*While working the red carpet at yet another NYC gathering I stumbled across the surprisingly sweet, beyond media cordialness, and approachable Mashonda as she posed for the paparazzi.
Though the event venue was sweltering hot due to lack of AC, Mashonda seemed unfazed as she appeared to shimmer while the rest of us were just sweaty.
As luck would have it I was the only reporter at the event who actually wanted to talk to the celebrities on hand. “Five minutes” yelled her handler as she folded her arms like a bodyguard and looked at her watch. When they do that it’s really annoying, but 5 minutes was actually all I needed.
“I’ve just been working on a lot of different things,” said Mashonda as she struggled to hear me above the music. “Working on my fashion line and working on my music. You know, a lot of different things.”
“It’s very new right now and it’s just a collection of very sexy dresses,” said the songstress of her fashion endeavor. “Great, evening dresses. Something that your lady would really like.”
Mashonda hasn’t released an album in quite sometime. Though she has been featured on several hit singles with such artists as Jay-Z, Eve, Snoop Dogg and Mya, the lovely Harlem-raised singer has not had success with her own projects. But she appears to be getting back to the business of making music after a tumultuous 2010.
“On this album I’m speaking to the women and the men,” said Mashonda of her new work that’s tentatively titled ‘Mashonda Loyal.’ “This album is super-sexy. very inspirational and just something I think everybody will relate to. I don’t know when the first single (Touch Me) is going to be out but you can definitely look for something in the fall. The album is going to feature Mike City, Raphael Saadiq, a couple of new guys and we’re just going to keep it going.”
In the past Mashonda was signed to ex-husband Swizz Beat’s Full Surface Records, but this offering is going the independent route. There may be perks to being on a major label, but being independent has its upside as well.
“Well at an indie you have more freedom,” Mashonda told EURweb.com. “You’re spending your own money but, at the end of the day, you can make it yours.”
During her break up from Swizz Beats many media outlets depicted Mashonda as being this lump of emotions that would never heal from the betrayal that she had endured. But the woman that stood across from me appeared to be nothing of the sort.
“Well, the public has definitely been in my business as of late, but it’s not all their fault. I’ve shared a lot of my business with them. But I feel like I’ve grown so much in the situation. I’m in a really in a great place right now. I’m a mom and I’ve got all these great things going on.”
In addition to having an album coming out, and being a star on VH1′s “Love & Hip-Hop,” Mashonda has a book coming out as well titled “Death of a Mermaid.”
“The book is a memoir slash self-help book. It’s about everything that I have gone through and it’s geared toward helping people. Being loyal to yourself before you can be loyal to anyone else. Being the best you can be for you.”
As Mashonda disappeared down the red carpet we didn’t see a victim or a woman scorned, but a proud mother and a strong woman whose ready to go about the business of living her life.