timessquare.com: Martha Wash’s Musical Universality

Written by Ioana Vanessa B.

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American R&B, Pop, Soul, House singer and songwriter Martha Wash conquered the world with her powerful soprano voice. Remember “It’s raining men! Hallelujah!”? Well, that was partly her. Come hear her distinctive voice on August 26th, at BB King’s Blues Club. We caught her on the phone the other day. Everybody dance now! Here’s what she had to say.
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TimesSquare.com: What made you sing while growing up, and how did you decide to materialize that into a career?

Martha Wash: Well, it’s just something that I’ve always done! I started singing when i was about three years old. I just kept going from there. My mother liked to sing herself, so she was the one who encouraged me to sing. It’s something that’s always been! After high school, I joined a local gospel group and then started singing with Sylvester, professionally. I decided to see where it would take me.

TS: Perhaps one of your greatest hits, “It’s Raining Men”, is still played today in countless dance clubs and parties, some thirty years after its release. What feelings do you have about that song today?

MW: I’m glad it lasted thirty years! I never thought it would last this long. It’s an official cult classic now, and I’m glad about it. People still like listening to it!

TS: What made you decide to start a solo career?

MW: “Gonna Make You Sweat” was my signal that I should pursue a solo career and see where that would take me. I thought it was about time.

TS: What advice would you give to the novice?

MW: Probably to learn as much as you can about the business!

TS: If you would start your career over, is there anything you would do differently, and if so, what?

MW: I think if I had started my career now, I wouldn’t have necessarily made it. Especially now, when the music business has changed so much. You go out there, you do auditions for American Idol or America’s Got Talent, and I don’t know if I would be able to make it! So, I think that’s one of the main things about when I started, as opposed to now. It’s just so much harder out there, the times have definitely changed. But, I don’t know if I would do anything differently, because everything has brought me to where I am today!

TS: How do you think competitions like the American Idol affect the music industry? Do you think it filters the good singers from the bad, or do you think it just creates an overly competitive field where even a good singer can’t really stand out from the crowd?

MW: Good question. I think if the talent is there, the talent is going to be there. Now, who possibly judges the talent could be a decisive factor. A judge has to really listen and look past nervousness, jittery and all that, and assess the talent behind it. You know, try to make the right decision.

TS: What can you tell us about your upcoming show on August 26th?

MW: Well, it’ll be Martha Wash Live, at BB King’s. We’re going to try to keep it in a kind of club atmosphere. There will be a lot of uptempo dance songs and things like that. Plus we’ll be doing some music from my upcoming CD, which will be out in a couple of months. The title of the CD is going to be “Something Good”. I just want people to come out, dance, enjoy the music, and have a good time!

TS: What does your new CD mean to you? What does “Something Good” mean to you?

MW: Just a transition in the kind of music that I’ve been singing – a little bit more adult contemporary. A few people that have heard the songs say they kind of sound like anthems. I want the songs to make people think, uplift them, empower them, and just to make them feel good.

TS: What do you think your purpose with music is?

MW: I think it is to touch people, and have them feel good about what they’re listening to, when they’re listening to it. Again, to uplift them, to inspire them! Life is hard nowadays, and music is something that can help you deal with those problems of life. If something bring you down, one day, and listening to my music will make you feel better, my purpose has been accomplished. Keep living and keep doing!

TS: What does music mean to you, now?

MW: Oh Gosh! I want to say everything, because music is so universal that it brings people together, who might not necessarily connect to one another when walking down the street. You know what I’m saying? I think it connects people. So for me, that’s what music is. It’s universal. You don’t necessarily have to like all the same artists, but while talking to people, you can find someone, somewhere, that might like the same artist. Some people don’t speak enough English for conversation purposes, but they might sing a whole song! That’s what I mean by the universality of music, it’s bringing people together.

I thank all my fans for their support over the years. Help me celebrate the 30th anniversary of “It’s Raining Men!”

Originally Posted at timessquare.com

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