GRAMMY® Award-nominated soul singer, songwriter, and pianist Marsha Ambrosius catalogs two trans-formative years via the 16 impassioned, irresistible, and inimitable anthems comprising her third full-length album and first for Entertainment One (eOne)—NYLA. During that time, she met her future husband on the road, married him, and gave birth to the album’s namesake, her daughter Nyla.
Nearly two decades in the game set the stage for this story. After co-founding the gold-certified and influential Floetry, Marsha went from penning tunes for Michael Jackson “Butterflies,” Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx to launching a successful solo career. Her 2011 debut, Late Nights & Early Mornings, bowed at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and #2 on the Top 200 and yielded hits such as the GRAMMY® nominated “Far Away” and “Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player).” As her profile rose, The First Family – The Obama’s, invited her to perform at The White House for The National Christmas Tree Lighting.
2014 saw the follow-up Friends & Lovers soar to #2 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and #12 on the Top 200 highlighted by collaborations with Dr. Dre, Charlie Wilson and her nephew Skye. In between a relentless tour schedule, she lent her voice to five tracks from Dre’s 2015 chart-dominating and gold-selling swan song, Compton, in addition to high-profile collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Solange, A Tribe Called Quest, and many more.
In the midst of these accomplishments, NYLA initially took shape during a period of emotional upheaval. She initially teased the impending album with “Luh Ya.” Satiating rabid fan demand, it quickly generated 7 million Spotify streams. Kicking off the campaign, the first single “Old Times” pairs sparse piano keys and subtle bass with a stark vocal that builds towards a rapturous refrain punctuated by fiery falsetto.
Pushing the limits of her expansive range, the emotionally charged “Never Be The Same Again” pays tribute to a friend who would be tragically taken from the world too soon. She notably recorded it in one tearful take, and it remains a stand out. Elsewhere, Nyla swings from the swaggering strut of “I Got It Bad” to “How High,” which perfectly captures what she describes as a “Marsha Moment.” They’re also impossible not to feel. That’s what makes NYLA so impactful.
Checkout our latest and exclusive interview with Marsha Ambrosius for My Fierce Wings Radio: