce and write my own album. And to be able to do that as a woman in this business isn’t easy. But they trusted me to do so. [They said] “you have the tools, go make it.” And I did. Now it says “written and produced by Marsha Ambrosius” for the majority of this album. And I’m like “they let me do that. I did it.” So now it says “Executive Producer: Marsha Ambrosius” as the first name on it. It feels like my album versus something that was made for me with my name and picture on it. I really did this album.
Singersroom: And not just as a woman, but just as an artist in general. A lot of them don’t have a say and just do whatever is given to them
Singersroom: So how were you able to get them to say “Okay” to you?
Marsha: I think just coming into the industry I’ve proved my points. And thankfully early in my career, Michael Jackson being gracious enough to let me as an unknown singer/songwriter from Liverpool, England to create music for him from nowhere. Like I didn’t do anything; I didn’t win a competition, I didn’t write an amazing hit record for Aerosmith prior to that. I was just still me. I wrote “Butterflies” for a dude I had a crush on.
Singersroom: Now you’re going to finish up this BET Music Matters Tour and then follow up by going on tour with Jill Scott.
Marsha: I’ve heard.. [Laughs]
Singersroom: [Laughs] So do you know what may be the next single off your album may be?
Marsha: Judging the crowd, no idea! Because everyone sings everything! We’ve been trying to judge the crowd and it’s been really difficult. I think I may leave it up to radio to see what they get. I know I’m doing a couple of short films and video ideas for each song because each song is really personal and has an entire backdrop to it. So I want to get to that.. But I don’t know. What do you think it should be?
Singersroom: I mean I’m biased, but I love “Late Nights and Early Mornings”
Singersroom: Well what do you personally want it to be?
Marsha: I don’t mind. All of them have something to say. And I don’t mind. I’m just glad the album is out. [Laughs] Like it’s done! But yeah I really don’t mind
Singersroom: Okay last question. Kind of something I personally just want to know. Will we ever get the explicit version of the “Hope She Cheats On You” remix with Fabolous and Maino?
Marsha: [Laughs] Man, possibly. I don’t know. We kind of locked that up in a vault somewhere. Like we did the whole Men in Black “it didn’t happen.” [Laughs] I think we all did that, so I don’t think anyone knows where the dirty version is. [Laughs] Sorry. [Laughs]
—— By: Interview By Connie Tang