Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Michelle Williams has carved out quite a solo career since her early days as part of the Grammy-winning trio, Destiny’s Child. The Chicago-born singer and actress has successfully released three top-rated albums and has starred on Broadway in such hit musicals as Aida, The Color Purple, and Chicago  and most recently as Sandra Isadore in Fela.

In February, Williams announced her plans to star in a reality-series, My Sister’s Keeper, which chronicles the making of her fourth album, Journey to Freedom.

Williams recently sat down and chatted with R&B songstress and fellow stage actress, Deborah Cox for Michigan Avenue Magazine. The two divas chopped it up about Williams’ new inspirational album, the lessons she has learned and the influence her DC sistahs, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Kelly Rowland, have had on her as a solo artist.

Check out a few photos and excerpts from her interview below:

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DC: How does your upcoming album, Journey to Freedom, focus on your life?

MW: People identify when your music comes from the heart and speaks truth. There was a time last year when I didn’t know if I could record and finish one song, and it took me a while to really be comfortable and allow other people to help me with my thoughts. We had some incredible writers who were able to help me with my own situation, and it really helped deliver me out of some of those dark moments.

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DC: How have Beyoncé and Kelly influenced you as a solo artist?

MW: Being in the group that long—with even Bey and Kelly, being in the group that long for them—just rubs off on you. The friendships continue to inspire, but the genres are so different now. I can’t wait for them to hear [my new album], so I can be like “Okay, what do y’all think?” They’re like, “Girl, do this or do that.” But we really try to keep the solo stuff separate.

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DC: On Fela!, how have you been able to keep your voice and your stamina?

MW: I had a little bit of fatigue, but I just needed a half-day of rest—no talking, no press, no nothing—because if I didn’t I was close to vocal injury.

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DC: Looking back, what advice would you give your 19-year-old self?

MW: Not to take things personally. Actually I wouldn’t change anything that I have done because I have been blessed to know some great people…Even when I was singing backgrounds for Monica, they were giving me great advice, and when I first got into the group—when Destiny’s Child first had interest in me—they were the first ones I called. I’ve had great, great people to guide me along the way.

Click here to read the rest of the interview!

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