Floetry‘s last U.S. gig took place at DAR Constitution Hall in 2006, so vocalist Marsha Ambrosius knows a thing or two about Chocolate City.
In fact, the British soul singer remembers a show at the 9:30 Club some years ago, in which she could “barely stand up,” but the crowd’s energy was such that it almost brought her to tears on stage. “I love to perform in D.C.”
Ambrosius and Raekwon are scheduled to attend tonight’s Direct Drive Record Pool at U Street Music Hall, an invite-only listening party for which notable artists come to D.C. and preview upcoming projects. Ambrosius’ solo debut, Late Nights & Early Mornings, drops March 1. Raekwon’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, the follow-up to his impressive Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, is out March 8.
Ambrosius says her album is thematically pretty simple: It’s about love and life. For beats, she went back to the Grammy-winning duo of Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, with whom she and Natalie Stewart worked with on their Floetry projects. (As she puts it, she moved to Philly just to work with ‘Dre and Vidal.) Once Floetry split five years ago, Ambrosius sang plenty of rap hooks for David Banner, Busta Rhymes, and D.C.’s own Wale, among others. With Late Nights, she says, it’s her chance to step out as a solo artist.
Tonight’s event is invitation-only. U Street Music Hall is located at 1115 U St. NW.