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As he prepares to drop his debut album TTLO on May 19th, we caught up with producer/songwriter/artist Rico Love to talk about his upcoming project. In the new interview Rico Love talks about making quality music, how he knew his songs would be received well and what he think is missing from R&B music today. Check out the new interview below.

YMMW: Your album TTLO is due out on May 19th, with being a producer and songwriter for other artists how does it feel to have finally your own album coming out in stores?

Rico Love: I think it’s the most empowering feeling I ever had, when you write for other people you kind of leave your record in their hands, the record companies they decide when it goes and how hard they work at it, which single is the right single. But when you make your own record, your empowered enough to say this is when I want my album to come out, this is when I want this song to come out, this is the roll out that I have, and being in the game as long as I have  been in it I’ve been able to see how things work firsthand. How things go wrong, how things go right, how some things are left up to chance. So being in this place is the most comfortable I have been in a long time as an executive, an artist, songwriter and producer.

YMMW: Tell us about your thought process when going into recording your debut album

Rico Love:  Initially I was just picking songs, my thing was just writing a great song, but I think towards the end of September  was when I was getting around to a stride of thinking up a concept and consistent theme.  I think artists should be given that time to create a body of work that is consistent I don’t believe in rushing anything. So I’ve been working this record for the past two and a half years, it’s just that In September I started figuring out what songs made sense. A lot people make records and they just make songs and they’re just figuring out what song to put on the radio, I made an consistent body of work of great records that tell a story so it’s been a very strenuous process but I enjoyed it more than anything I have done creatively.

YMMW: With this new album can we expect to hear any guest features?

Rico Love: Not many guest features I got Raekon on the album and I got a new artist by the name of Armani Caesar she’s just a dope artist who I found on instagram I thought she was dope I asked her to put a verse on the record and she killed it, I got Waka Flocka on the album doing ad libs. It’s a great body of work I didn’t want to fill it up with features. I had an incredible record with Monica but I couldn’t get the sample to get cleared in time and that killed me because, I thought the song was an incredible part of the story but sometimes politics of the game happen, I couldn’t get the sample cleared, hopefully if we get it cleared we can get a repackage of the album.


YMMW: I saw an interview with Case where he was asked about the state of R&B today and he had stated that R&B has lost its Identity. Being a successful producer and songwriter for many R&B acts do you agree with that statement?

Rico Love: Absolutely you have R&B singers who are rapping on records, when I say rapping I don’t  mean rapping as rappers I mean sing rapping on everything talking about slap it up, bend it over, pop it all this twerk stuff all this turn up stuff, and I feel like they forgot that the essence of crooning, was to woo woman and to talk to them and was to show a different side of men to show a different type of aggression. Because people may say it’s sensitive but I think it’s a different type of aggression. We aggressively admit to who you are and how you feel about a woman. A lot of these guys are forgetting that and that’s why I was happy to do that with my single Somebody Else, I was man enough to say “Oh man I messed up” and a lot of guys want to be pimps and players and they forget that the strongest thing we can be is men. The strongest way we can relate is to approach in honesty and realness. So I agree with what he is saying wholeheartedly, I definitely don’t consider myself an R&B artist this is not an R&B album,  I’m singing on most of the songs when you listen to the records you will understand they’re not R&B songs they’re just songs I feel like they don’t have a genre, I borrowed from so many differnt things. There are a few records that have that R&B essence, but they are just good songs and I feel like the world and all cultures can relate it.

YMMW: When you first stepped out from behind the scenes and into the forefront as an artist, did you expect your songs such as They Don’t Know and Bitches Be Like did you expect the listeners to receive so well and become the success that they have?

Rico Love: Yeah I really did, I’ve been writing song so such a long time I really did believe in quality records and quality music. I’m shocked when certain records aren’t received, I’m more shocked when they don’t work, I really believe and still have faith in a really great song and a lot of people have given up and abandoned that, they’re so caught up in the fluff and the turn up With me I’m one of the few who still believe in a good and important song.

YMMW: We know that you were working with  Tiara Thomas and  was on your label, but now seems like that partnership has dissolved, what happened with that partnership and are you going to sign any up and coming acts that we should be on the lookout for?

Rico Love: Right now I’ve been so caught up in developing my brand, but this artist, Armani Caesar she’s not signed to me, but I think she’s incredible and I would love to be a part of her project going forward and she’s actually on the album like I said earlier. There are a few people I think that are really talented and really dope. There’s this one rap artist I was checking out earlier, that’s from Miami named Hoody and I just thought he was dope. So there are some people I look at that I think are really talented but now, I have tunnel vision I’m just focused on the album. I definitely love producing and writing records and being a leader and example to up-and-coming acts, but now I feel like you can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. I want to focus on this and win at this so everything else I do can fall in line.


