As The X Factor continues to show the lengths people with questionable singing ability will go to in the quest for fame, it’s comforting to remember that there is still some original talent out there.
Meet Marvin Ambrosius. If the surname sounds familiar it’s because he is the little brother of Marsha Ambrosius, she of Floetry fame and now a Grammy award winning solo artist.Marvin, a success in his own right, has previously co-written tracks for Angie Stone, Nas and The Game and is now kick starting his own music career under the name Ambrosious. We’d describe his sound as a fusion of British urban, neo soul and grown and sexy RnB. Let’s meet him:
Afro Boudoir (AB): When did you first start singing/songwriting?
Ambrosius (A): I started song writing when I was 14. I didn’t really take it seriously until I was 18. I was so into basketball at the time I had serious tunnel vision.
AB: Tell us about basketball.
A: I played for the Brixton Topcats and started playing for the England Under 15 team when I was 13. At 17 I became captain for the Under 19 team. It was my life for a long time.
AB: How did you move from baller to singer/songwriter?
A: I loved basketball but after many injuries and a lengthy recovery time I did some soul searching; I asked myself what else do I love? It was always music, I used to sing and write with my sister for fun. I just didn’t realise I was okay at it! Recently, to give back to what helped make me the man I am today I started coaching at my old club part time. While there I learned a lot more than just how to play basketball – I learned what hard work and dedication can get you.
AB: What did your family do to encourage you musically?
A: They listened and gave honest feedback. I found it strange that the feedback was so good – I was expecting them all to say ‘What is he doing?!’
AB: Who else in your family sings?
A: Most of my family sing; it seems to be something that we do. I can’t say much more about my big sister Marsha Ambrosius. She really is the best in the music game at what she does. Her Wikipedia page says it all.
AB: Who are your musical inspirations?
A: To name just a few: Prince, Michael Jackson, Guy, Jodeci, Frank Zappa, Morris Day & The Time, Stevie Wonder, Glenn Lewis, Blackstreet and of course my biggest – my sister.
AB: What embarrassing songs are on your iPod?
A: That’s easy – ‘EAT IT’ by Weird Al Yankovich.
AB: Where would you most like to perform?
A: First Avenue in Minneapolis as this is where Prince performed all of my favourite classics like Darling Nikki and Purple Rain.
AB: Who would you most like to open for?
A: That’s a hard one, it changes all the time. It would have to be Prince. I could give up music after that!
AB: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
A: Funnily enough, all the things that I would be doing, I still do – writing songs for other artists and coaching basketball.
AB: If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?
A: Electro and Rock with a fusion of ‘Vampire Weekend’.
AB: What is the scariest thing to happen to you?
A: I saw a slow motion blue flamed ghost looking like Dr Manhattan in my bedroom when I was 9 years old. That’s a true story.
AB: What advice would you give to aspiring singer/songwriters?
A: Find your own writing style. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with other writers. Always challenge yourself to write a better song than your last. Don’t pay attention to what’s current as you will notice the biggest hit is always the one that sounds different to everyone else. Be honest and true to yourself. Good music is good music.
AB: How would you describe your fashion/style?
A: All over the place. It changes like the London weather.
Keep your eye on this one, we predict big things!