Since Floetry’s separation, very little has been heard from Natalie “The Floacist” Stewart. Formerly one half of the group Floetry with Marsha “The Songstress” Ambrosius, who together soothed our ears with sensual soul, she is best known for hit singles like “Getting Late,” “Lay Down” and Grammy-nominated “Say Yes.”
A solo career was never intended, but in 2007 when the group dismantled, an offering came in the form of the 2010 LP The Floacist Presents: Floetic Soul, and thus began her emancipative journey to personal healing and establishing new life mantras. The London-based, independent artist commemorates the ten-year anniversary of Floetry with her forthcoming two-part sophomore production as a solo artist, Floetry Re:Birth.
“This album is about self-love,” she shares from her home in the UK. “It’s about independence, self–ownership and energy of temperance. The contribution of this record is being the difference it wants to see.”
The Floacist imparts listeners with contemplative moments of love, conflict and resolution, personal growth and affirmations of positivity on her album. Her inspirations of Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba and Johni Mitchell and appreciation of live music performance are sonically palpable throughout.
Produced by FREE SUM Music Company, the LP features a jazz reincarnation of the former group’s successful single, “Say Yes.” “It was my way of including Marsha in this album. She and I wrote that song together,” she says. “That was the most blessed and peaceful way that I could be inclusive of her in the acknowledgment and celebration of the 10 years of Floetry.”
Although incorporating her former collaborator on her latest project, Stewart uses Marsha as an example of the music she wouldn’t craft herself. “My sistren Marsha singing about having a pistol on her hip. If that were her truth, it would be something else, but it’s not her truth. As a poet, I don’t back that. I cannot support energy that isn’t true and is attempting to bring negative vibrations and cause arguments and fights and break up families with fatherless children and one-night stands being the result. You have to think about these things when you’re in the studio.”
As far as a reunion with the songstress, the Floacist is game as long as their vibes are in sync. “The doors of Floetry are always opened for Marsha. They’ve never been closed, but in order for us to be able to create together, we would have to be working off a similar ethos.”
Her silence regarding Floetry’s separation shouldn’t be mistaken for anything less than The Floacist’s reverence for unity and womanhood. She acknowledges the power of women in creating positive energy that she attempts portray that in her music. “I felt that there was an importance in being able to walk this experience gracefully and show that we know how to regenerate ourselves.”
As an independent artist under Shanachie Entertainment, the Floacist is able to exercise her freedom and proclaim her truths in a way she believes is uncompromising, although it is a challenging responsibility. She explains being independent “doesn’t necessarily come with limousines and people and lights.”
“I actually really love my life. I’m very blessed. I have a very beautiful family. I’m not trying to get away from anything. I don’t create art as a means of escapism.” —Rachel Francois
The Floacist’s soulful passion project Floetry: The Re-Birth hits stores Nov. 13. Buy on iTunes here.