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Marsha Ambrosius says ‘Casablanco’ is a heightened version of a musical experience

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Aftermath/Interscope Records

When Marsha Ambrosius met with Dr. Dre in February 2021, she was helping him get inspired after his brain aneurysm, but it turned out to be an inspirational moment for her as well. After recovering from her own health scare, Marsha wanted to focus solely on writing and producing, but with Dr. Dre’s help, we now have her new album, Casablanco.

Recorded amid the pandemic, the album is a blend of Marsha and Dr. Dre’s individuality, but also a time capsule of some timeless classics.

“Because of when we recorded it, the time capsule really was pressing pause on before the pandemic, or what that looked like for you after the pandemic and the uncertainty of life,” Marsha tells ABC Audio. She explains its concept as being the answer to the question: “If we had to take all the music that we loved throughout our lives, what would that sound like?” — noting she was able to pay homage to all the artists of which she’s a fan. 

“I got everything. Every last piece. The fact that I got Duran Duran in there, Talking Heads, Freddie Mercury…even if I didn’t give everyone by name, there was a name that I did give that became the umbrella of all the things that came because of that one person,” Marsha says.

She notes Casablanco is different because “there were no restrictions, no limits, no boundaries” during the recording process, not to mention it was recorded with a 27-piece orchestra.

It also captured “an extreme version and a heightened version of a musical experience” that helped bring joy during a time of recovery and questions about the future.

“I don’t hear the darkest moments in my recovery. I don’t hear the pain and I don’t hear the uncertainty,” she says of Casablanco. “I hear the joy, the songs to make up to, to make love to, to break up to, to get with to.” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1).

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