YMMW: Do you find it hard running your own label while working on your album as well?

Rico Love: Yea worth doing is difficult though that never bothered me, I was always wearing multiple hats, when I did a Nelly’s album I did 7 songs on that album 5 songs on Beyonce’s 7 songs on Kelly Rowland’s 6 songs on Usher’s I never was the guy who ran from the hard work I did the work. Doing the work is the easiest part to me because I was comfortable doing multiple things so that was never the problem.

YMMW: What song do you feel is most personable to you on your debut album TTLO?

Rico love: Run from me and Day’s Go by, I just think those records embody how I was feeling at the time.

YMMW: With Somebody Else currently out do you have a follow-up single planned?

Rico Love: I have a choice between a few; I want to wait for the album to come out to see what people think. I have this song called Day’s Go By that’s a very incredible record and I also have a record called Happy Birthday that I think is going to be huge but, I want to see what happens.

YMMW: We saw on Monica’s instgram that you two were working together again and I know you said before  you two were working on a song for your album, will you be working on her Code Red album that is coming out soon?

Rico Love: I didn’t get a chance to work on it yet, but who knows what will happen.


“I just believe people don’t care to know until they know that you care. I sincerely wholeheartedly care about this project and about what I’m doing; this is not something that I take lightly this is not something that’s a game to me, these records I’m creating they really mean something to me and I know this album is a classic and I’ve been a part of classic albums and projects and I know this album has that. I can’t wait for people to hear it I just hope people really take the time out to really listen – Rico Love”.

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We recently caught up with R&B diva Syleena Johnson as she was promoting her new musical-drama movie “Couples Therapy.” The film was co-produced by Syleena, directed by Tangie B. Moore, and stars herself along with other R&B artists including Leela James, Dave Hollister and Willie Taylor. In our new interview with Syleena Johnson we talked about her new film which aired on BET and how the idea to make a musical-drama came about, we also talked to Syleena about the recent cancellation of R&B divas ATL and more.

YMMW: How did the Idea to turn your current album Couples Therapy into a musical drama movie?

Syleena: It actually wasn’t my idea, it started off as a one hour special we wanted to do a series of videos, but then Tangie wanted to turn into a actual full length movie. I always write stories and she saw that and she turned that into The Couples Therapy movie.

YMMW: A lot of fans were shocked to hear that R&B Divas Atlanta was cancelled, are you done with reality TV or do you have your own show in the works planned?

Syleena:  Well I can’t tell (laughs) just like I kept this movie under wraps for so long I don’t like to talk on stuff like that because then if it doesn’t happen then you have to go and retract what you said. I’ll just say this; there is a lot that is to come. I would like to move more towards scripted material I think reality TV is awesome and it opened up a lot of doors for me to be able to do things like this, but my main focus is always to merge into scripted material. It’s a lot less dramatic and a lot less stressful, and acting has been a passion of mines since high school and it was actually my minor in college a lot of people do not know that about me but I’ve always had a love for acting so I’m really excited about the premiere of Couples Therapy.

YMMW: We know that you were recently on WE Tv’s Marriage Boot Camp, did going through that experience help bring out the best emotions when filming this musical?

Syleena:  Absolutely, the weird thing is when I was filming this movie we filmed it in the summer and my husband and I were actually going through things and I got the call from Marriage boot camp to do it, so the filming of marriage boot camp happened after filming the movie. But the album is based on me being in couples therapy before this concept even happened, my husband and I were in therapy two years prior before the album was even constructed that’s where I got the Idea from, that’s why I named the album Couples Therapy. I just took Ideas and pigged back off Ideas producers helped me write we collectively put together what you hear sonically then Tangie took what she heard and turned into this visual that you will see.

So the concept of Couples Therapy happened years ago because my husband and I literally went through some things and was still going through them during the filming and there are a lot of cool things that go on in the story that touch on real issues and relationships.

