Bold and Vulnerable: Mrs. Ambrosius-Billups Arrives at One World Theatre

The songstress is coming! The songstress is coming! Marsha Ambrosius will be in concert at Austin's One World Theater Friday night, with an early show at 7:00 and a late show at 9:30.

Fans of her sultry, sensual ballads will hear many of their favorites, along with tracks from her newest album, Nyla. Ms. Ambrosius explained to soulciti that Nyla, in addition to being her daughter’s name, is the love story that led to her current situation as wife and mother.

It is a collection of songs that tells how her bicoastal life, regularly moving between New York and Los Angeles while on tour, led to a conversation with Dez Billups, a man, who became her best friend, who became her lover and is now her husband and father of her daughter.

Ambrosius and her husband Dez Billups and their daughter Nyla.

The singer shared how she learned to forgive herself and relieve herself of her need to control – which threatened to cause her to self-sabotage. “I had to deal with some things,” during this season of her life, she explained. The songs explore the rollercoaster of emotions the singer experienced as she pursued closure to some facets of her life, which enabled her to move forward to this rewarding chapter of her life.No longer on either coast, the singer and her family are now living in Las Vegas. “Now, I am Mrs. Billups,” she stated matter-of-factly regarding how she defines this season of her life.

True art is honest

Speaking to the intoxicating combination of vulnerability and boldness in her music, Ambrosius declared that the mix of the two is simply her truth. “True art is honest, and I’ve never wanted to refrain from expressing my true feelings in my music. Being vulnerable and bold at the same time is just what we do, it’s who we are.”

Ambrosius credits her love of music for helping her tap into the sensuality that permeates her sound. Listening to artists like Stevie Wonder’s heartfelt music and songs like Computer Blue and Beautiful Ones by Prince made converting her budding sexuality into sensuality a natural progression, she says.

Interestingly, it was a disappointing turn in life that pointed the singer toward music. Planning to leave her home country of England and pursue basketball in the United States, she headed to Georgia. However, a torn ligament ended it all suddenly. “No walking, no running, no layups, no more suicides.”

Her hoops dreams suddenly crushed, she turned to the composition book full of her writing that later ended up inspiring the music she made. And, the rest, they say is history.

She enjoyed performing in and around England, eventually collaborating with an old classmate, Natalie Stewart, who lent her spoken word to the songs, and the hit duo, Floetry,  was born. After a season of great success with hit songs like “Say Yes” and “Getting Late”, the duo parted ways and Ambrosius began the transition back to a solo career.

She executive produced Late Nights, Early Mornings with J Records, which debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and reached number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. Although J Records dissolved, shortly after that, it offered her the opportunity to experience a great deal of creative control which she now insists upon having over her music.

Everything is inspiring to me

While there is a temptation to label her as an R&B crooner, Ambrosius has never desired to categorize herself as part of a particular genre. “Everything is inspiring to me. Life is about being inspired, and I always am. I just create music and don’t call it a particular thing.” Asked if she had to describe her performances in a word, she replied, “Emotional.” Come get into your feelings at the One World Theatre this weekend. You’ll be glad you did.


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