Friday, the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Ambré delivered her love letter to New Orleans. The aptly titled 3000° serves not only as an ode to the legends that have preceded her, but a dedication to her experiences while living in one of the most unique cities in the entire world.
Ambré spoke to ESSENCE about her new project, her journey in the music industry, and just how important the Crescent City has been to her life and career.
In recent years, this self-musician has collaborated with notable acts such as 6LACK, Thundercat, Alex Isley, and Eric Bellinger, and has also written songs for H.E.R., Kehlani, and Chlöe & Halle, just to name a few. While her newfound success has been a blessing, it was her upbringing that molded her into the person that you see today.
“I was born in Uptown New Orleans and stayed there for the most part, but I moved around a little because I was in foster care for pretty much my whole childhood,” Ambré said. “My mother was on drugs, and just recently got clean.”
“Growing up in a city like that, it just makes you want to do more and strive for a better life for you and your family,” she added. “It gave me a drive, like ‘this is my life right now, and I need to do whatever I can to change that,’ and change the situation for my brothers, sisters, mother… my whole family. My people are the motivation behind everything.”
After releasing her first song on Soundcloud in 2014, she started gaining recognition from her contemporaries, which led to the opportunity to write on H.E.R.’s debut EP as well as an appearance on Kehlani’s You Should Be Here tour. While writing for other artists was critical to her growth, Ambré also had aspirations for cultivating her own career, which resulted in the release of Wanderlust in 2015, 2090s the following year, and the critically acclaimed Pulp in November of 2019. Now, she seeks to raise the bar even higher with her heavily anticipated new project.
3000° is an 8-song letter of love to all the people, places and feelings that encompass the city of New Orleans. Partly created in honor of Juvenile’s classic 400 Degreez, and Lil’ Wayne’s 500 Degreez, the album contains features from BEAM, Jvck James, Destin Conrad, Masego, and fellow New Orleans native Jay Electronica. 3000° also includes production from Mike N Keyz, Louie Lastic, and Ambré herself.
“I’ve never felt as much at peace with a body of work that I’ve made as I have with this project,” Ambré said of her new EP. “Everything is perfect, all the stars have aligned and that’s because of the intention that I put behind it, along with what everyone else who worked on it put behind it. It was made with love, and we made it for New Orleans.”
One thing about people from New Orleans is that they always stick together. After hearing her music from a mutual acquaintance, the enigmatic Jay Electronica connected with Ambré digitally, and the rest as they say, is history. Electronica lends his high-level lyricism to the EP on “Jay’s Reprise.” Throughout his career, Electronica has been what many consider reclusive, so the fact that his words can be heard on 3000° is a testament to Ambré’s talent, and the bond that people from the city have with each other.
Ambré’s admiration for her city not only was pivotal to the creation of this album, it’s also the reason for why she’s the person that she is today. In her career, she has collaborated with many notable acts; but it’s the unwavering support of her city that stands as her crowning achievement.
“New Orleans means everything to me. It’s my DNA. It is not ‘it,’ it’s me,” the Uptown-bred entertainer said. “I don’t really know anything else; the culture is ingrained in me, and it influences everything that I do – the way I walk, the way I talk, the way I treat people. New Orleans is where all my family is, it’s so important to me. I just always want to be able to give back to it.”
Take a look at the visuals for her new single “Wild Life…” below.