YMMW: Earlier you mentioned you wanted to get into more scripted acting, what would be the perfect role for Sylenna Johnson?
Sylenna: Couples Therapy the series (Laughs) Okay! Couples Therapy the series basically my own series and what else they want to give me. But I would to do a series, I think series are so cool I really miss the sitcoms that we used to have as children such as A Different World and Cosby’s and Martin and The Steve Harvey Show. We had so many cool black sitcoms and I am very funny, I don’t know if people know this but I am a very good comic. I feel like my field is in comedy I have to have a role somewhere but, It doesn’t matter I’ve studied all kinds of acting so I would love to do whatever I’m not picky, whatever god sends to me that’s what I will do.
YMMW: What other projects can we expect to see from you coming out this year?
Syleena: Hopefully again couples Therapy the series, more work with Tier 2 films also I have a book that is coming that is called the Weight is coming it talks about body image with women in the music industry, Mommies got soul that DVD is coming I’ve been pushing it and pushing it because I wanted to get the right the right music to it. But Who knows, I know of those things it will be coming and Chapter six we may re-release it with more material and hopefully a harmony tour with Dave Hollister and I and a Couples therapy tour so sky’s the limit there’s a lot of things in the works, there’s another tour called the takeover tour that’s being put together right now that I will be apart of if all goes right. Who knows what’s to come I’m excited for what’s to come I have a good time working in my field whatever they want to give me I will take.
You can check out Syleena’s Musical Drama Couples Therapy On BET. Check out the extended trailer below.

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br4NYqCM Dawn Richard has been making abundant waves and moves on her independent hustle for the better part of 4 years. And June 2nd 2015 is the day where Dawn will finally bring her electrifying show and artistry to the UK at London’s prestigious Jazz Café.  Two months ahead of what is sure to be a great London debut, we caught up with Dawn to discuss her latest album ‘Blackheart’ and much more. Check out the conversation below:

Sope: What can your British fans expect from your London show in June?

Dawn: A party and a full on experience. I’m really excited as it’s the first time I’m gonna pop my solo cherry over there. It’ll be one of those big experiences which we’ll share together.  I’m really excited to bring this era over there – It’s been a long time coming.

Sope:  Can fans expect you to perform songs from all your solo projects or is this just a ‘Blackheart’ affair?

Dawn: It’s the Black era, so it will just be ‘Blackheart’. Then in the next tour, it will be everything – that will be about a 3 hour show. That will be for the summer, it’ll be a huge thing. We’ll be in London again for a while.

Sope: In celebration of the London announcement, you recently dropped ‘New Or Lean’  tell us about how that song came together?

Dawn: I’m born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana so I wanted to do an anthem. Do something straight for home and something big. It’s been a while since I did something for the city, so that was the one. It was an introduction into the next era and I got to represent for the place where it all started.

Sope: So was the song a teaser of what ‘Redemption Heart’ will sound like?

Dawn:  Hmm maybe we will see. I wanted to see how people would receive the sound and see if they would like it. That was kinda the test to see if that’s something I would want to play with.  I always do that, I kinda put something out and see people’s reactions then decide it is something I can move with it. And obviously people liked it!

Sope: How does it feel to finally have ‘Blackheart’ out and what are the plans for the Blackheart era long term? Are there going to be more music videos than ‘Goldenheart’?

Dawn: More visuals, there will be more visuals. We’re gonna stretch out this one out a bit. I really love what this album embodies and what I’ve gone through with it, so we’re definitely gonna play with this one a little bit more. A lot more touring, we’re gonna stay overseas and really get reacquainted with you guys, hug you guys and touch you guys.  I’ve been giving so much attention to my American movement, so I want to get an affinity for what you guys like and what you want. So Blackheart is going to stretch for a while.

Sope: What are your personal favourite songs on the album and why?

Dawn: ‘The Deep’ is my favourite.  It has sentimental value and I wrote that with my father, the meaning behind it is so beautiful and so real.

Sope: Can you outline the inspiration and creative process behind ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Adderal Sold’ because the transition and production between those two songs and production especially on ‘Adderal Sold’ is outstanding?

Dawn:  Billie Jean was inspired by Michael Jackson’s idea of Billie Jean but I didn’t want to take on that big monster. I wasn’t trying to make another ‘Billie Jean’; I just respected the idea of Billie Jean and who she was. I wanted to do a modern day feminist take on who she was. So it’s this cool idea of meeting a Billie Jean and what it embodies. It’s like me having this conversation with her in the 3rd person and the idea of how she got around. Then by the end of it, there was an appreciation for her.  Leading into ‘Adderal Sold’, I wanted that story to continue, so you almost feel the respect of her and I and this blend between us and its melancholy. So the drums slow down, then you see this shift of my idea of Billie Jean turn into this ethereal and whimsical situation, so it’s this ride I watch this girl through.  I wanted to do that production wise as well as lyrically so you see this transformation of me observing this girl and almost going into her world, seeing what this music industry creates with women and what we become. So that’s why those two records are so special because it’s me outside of myself, watching someone else then me becoming that person because I’m along for the ride. It’s a gnarly experience, almost 3D like.

Sope: You’ve had a proven successful track record with Druski musically, so what was it like departing from him and going steam ahead with Noisecastle?

Dawn: Noisecastle is amazing; I think you can appreciate people for their talents you know. Just like how Druski was dope with what he did, Noisecastle is incredibly insane with what he does. I’m lucky enough to be able co-produce with these people and still find this friendship and this balance with all different types of producers. That was the point of trying to show the diversity between being able to work with multiple producers and still create something great. Noisecastle is no different, he’s the same alien as me, we dream the same, he’s on a different planet and there are no boundaries or restrictions with him. That’s what I can appreciate the most about him. I love the way his mind works, together we form this kind of Voltron which is fucking awesome.

Sope: So will you be doing ‘Redemption Heart’ with him or go with a different producer again?

Dawn:  If it works organically, absolutely. I’m not disappointed thus far and you don’t mess with magic so if it feels good, you keep going. I love him; he’s stuck with me so I don’t think we’ll stop collaborating, so yeah probably. Sope: Are you currently in discussions with any major labels? Dawn: Yeah I would love to be in works with them, we’ll look at our offers and see which ones work because that’s definitely something I want.  I love being independent, however I’m open to all things especially if it’s a good business move and it gets the brand out there.

Sope: What were your thoughts on how the media and the other girls portrayed and represented you in the wake of the 2nd Danity Kane break-up drama?

Dawn: That’s how they felt so I don’t dwell, it is what is. People are always going to have their idea of who you are. I can sit here all day and tell people who I really am, and they will still believe what they want to believe so I’m gonna let them have that. Those who fuck with me, fuck with me and those who don’t, don’t. I’m not going to consistently revert back to having to try and tell people or comment on how people feel about me. I did what I did for the fans, it didn’t work out and now I’m on to the next thing which makes me feel great and that’s give the fans some great music. That’s it – whatever everybody else feels or thinks, they’re gonna assume that shit anyway so they can have it.

Sope: What are your overall feelings towards the final album and can you tell us the two songs you wrote ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Two Sides’?

Dawn: I wasn’t really gonna be on the album, I told them they could take me off the album. I didn’t want to be a part of something they didn’t want me to be a part of but the label didn’t want to take me off. Legally the label wouldn’t have moved forward if I wasn’t on it they stated that. I was happy to at least give the fans what they wanted, I think the album is cool; it needed to be there, people needed something to get closure. As far as the two records I wrote, I think they’re great records, I love the way they go into eachother. To have ‘Tell Me’ go into ‘Two Sides’ was such a brilliant idea, I think people could immediately peg that’s one of my signatures. I think those records especially ‘Two Sides’ reign true to the situation at hand, it wasn’t supposed to but it’s ironic how it fits so perfectly now.

Sope: You have a very distinctive tone so I wanted to know who your vocal influences are and what is your thought process when laying down your vocals in terms of runs and harmonies?

Dawn:  I grew up loving Imogen Heap and Bjork. And one of my favourite female voices to this day is Alanis Morissette. Those voices really did something for me, growing up to me they sounded like cognac and cigar smoke, they had these cool tones that worked well with rock and alternative music.  As far as what I do organically, I just go in and whatever feels good, feels good I don’t force it. Leads and adlibs are cool but my favourite thing to do when I’m in the studio is backgrounds. I can go on and on for days, there’s this sense of peace and chanting. Like an army of bad motherfuckers always behind me, like a 1000 people in believing me and 1000 people behind me every time doing these counter chants which are so African, so Creole and so New Orleans.

Sope: Are you a Brandy fan? I hear some Brandy-isms in your voice?

Dawn: People want so badly for there to be Brandy-isms. I didn’t know about Brandy until college, I didn’t grow up on Brandy, I grew up on Bjork and Imogen Heap.  So there was no influence but I respect her. I think she’s one of the dopest singers we’ve ever had in our time. When I found out about her through my brother, I was like this girls voice is on a whole other level so the respect of Brandy is definitely there. She to me is the vocal bible, but I don’t necessarily take her style or influence into my music. I don’t think of Brandy when I think of the formatting of my music and I think it’s funny that only black people think that.

Sope: Any dream collaborations?

Dawn: I would love to work with Sango and Sohn and women such as Azealia Banks, Solange and Janelle Monae.

Sope: Anything to say to your fans?

Dawn: Let’s change the world one heart at a time.

Check out the video for Dawn’s latest single ‘Projection’ below:

Purchase tickets for Dawn’s London show in June here.

Interview by Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan)

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A few weeks back we got the chance to chat with singer Deborah Cox, in our new interview with we spoke to Deborah about her upcoming album which will be titled “Work Of Art” and her new single Kinda Miss You. Along with her new music Deborah also talked about being inspired by Whitney Houston when recording for her new project. Deborah also gave us some new about her new original Broadway show playing Iconic singer Josephine Baker.

YMMW:  What was it like getting the opportunity to re-create Whitney Houston for the Lifetime Biopic film?

Deborah Cox : It was an honor, when Angela approached me about doing it I just wanted to make sure she was represented well and that I recaptured the essence of her when she performed live on stage. We didn’t have a lot of time to do it but it gave me a tremendous amount of respect for her because a lot of those songs were in a very high range and high key and a lot of vocals and we had to do everything in literally in two days. They were pretty powerful songs so I had to approach it delicacy and make sure I did it right I just hope she’d be proud.

YMMW: You’ve managed to keep a successful career in the music business, did you find it easier establishing a career when you first hit the scene or maintaining or staying relevant in today’s music?

Deborah Cox: The industry has changed and my love and passion for music hasn’t so that’s why I’m still in it and why I still do what I do. What I do love just sort of the way things have change as far as social media is concerned, is that I love the way I am able to stay in contact and engaged with my fans and the people who have supported me. You know I think  when I first came out there wasn’t much of a presence online, it was more about showing up to the radio’s and doing shows it was a different thing. But now we have so many different social media portals to keep everyone updated with what’s going on and further more and we can expose more music and show all the fans all the behind the scenes things I enjoy that part of it. Of course I think we would have to find a better model of getting songwriters and producers paid from music heard over the internet, I think their starting to realize we all have to find a way to work together.

YMMW: You recently put out your new single Kinda Miss You, tell us a little more about this song and what we can expect.

Deborah Cox: Yes! We will be premiering the behind the scenes footage in a couple days from my album shoot I think this song is really reflective of where I am, I really missed the audience and the recording world and it’s great to be back on the scene and stuff, this is giving people a little taste of my personality outside of singing the big ballads. This song is the appetizer to the big meal to work of art that will be out in the summer.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-17-at-8.58.55-AM-1YMMW: An announcement was recently made that you will play Josephine Baker in a new original Broadway Musical, what can you tell us about this musical and what was it like being able to play such an amazing icon on an original musical?

Deborah Cox: Well this musical will be out in the spring of 2016, but we wanted to announce it to give people sort of an inside look to remind people of a great American Icon she was. she was trendsetting, the first black woman to take her career over to France she was doing a lot of revolutionary things in her time which set the bar very high. For me being able to portray this woman is really rich and her story is very fascinating there are things in her story that I don’t think people will be able to believe, but she defied so much so I’m really excited to portray this role on stage

YMMW: Along with scoring a new Broadway musical you are also planning to release a new album, what producers and songwriters have you been meeting with to work with?

Deborah Cox: While this new project has some familiar producers that I have worked with before and some new ones and Kinda Miss You was produced by the Rascals who just won a Grammy for their work with Toni Braxton & BabyFace it was really great working with them. I don’t want to reveal all of the details (Laughs) so I can leave a little something, the pros and cons of social media I can’t reveal it all (Laughs). Just know the album will be called “Work Of Art” and people will be pleased it’s going to be a lot of great songs that people to hear me Sang and I want people to know that they won’t be disappointed.

YMMW: When you went to record for the Whitney Biopic film did it give you any inspiration when recording for your own album?

Deborah Cox: Good Question, it actually did, when I heard the song Work of Art it reminded me of when Whitney did great songs like All The Man I need and Saving All My Love For You, the big power ballads and that’s why I got into this business and why I am a singer today it was hearing those divas sing songs like that, which made me want to be a singer and made me want to sing songs like that. Like I said previously this album will have a few songs like that as well, where people will enjoy the vintage Deborah with me standing up and just sanging.

YMMW: We’ve seen some of the R&B we grew up with in the 90’s such as Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Syleena Johnson and more re-introduce themselves and music on reality television. Was Reality Tv ever something you considered doing?

Deborah Cox: Well I think on depends on how it’s done, for me it’s always been about I want to respect something that’s positive. I think a lot of the times people have good intentions but things kind of take a turn for the worst, and I don’t want to be involved in something that shows off negativity and women fighting. If I did a reality T.V. show it would be more behind the scenes or day in the life of time of thing, I don’t want people to see me going at it with another artist or my peers or that kind of thing, that’s not what I’m into. I’m more into empowering I’m inclusive I’m about the movement and equality of women and I rather more focus on those things.

YMMW: Who are you listing to right now that you would love to do collaboration with?

Deborah Cox:  Ooh that’s a great question, everyone knows I love Jazmine Sullivan, Maxwell, there’s a lot of up and coming artist as well. For me it’s really about the opportunities with people that I might meet up with at an award show or something. Because I am a fan of different type of music and artists so I can’t just pick a particular one but a lot of the times you find yourself as an artist put in different situations, like most recently when I did the Grammy foundation performance in LA and I met up with Aloe Black, and that brother is so cool and relaxed with just a vibe and tone in his voice and we got a chance to talk and stuff backstage. So those types of encounters I like because it changes your view when you meet an artist for the first time.

