One on One: Marsha Ambrosius
Raw, occasionally ugly, honesty.
That fearlessness is what connects award-winning singer/songwriter, Marsha Ambrosius to her adoring audience.
The British vocalist is dedicated to singing from her heart and speaking on subject matters that others avoid.
“I’m going to say what I feel, unapologetically,” Marsha explains during a recent visit to JET. “I feel, as women, we don’t realize how much we’re not supposed to and that’s the part that drives me.”
Ambrosius’ tenure in the entertainment industry has netted her with various accolades, most recentl,y two MOBO awards for her latest project, Friends and Lovers. Her body of work is recognized for its pure quality. She says:
“It feels good to be acknowledged for the work. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s strictly based on what you’ve done. It’s about musical integrity, honesty and truth through song.”
She later adds: “I thought my mark on the industry was going to be me getting to write and produce a song called, ‘Say Yes’ for Ron Isley. I told someone to “say yes” and take all of their clothes off. As far as the style of songs I’ve written, they’ve always been sensual and honest.””
Formerly, a part of Floetry, ‘Say Yes’ was the single that ushered Marsha’s creative ability into the songwriter/producers seat and enhanced her career. The creative flow now, though maintaining the same recipe, has evolved.
From Late Nights & Early Mornings, to F & Love and the current chart-topping Friends and Lovers, the musicality has added a piece of Chicago and a harmony that was destined from the moment she arrived in the U.S. from London.
“I knew it was something special in Chicago; I just didn’t know it was going to take numerous years for it to come full circle.”
That completion came in the form of talented producers she meet in 2007, known to the world as Da Internz, but to Marsha as Kosine and Tuo. The duo serve as executive producers on Friends and Lovers.
“I listened to all of the stuff they’ve written and produced and was just diggin’ the sound and I knew it was growing. You’d never put the producer’s of ‘Cake’ or #1 hit, ‘Anaconda’, and then there’s me and Kos and Tuo in the studio and we do ‘OMG I Miss You.”
‘OMG I Miss You’ is a soft ballad sung over delicate piano chords that has Marsha yearning for a love lost while recognizing her selfish traits that drove it away.
“They’re musicians first and that’s what I want in the industry. I’m not looking for the trend of right now. I’m looking for those who are going to be here, tomorrow.”
Friends and Lovers is a continuation of Marsha’s creative liberty and knowing exactly who she is. It’s instrumentally seductive, lyrically liberal and hypnotic.
Yet, as sweet as the sound, the songstress can flip the script and leave bruised egos with her wittiness.
“That’s the added responsibility that I had to understand for me,” she addresses, laughing. “I’m going to speak my mind until it irritates you in how comfortable I am in cursing you out in this moment.”
And the album reads just like that – beautiful and brutal when necessary.
The Friends & Lovers tour hits Kansas City on November 15.