Mary J Blige Interview

RnB/Hip Hop | Tuesday 22nd November 2011 | Osh


The legendary songstress continues her story with her up coming album ‘My Life II’ and a role (most likely) towering over Tom Cruise in a new movie...

What a whirlwind it’s been, how’s life right now?
I’m feeling great. Really blessed, strong and balanced. I can’t complain about a lot.

So does that mean you’re still making happy music for us?
I’m making balanced music. Music is everything; life is not just one-dimensional, it’s not one thing that makes you happy. Understanding that life’s not gonna be happy all the time makes you happy. Trials come but I’m happy and strong knowing that I’m not an idiot.

You’ve managed to incorporate a lot of deep emotion into your music throughout your career. Is there anything you haven’t explored yet?
If I ever write a book, that’s when you’ll see it all. People have seen behind the music on VH1 but there’s still a lot I don’t tell. I want to keep exploring our collective human struggle not just one personal issue. Life is about choices, I can’t sit here and say life’s amazing or that there are no dark times, that’s just not real I’m want a balance of both.

Is there an angry Mary ready to come out in the book then?
Angry Mary doesn’t come out much. I try to keep her under wraps, you don’t wanna see her! I don’t wanna see her. If someone pisses you off, then it’s equalizing time. But you can’t just react to everything that’s thrown at you. It takes a lot to piss me off. Right now there’s a good Mary in town!

What would you say the vibe is behind the latest album?
The vibe is about being strong and moving to the next level. Once you accept life for what it is, then you can really explore who you are and try different things and that’s when reinventing yourself doesn’t go astray. I’m always Mary, it’s just evolution. I never let people tell me what I can and can’t do but I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I know where I’m going in my soul, I’ve grown to be a lady. That’s what you get, you get me growing, I’m not afraid to educate myself. I’m not afraid to look people straight in the eye or shake their hands anymore. Life must go on and by the grace of God I just keep getting ideas and concepts.

You don’t look much like slowing down. You’re like the black Madonna.
That’s so cool, I love that! The crazy thing is people don’t want me to stop, there’s even a movie (Rock of Ages) with Tom Cruise in the pipeline. I wish I had the opportunities when I was 25! All kinds of things are happening, I have Drake and Beyonce on this album and I didn’t have to kick down they’re door to make it happen. Jay- Z said he had a song with me and when we played it, Beyonce was already singing on it and I thought why not? It’s beautiful what’s happening… I mean Nas is on the album! The record’s name says it all: ‘My Life II’, Evolution has run it’s course and I’m just so excited for you to hear this record.

Would you say life gets better as you get older?
Yeah, if you believe in yourself. A lot of people get discouraged because of what other people have to say. People say things about me all the time but I feel better than ever. I don’t feel like whatever my age is, if you believe that you’re beautiful and strong then you’ll reap the results.

You’ve had such a long career and so many awards. Am I right in thinking the story is ‘rags to riches’?
My mum was a single parent raising two girls. We were living in the jungle, fighting for our lives every day. We didn’t have a lot and my mum struggled. She would leave us with babysitters and they would leave us out in the hall and we suffered badly. Someone else out there might have a worse story but the bottom line is I know how to appreciate what I have. No one has it all, each award I get, it’s like getting one for the first time, I get super excited.

You’ve clearly experienced a lot in your life and been stimulated intellectually, so what does a man have to do to interest you in a conversation?
He just has to be sincere and respectful. Even if you’re the most flattering conversationalist, I’m gonna know if you’re insincere. I can tell someone with stars in their eyes. Like Lil Wayne said- life is a movie I’ve seen too many times. My husband had honesty from day one, he had some words I needed to hear and he was sincere with is message. Like Lil Wayne said- life is a movie I’ve seen too many times. I know what the games are but I’ll always accept a compliment and keep moving.

When you next in London? Do you like our town?
I’m hopefully coming over real soon. I love London! It’s like New York to me, the energy is very fast paced and people are just real.

What’s the next big thing you’re excited about?
I wrote a song called ‘Living Proof’ for The Help I’m excited to see if it’s gonna get nominated.

How’s your fragrance business going?
Oh my God, It’s so successful! When we launched on the Home Shopping Network, We sold 65,000 bottles of ‘My Life’ in 12 hours and we won two awards, a Grammy and an Oscar of the fragrance world. My fans are very honest and they loved the perfume. I made it specifically to smell like the sort of thing I would wear.

I see you’re hot on Puffy’s tail. Are you trying to give him a run for his money?
Puffy is actually my inspiration, that guy is so smart. I remember on the ‘Real Love’ video shoot, it was nine in the morning and I was really cranky. He took me aside and said: “I wanna be a star to and you don’t see me complaining”. When he said that he opened up a new perspective for me. Now, years later, he’s a star and an entrepreneur. He has Sean John and he owns houses all over the place. He’s my brother, he’s one of the reasons why I’m still here.

Smell like the diva herself and buy her new perfume ‘My Life’ or keep tuned in with her latest music at