YMMW: Your first single Kind of Miss you has a very upbeat feel, what direction are you heading towards with this new album, will this new album be strictly for the fans or will this album be re-introduce who Deborah Cox is to those unfamiliar but know you did the music for the Whitney Huston Biopic film.

Deborah Cox: You said it very well, you couldn’t have explained it better, and that’s exactly what I want to do with this new album “Work Of Art” I want to re-introduce myself to the new people who may not know me and I also want to please the supporters and fans who have been there over the past 20 years. I’ve been in this business for a long time and I just want this album to reflect all the influence I have had over the past 10-15 years which is a little bit of dance music and a little bit of soulful penned songs.

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ne-yo-hatLast week we had the opportunity to speak to singer/songwriter Ne-Yo as he is set to release his sixth studio album Non-Fiction which he calls a rebirth to story telling. In the exclusive interview we talked to Ne-Yo about juggling his career as an artist and his new position as an A&R for Motown records. Check out the new interview below as we get Ne-Yo’s opinion on the recent backlash Iggy Azalea has been receiving in the industry. Check out the interview below.

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marsha-new-652x367-e1419285709822R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius once again returned to London this past week for what is slowly becoming a Christmas traditon – a homecoming concert for the holiday season. Marsha captivated the audience with a consistently stunning and awe inspiring vocal performance. Audience members were treated to the debut showings of material from her latest critically-acclaimed album ‘Friends and Lovers’, in addition to past offerings from her catalogue. But the major surprise was when her former Floetry bandmate Natalie Stewart shockingly appeared on stage and proceeded to join Marsha in a rendition of their debut single ‘Floetic’.

Naturally when we went backstage to conduct our interview we had to ask about the prospects of a full-scale reunion, and you can now read what she had to say on the matter amongst other topics below:

Sope: Last time we met, the album wasn’t out so how has it been touring and promoting this new album?

Marsha: It’s amazing to see the smiles on people’s faces when the intro of each song from the album comes on. The setlist tonight was constructed fanwise and it was really just a seamless journey of all the music I’ve created, starting with ‘Friends and Lovers’, then going to ‘Late Nights and Early Mornings’ and then back to Floetry where it all started. It’s just crazy, it’s new music all over again and I get to hear people sing it back to me now that they know the new songs.

Sope: A lot of great R&B albums came out this year and Friends and Lovers could arguably be seen as one of the best if not the best to drop this year so what did it take to create such a complete and cohesive body of work and how was the overall creative process?

Marsha: It’s what I take pride in saying I do for real. I can concentrate on making a body of work and songs that makes sense to each other. They don’t have to necessarily have to be the same key, same tempo; it’s the emotion that I will emote because of what I’m going through in my life. That’s what makes it make sense to the listener; from beginning to end you can hear where that relationship went to. So I just tell you from the ‘Friends and Lovers Intro’ then by the time you get to the end its ‘OMG I Miss You’. So it’s a whole journey full of music that I went through at the time so it just makes sense as an album.

Sope: One of the standouts on the album was the amazing duet with Charlie Wilson ‘Spend All My Time’ so how did that collaboration come about?

Marsha: ‘Spend All My Time’ with Charlie Wilson was a dream duet, it was on the wish list, and it was something where I guess you had to play all your cards. Like I worked with Michael Jackson, Prince loves me, get Charlie Wilson on the phone and see if he does this song with me *laughs*. And all he could do was say no and fortunately he said yes so I didn’t have to use all my “I did this and I did that”. I’ve always loved Charlie and he’s always been supportive of me and my career so it made sense that we did this song together.

Sope: Any other dream duets you have in mind? I would personally love to hear an Anita Baker duet.

Marsha: No not at the moment but we’ll see what’s good; I want to go into movie scores and stuff. Funny story about Anita Baker – I don’t know if she might not tell people but she definitely shut me down though. We were at the BET Awards and I was like “Oh my God I would love to do a duet with you” and she was like “Girl I ain’t singing with you and all that *imitates Marsha’s singing voice*”. And I was like she just shit on me! *laughs*. No but it was said in jest and she is the songstress but when Nat – The Floacist actually named me The Songstress, my uncle to this day curses me out because Anita Baker is the songstress and that’s it for him, he doesn’t care what I’ve ever done in my career. He kind of liked me after he saw me live *laughs* this is my uncle we’re talking about! I don’t know we’ll see but the Songstress and the Songstress should collide at some point.

Sope: Have you started thinking about the next album? Or are you still planning to release more singles from this one?

