Written by | Ray Cornelius

Fantasia is living proof that all things really do get better with time.

For over a decade now, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Broadway actress and reality-star has wooed us with that  voice. Her much talked about live performances are nothing short of musical odysseys in which all the greats of “gospel, rock, and R&B” past come to life in her 5’ 7” frame. Have you ever heard Fantasia sing  “Purple Rain?” She will make you forget it was ever written and performed by Prince.

However, with the glitz and the glamour came the heavy price of fame that the High Point, North Carolina native paid dearly. Whether it was circumstances she created or situations that were totally out of her control, Fantasia has literally “been there and done that” but somehow has always managed to come out with a song…a good one at that.

Fast forward to 2013 and Fantasia has finally put away all the drama. She has truly found a place of peace and a balance between Fantasia the superstar and Fantasia the sister, mother and daughter. Her current album, Side Effects of You  is indicative of this change.  With two hit records, Lose to Win  and Without Me  featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott already burning up the charts, Fantasia is not the same 19-year-old girl that won American Idol.  She is finally in control of her brand and making the music she’s always wanted to record.  The music she was meant to record.

I had a chance to chop it up with Fantasia about this new phase of her career. She dished about her album and a forthcoming gospel project with her mother. We also talked about her current obsession with the jazz legends: Billie Holliday, Josephine Baker and Nina Simone, and how that admiration for them and their musical legacies have opened the door for her return to Broadway in the jazz-inspired musical, After Midnight.

Check out my unedited 14-minute interview with the reigning queen of rocksoul:

Photography Credit: Plan A Media