lundi, avril 09, 2007


Marsha Ambrosius at the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation Q Prize Awards on January 24, 2007 in New York City

I'd been seeing a lot of pics of songstress Marsha Ambrosius without her floacist, Natalie Stewart, and wondered what was up. Now I know:

Growing pains: Marsha Ambrosius goes solo and loses a friendship in the process
by Kenya Hunt / Metro New York
APR 9, 2007

When a reason­ably successful rock or pop band loses a key member to solo stardom, it’s often devastating to the other members — even more so when the group is only a duo. Marsha “the Songstress” Ambrosius and Natalie “the Floacist” Stewart had worked together as songwriters and producers and later as the R&B duo Floetry, which earned seven Grammy nominations, for 11 years. But when Ambrosius, the singer with the effortlessly commanding voice and quiet disposition, told her partner, Stewart, the effusive MC, back in December that she had accepted a solo record deal with Dr. Dre, their longtime friendship took a hit. They haven’t seen or spoken to each other since.

“She told me that she expected it. But it didn’t feel like she was really happy for me. Our friendship got a little twisted, so it was very bittersweet,” Ambrosius says over the phone from Atlanta, where she has spent the last few days recording with Usher and a new producer named Oak. During the weeks before that, she was in Los Angeles recording the bulk of her upcoming solo album with Dr. Dre — a stark contrast from her experiences mostly providing the hooks and choruses to Stewart’s verses.

“I got into Floetry based on my friendship with Nat. As a performer, I gave her the ball and always took the back burner because I wanted her to shine. She’s a phenomenal writer, and I wanted the world to hear her words,” the 29-year-old from London explains. “It’s sad. I know deep down, she knows what kind of friend I am. I’ve prayed on it. I made the compromise, and it was a beautiful compromise,” she adds as if trying to convince herself, as well.

Ambrosius says her new album will be somewhat of a departure from Floetry’s neo-soul sound.

“It’s Dre at his most genius, plus my melodies and song concepts. I did all the writing,” she says. She first met the CEO of Aftermath after a Floetry concert in 2005 when he approached her at the Roxy in L.A. A year later, Dr. Dre, who is credited with turning Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent into the platinum-selling artists they are, offered her a deal.

“I was shocked, but I went for it. Who could say no to that?” she says. Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, Scott Storch and Just Blaze also contributed work to the album.

She’ll test out the new material during a set at S.O.B.’s Wednesday night. The gig will be one of her first as a solo artist.

“I’m nervous and excited. I have so much new material I might need to bring my composition book onstage,” she says laughing.

Floetry in better times

Honestly, I can see why Natalie is so upset. I can't see her having much of a career without Marsha and I can see how she might been taken a back by this show of artistic independence because she definitely seemed to be the dominant member. I wasn't a Floetry fan until I saw them live. Those women put on a great show and had successfully mainstreamed/heterosexed their look by losing weight and getting a decent stylist. Sad to hear they broke up, but I am excited to see what Marsha comes up with on her own. She's a brilliant songwriter with an astounding voice, which admittedly she can tend to overmanipulate. I heard about this Marsha/J*Davey/Emily King show a while back and I really want to go but I have a lot of work. Probably won't make it.