Marsha: Hmm I’ll possibly shoot a bunch of videos for a bunch of things. I hate the fact that you have to service what would be singles for radio to pick it up, and then they possibly spin it a couple times. Then you wait for the next week where they’ve spun it 20 more times and then there’s this slow build of what is R&B music if we’re not doing the Shurmda dance or Drake isn’t on it. It’s not getting played in that rotation where I’m supposed to give listeners what they want and you have to wait for that. Like John Legend ‘All of Me’ didn’t happen overnight, it took a year for that record to be where it was at. But it was a piano ballad so it can live, it’s just when and that’s just one artist, one of our urban division got to live with a piano ballad. And a couple years prior to that, I got to do it with ‘Far Away’ so it’s about waiting your turn in this hamster wheel where people want to do the same thing. For me I’m about putting out more and more content, so you’re forced to pick one of a million rather than just waiting on that one for a whole solid year, so I just keep on creating the music.

Sope: You’ve been releasing music over a decade with much success in a variety of facets for one being with Floetry, your solo success and accomplishments as a writer and producer for other artists. Do you find it challenging to stay relevant in this industry especially in a climate where it’s especially difficult for R&B artists to prosper? Unless you’re Sam Smith or Adele…

Marsha: I absolutely understand what you’re saying, fortunately for me I’ve become one of these unicorns that paved the way for said Sam Smith’s and Adele’s to create a UK import of Soul. Let Jessie J tell it or all these other artists that were admirers of what Floetry did from the UK to overseas. Natasha Bedingfield and these other people will still make reference to what was done, that can’t be taken away, so with me making myself relevant – I don’t need to. People reference my songwriting and my style, if you ever hear a certain song and someone says “that sounds like some Marsha shit” that means I’ve done my job, someone is trying to imitate and mimic what I did 10, 15 years ago. I’m going to continue to do different things and become the Quincy Jones I set out to be a long time ago.

Sope: Now this was an unplanned question but I have to ask about this Floetry reunion tonight! What happened, how did this happen and what does this mean for the future?

Marsha: Being on that stage tonight again with Natalie, reintroducing Floetry possibly to people who only knew as me as Marsha Ambrosius the solo artist just made sense. It’s just time, Nat and myself today was the first time we had seen each other in 8 years. 9 years since a Floetry show but as you see on stage, we don’t miss a beat and you don’t forget. Even rehearsing it today, we were laughing at eachother because we were kids when we did this shit the first time. So why wouldn’t we do this shit again, why wouldn’t we give this back to our fans – it’s cheating them.

Sope: So this is you basically indicating a potential reunion tour or reunion album?

Marsha: There’s a basic potential for a bunch of things. I’m all about sustaining legends and we have Floetry at our disposal, we just have to continue to prove points on being the underdog, being the people that pioneered and paved the way for the UK. I think its perfect time for us to do it now, we’re both grown, we’ve done things outside of eachother and it’s just that much easier to come back and give back. But I will need a teleprompter for all these lyrics that I don’t know anymore *laughs*. So who knows we’ll see.

Sope: Anything you want to tell your fans?

Marsha: As always, I do this for you. Sometimes selfishly I’ll sing ‘OMG I Miss You’ in shows to myself but that’s because it’s my favourite song and I do let you know when I’m having a moment. But I do this for you and you’re voices never go unheard, I know what it is you want and I’m at your service.

Watch to see the exciting Floetry reunion below…

Interview by Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan)

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Bridget-Kelly-Interview-HypehairEarlier this month, Bridget Kelly returned to London to perform for her adoring fans at yet another sold out concert in the capital’s prestigious venue The Jazz Café. Following the blazing set we caught up with her to talk about everything from being a newly independent artist to issues with R&B in 2014 amongst other topics. Check out our conversation below…

Sope: You recently dropped the singles ‘I Won’t Cry’ and ‘Almost More’ so are those songs the official lead singles to your album or were those just to hold fans over until you’re ready to proper begin the album cycle?

Bridget: I’m just going to keep putting music out to keep people happy, to remind people I’m still here and that I’m still creative which to me is the most important thing. I’m going to be putting an EP out here in the next couple of months. I’m doing a maxi single for ‘Almost More’ – I’m just going to keep making music.

Sope: It’s been almost a year since you were last in London and in that time it’s been revealed that you are no longer with Roc Nation so are you completely independent or are you in talks with other labels?

Bridget: I’m completely independent – I’m just so happy to be doing my own thing. It’s such a different vibe; people are more interested to hear what you have to say. I’m not apart of something else that’s bigger than me and there’s a pride and confidence that’s come with that. I’ve been able to work with other people that I maybe may have not been able to work with if it wasn’t for me being independent of a label. It’s a really beautiful thing and I’m finding more people like it and are excited about what’s to come.

