GFM recently chatted with Soul/Jazz diva Maysa about her latest project Back 2 Love which was released to a well-deserved rousing debut at #2 on Billboard contemporary jazz charts and #9 on Billboard R&B charts!

There are a lot of gems contained in the conversation transcribed below, check it out fully after the jump and make sure to let a friend of two thousand know about the latest from Maysa!

GFM: Back 2 Love The Story Behind The Title?

Maysa: This one is about the fact that I have given a lot in my life. I’ve sacrificed a lot and for the last sixteen years[ I’ve been raising my son] and hopefully he’s a point now where he’s going to be able to deal with me meeting and dating someone. I’ve been working really hard at my career and I’m ready to be in a relationship. I’ve put it on hold for a long, long time. That’s why I named this project Back 2 Love because it takes a lot to get back into that mindset.

GFM: Tell us about your thoughts on the last twenty years as a solo artist…

Maysa: Yes it seems like that was a long time coming but it also seems like that time went by quick. I’m still here, still part of the game after twenty years.

GFM: Lessons learned that you would impart on yourself if you could go back?

Maysa: Yes I think I would tell myself to calm down, that everything is not that serious. I took a lot of things way too seriously, way too personally. It caused myself a lot of grief, a lot of frustration and a lot of disappointment. I had to go through what I had to go through to get to where I am… I understand that, but if I could have taken an easier emotional route, but that’s also youth too: being young and excited about everything and wanting things to go a certain way.

Back in ’95 it was all about how you looked and I wasn’t small enough and when they would come and tell me if you just lose some more weight or if you could do this or that then you can be a bigger star. I didn’t care about that , I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Part of me thinks that dealing with the issues of weight and looks (and all that kind of stuff) people put too much emphasis on that and they lose the music. So back then I would have told myself to calm down because everything works out for the best.

GFM: The lead single from Back 2 Love “Keep It Movin’” a collaboration with Stokley

Maysa: Stokley and I were supposed to do something on my last album Blue Velvet Soul and because of crazy scheduling we didn’t have time to get together. So when we started planning this record that’s the first person I went to… “Stokley can I get something for this album?”. With this record I’m definitely trying to hit on who I am as an artist… a lot of people think I’m a Smooth Jazz singer, they think I’m this or that but Funk music is in my DNA and that’s where I really wanted to be, I needed something really funky and soulful and he come up with it. The whole album is like that… I did a few songs here and there that people will recognize like “Ok, there’s she goes” but I had to stretch out.

GFM: Music Industry 2015… thoughts?

Maysa: The big thing now is when can say to ourselves “We can give up” because of streaming or lagging CD sales and all this kind of stuff and how we deal with that or we can focus on the live thing. We focus of the live thing and make that better and better because it may be the last thing we have left.

That’s why I won’t do a DVD because people could sit home and watch me and not have to come out. When you come out and see me and I can sing to you personally and make it an intimate experience in the best way I can because it really is all we have left. To have an intimate experience with the people that help through your life musically is going to be the one thing they can’t take from us. I can put music on a CD and people can share it, steal it or whatever but you have to pay to come see me in concert. See that(the live experience) takes us back to real artistry: how you train and hone your craft. What they don’t understand is people get tired of all this fake, made up, computerized voices and kind of stuff while people shake their tails. Nobody is going to pay $150 to see someone shake their behind, unless you’re going to the strip club and you can go to the strip club cheaper than that. Nobody is going to go and pay all that money to experience fakeness.

We are changing, the whole world is changing… people want realness, they want to feel something because everybody’s struggling. Even rich people are struggling. Everybody’s struggling with something. What people need to understand is we have to get back to the realness. The human aspect of life is being torn apart. Everybody is chasing some type of materialistic thing. Everyone wants this kind of car, this kind of thing… diamonds and furs, blinging out and all that and they can’t focus on being a human, being compassionate that’s lost. What’s going to happen is eventually(and again pop culture is always going to have its influence) the older you get you want that realness.

So that live experience is what we have. One thing we work on is trying to stop folks from filming with their phones because there may be a night and you’re not at your best and once that gets put out there people like to focus on that instead of focusing on the whole experience.

GFM: Your concept of Back 2 Love as a soundtrack?

Maysa: People taking long drives out to the beach or even just riding around at night. The way I tried to make this record musically is that you can really take some time to chill out. I drive a lot and listen to my record and it really chills me out. I want other people to experience that. I listen to other people and it helps calm me down and I want this record to do the same for people. My record to me is a good Summer record, you socialize over it, play it at parties, family reunions, cookouts all that kind of stuff that’s what I hope happens.

GFM: Tell us about finding your Prince Charming?

Maysa: Yes we are bombarded by the negative so a lot of people have given up hope. But I know, I just know and I believe in the power of positive thoughts. I know that my husband, my perfect(for me) Prince Charming exists, I know he does. The reason that we haven’t met yet is I hadn’t been ready yet and that’s the reason I call the album Back 2 Love because now I’m getting back to the place that I’m ready. I know my son can handle it at his age.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.