Before Marsha Ambrosius performed on stage at SOBs, Singersroom had a chance to chit chat with the R&B/Soul songstress. She told us about her passion for singing, Floetry’s split, ignoring the pressure from the industry, Lastly, Marsha talks about her new album, Friends& Lovers. The sophomore album is completely different from the debut album in 2010 because it’s more in depth and she believes fans can relate to the highs and lows of being lovers and friends in a relationship.
Marsha’s passion for singing: I don’t think you ever decide, you just are. I guess when I was legal, I was allowed to do things, and it became a career unintentionally. I’ve been singing like every other kid, my whole entire life. I was an 80’s kid, born in 1977, but you know my hero was Madonna or Sting. I grew up in the UK, my musical heroes are a little complex, but I just grew up with music. I guess I knew when I cam make money off of it, I decided I was going to be a singer.
Real Reason Behind Floetry’s Split: I didn’t decide, I didn’t even decide when I was with Floetry, to do Floetry. Well kind of, actually I had a solo song called “Fantasize,” and I had this bright idea to put poetry to my music. And I asked the Floacist at that time which was Natalie to put poetry to my music. And it worked out, so it wasn’t something I planned on doing. It was something that I followed through. So when she (Natalie) left, they put Amanda D at the time to replace her; it wasn’t a Floetry replacement. I’m signed to a contract and I have to fulfill that so once that was void, I was a free agent. And I’ve got interest from everyone, whether it was Dr. Dre and I ended up being a writer and producer on Dre’s label, Aftermath. So when I got approached by J Records which was 2009, the beginning, I’ve done stuff with Alicia Keys, Mario, and Jamie Foxx. And the record label was like well, do you want to sign over here? I was like sure, and I did it, and that’s how it worked out.
Pressure as a Solo Artist: I mean, 7 years later, I don’t hold pressure, I just do the work. I don’t approach things that way. I enjoy life and I enjoy making music. Putting pressure on yourself to make music mean you’re faking who you are. I don’t have an AKA or an alter ego. I’m Marsha Ambrosius and I’ve been writing the same songs since I was seven years old. My first song when I was seven was called, “Gonna Get Ya.” And it’s the same concept I had since I was young. I just keep doing the work.
Favorite songs she wrote for other artists: All of them, its just the fact that people will listen to words and opinions that I have about music, love, and life to inflict that on another person’s artistry is a gift in itself. And it’s a blessing to work with people who were great with that, whether it was Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Outkast, Nas, or Common. My Wikipedia, I had to look at the other day, and ask myself, I did all of that? I mean Floetry only had two main albums and a live album and outside of that, I put more albums together worth of features and writing then I did then. We came in this game as two solo artists who found something that worked collectively. But, we were individuals in our own right. Nat was on the acting thing and I’ve always been music and now I’m just on my own.
New Projects: Just the new album, Friends & Lovers, that’s my baby, well baby number 2. I feel like I’m definitely pregnant with the little one, which is the second album. And it’s absolutely; it just feel crazy this time around because it’s real. The first time around was like, let me get the album out, let’s make sure the album is right, let me do what I need to do and I did that to myself. I put all of the things I need to do on the album with the last album. But, the second album is more concentrated, it’s very conceptual. I enjoy being absolutely single with some friends and lovers.
Reaction on being a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter: I cried, cried my eyes to a pillow, at the W Hotel in DC, overlooking the White House because I was singing with the president the next day. It was almost like, if I haven’t received the nomination, I would’ve been like you know what, I’ll go back with another album and do what I need to do on the next one. And I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr. President. And I was already going to sing Christmas carols with the first family. So it was like, I cried for so many reasons other than getting Grammy nominations. Now, being a seven time Grammy nominee, one winning which just happen to Justin Timberlake’s song, “Cry Me a River,” it just, I’ve been consistently putting in work. I just concentrate on making people love and live through my music.