Genre-transcending MJ Songstress’ new sexy song, “Carousel” is out now. The new track produced by Ty Jamz, is every dancer’s pop-locking dream. Behind MJ’s artistic evolution are her career highlights. She has been a finalist on The Voice, a member of Usher’s team, and a contestant on Televisa’s La Voz. In this exclusive interview, you’ll learn many interesting things.
1 – Where does your artistic name come from?
MJ SONGSTRESS has a whole movie behind it. The short and sweet version is MJ are my actual initials. MJ represents the moment where I was ready to fully embrace the woman, the artist, the creator, the fighter, and the leader that I AM! It was a moment of owning who I am, being MJ unapologetically, and creating and moving forward with/from a blank canvas. SONGSTRESS was the icing on the cake. I wanted a name that was unique and that would describe me (a vocalist) in 1 word. One of the magazine articles I was featured in read “Meet the Next R&B Songstress”, and “Songstress” stuck with me. Wala, MJ SONGSTRESS was it.
2 – Can you mention a few artists or albums that have influenced your artistic career?
Where do I start? Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Guy, Earth Wind & Fire, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston etc…
When I create music I go with whatever my current mood, vibe & energy is. I don’t think of any specific genre. Whether I’m in an r&b/soul, latin/pop or house/funk type of mood. I’d like to refer to myself as a genre-transcending artist.
4 – I’m loving your sexy new song “Carousel”, what inspired you to write this tune?
I listen to a plethora of music. I was vibing with my producer, Tyrice Jones, and played him some of my favorite Sergio Mendes songs. One of the songs grabbed his attention, so we looked up a live performance on Youtube, and “Carousel” started to form. The sample we used had such a cool vibe. To me, it sounded like the sample was saying “Carousel”. So from that word I just built around the song idea.
“Your Love is Like a Carousel.” It’s a line that the listener can interpret however they please.
6 – What came first the melody or the lyrics?
This particular song had an easy flow that the melody and lyrics came right out. I just started freestyling whatever came to mind and the first few lyrics “Do you remember when you were just 17 and your heart would beat-beat for the one you have just seen? Oh yes Oh boy Oh my Got me weak in the knees.” It was a smooth, flowy, young love type feel.
7 – Who produced “Carousel”?
My brother from another and partner in crime, Tyrice “TyJamz” Jones.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with Beanie Sigel on “Feel It In The Air” and Wyclef Jean on his “Carnival II” album. Both projects were a highlight for me in my career. I’ve also been working, creating, and building with my producer TyJamz for years. We have a chemistry and a vibe that I haven’t created with anyone else. If it ain’t broke, WHY fix it?
9 – How did your life change since you became a finalist of The Voice?
Both The Voice & La Voz Mexico are a chapter in my life that I look back at as an experience and opportunity that were presented at the time. It was a reminder of discipline, persistence and for me to Keep Going. There’s a lot that goes into the show behind the scenes, so for me, it’s a continuous reminder that I never gave up and to never give up. Once the show was over I focused on my career and my music and never looked back.
10 – How do you take care of your singing voice?
I don’t do anything fancy on a daily basis. I’ve been singing since birth and all my experiences with my father, other artists/bands and tour life have shaped me into a vocal athlete. Singing comes as second nature. However, when I am preparing for a show I speak little to none at all, no screaming or laughing, daily vocal warmups, lots of steam, drink lots of water, clean eating, and lots of rest.
11 – Any plans on a live tour?
I would love to be part of a tour. I’ve been setting intentions & putting positivity out into the universe and prayers for this pandemic to come to a safe ending first.