Marsha Ambrosius on ESSENCE Fest & Her New Album

Marsha Ambrosius visits the ESSENCE office to chat about her love of performing live and her new album entitled Friends & Lovers, featuring a duet with Ne-Yo.

Monique Valeris Jun, 11, 2013

1 of 4 Marsha Ambrosius/ Instagram

"Be prepared to eat the best food you’ve ever had in your life, like charbroiled oysters. The Festival is a family thing, where people have been going for years."

2 of 4 Michael Rowe

"I like seeing people being just as excited as I am. They are looking forward to hearing the songs that they know. I’m also learning new songs with the band, so I’m going to be free and relate to people."

3 of 4

"The new album is a sequel derived from my first album, Late Nights & Early Mornings. I am reflecting on the relationships that worked out, the ones that didn’t, and the ones I am desperately, heart-wrenchingly trying to make work. As a woman with a voice in this industry, people count on you to say things that move them. I wanted to make an album that does just that. It speaks to parts that we shy away from. The first single will be available very, very soon. It’s a duet with Ne-Yo that’s going to blow your mind."

4 of 4 Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"I consider Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Prince my holy trinity for music. Those three for me are absolutely breathtaking, awe-inspiring legends who have created music that’s changed things—not just minds and hearts, but life. The emotions (behind their music), whether lyrically or melodically, have the same synergy to me."