Behind the music

The scarlet clad slight figure of Mary J Blige came into the Press conference yesterday at the Shangri La to a blaze of flashguns. It's something that she's had to get used to over the years.

By Robert Flemming (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Wed 7 Jun 2006, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

And she briefly answered the questions that came up about her music and deftly circumvented the few uncomfortable ones.

The lady who left the Bronx some 14 years ago is officially a star but she’s still fleeing a few shadows of her 'bad girl' image.

"It’s something that's placed in us by society. How we grew up and how we had to defend ourselves. I would like that to go away and so I have to control it but as long as you live on planet earth there’s going to be someone or something to take you there."

So the question is, how does Mary take that forward?

"I see myself growing to be a peaceful person and losing my self. Not so that I'm lost but being a selfless person without the selfishness and the pride. Just try to conquer that and be a more peaceful person. Understand that the battle is in the mind constantly and not with people. If I can get true understanding I will have conquered everything but it's going to take a lifetime to get that. As for my voice, it's going to get stronger as long as I rest, take care of my muscles and don’t abuse it with drugs and alcohol."

There’s a throaty chuckle as Mary says, "I've been there before."

In pursuit of that selflessness, she’s not just concentrating on her own music. Mary’s new baby is her own record label called Matriarch which has just signed its first artist.

"He’s David Young and he's actually on a breakthrough album called Alone. You need to check that song out. He’s an incredible artist and he co-wrote some of the songs on my record. He’s just co-written a song for another great new talent, a young lady in the States. And then we’re just about to sign a young girl called Winter."

Sadly Mary hasn’t heard the music of Karl Wolf. Yet.

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