Sope: So this album! Is there anything you can tell us about the producers, feature artists, anything about the sound?

Bridget: Initially when I started I really wanted to make a project that was really going to be fluid from beginning to end. So like one track starts and it goes into another – like ‘I Won’t Cry’ goes into ‘Almost More’. I really wanted to have every single track on the album sound that way. However because we’re making an abundance of music we’re going to do that for the EP then if the album follows that format then it’s cool. Honestly I’m taking everything one day at a time, I think this is the first time in my life where I’m completely confident in everything I’m putting out, in everything I say and everything I think. I feel this is the most receptive that my fans have been to my performances and overall energy. I’m much more connected to everybody than I ever was.

Sope: On your first mixtape ‘Every Girl’, songs like ‘White Lies’, ‘Seek and Destory’ and ‘Love You After All’ had a strong rock influence and we haven’t really heard you on songs like that since, so will some of that sound resurface on the new album?

Bridget: Oh yes its coming back, it’s definitely coming back. This album is going to absolutely be more alternative than was it before. Definitely still soulful, I’m still a soulful singer at heart and still inspired by R&B voices but it’s definitely going to edgier than it was before. But I don’t think it’s going to be as dark, some topics may be dark but overall it’s not going to be totally focused on love and relationships. It’s really going to be about my coming of age so to speak – I’ve gone through a lot being apart of Roc Nation then not being apart of Roc Nation and all the personal things gone through just trying to find my place in this world outside of the label.

Sope: Do you think it’s difficult to break new R&B artists in this current musical climate since R&B is no longer seen as trendy or crossover now and also because of the artificial ways Billboard has recently been tracking chart positions which don’t really seem to reflect consumer interests and radio anymore?

Bridget: I think R&B is actually at the forefront of mainstream music but what I will say is that it doesn’t have as much colour as it did before. I think R&B has always been mainstream but nowadays it’s the Justin Timberlake’s, the Robin Thicke’s, the Sam Smith’s and the Adele’s that are really making soul music the tier to reach. So I will say that R&B has always been at the front but nowadays there’s no new Mary J. Blige or new Luther – Tank is the only one making classic soulful R&B that is really incredible. And Chris Brown but even then he always walks the line of R&B and Pop. I think there are very few women who are at the forefront and I think that’s because there’s no real middle ground for us to live. It’s either you’re independent trying to make on it on Instagram or YouTube or you’re Beyoncé – there’s not a lot of room to live and breathe in between.

Sope: Since your video for Street Dreaming, we haven’t really seen any visuals from you aside from a preview of Cocaine Heartbreak, so when can we expect to see more videos from you?

Bridget: The ‘Cocaine Heartbreak’ video is going to blow your mind. You might see a cameo from someone you know and it’s going to be great. There’s also a video coming for ‘Almost More’.

Sope: So is there anything you want to say to your fans?

Bridget: Just thank you guys so much for thugging it out with me. I know it’s been a really long journey and thank you for being so patient, understanding, responsive and receptive to everything I’ve put out thus far. At the end of the day I pride myself on the idea that I don’t see myself as this untouchable and unfazed artist. I’m still a regular person and still a fan. I started out as a fan before I was an artist so I still want to be able to relate to my fans.

If you haven’t already check out Bridget’s latest single below:

Interview by Sope Soetan (@SopeSoetan)

Footage filmed and edited by Ryzard Akita (@Ryz_A)

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Day-26-that-grape-juice-2014-101jpgA few weeks ago we talked to R&B group Day26 in the new interview Day26 talked about their new EP the return which is currently available right now Day26 also spoke about what the fans can expect on their upcoming tour & music. We also asked the group about their sister from Making The Band Danity Kane who also announced their return last year at the MTV music awards.

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mason-noise-e1404891111586We recently caught up with UK based R&B/Pop singer Mason Noise who is currently rising up the charts with his new song “Take a Seat.” In our new interview with the rising singer Mason talked about  his start in music from songwriting, being discovered by French producer Da Seth and more.

Mason is a definite artist to watch for in 2014, Mason Noise’s fans eagerly await his forthcoming material and those yet to be converted would be wise to keep their eyes and ears on this superstar in the making.

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092313-fashion-beauty-danity-kane-10-e1396649749106The girls of Danity Kane are back and we were very excited to finally interview the girls since the announcement of their no filter tour which kicks off May 16th at the The Fillmore in San Fransisco, In this new interview we ask the girls about their new music which fans have been dying to hear, we also asked them about the  reality show rumors that have been out since their reunion. The girls also gave us a little more insight about what fans can expect from their upcoming tour and more.