Singer-songwriter Mashonda, who has worked with Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, and Swizz Beatz, releases the perfect soothing summer jam “Positive Distraction” on Friday, August 12, via her label Tifrere Music. “Positive Distraction” is the second single from Mashonda’s Note to Self EP out this fall.
The romantic “Positive Distraction” celebrates finding your person. The New York / Los Angeles-based artist sings, “When we kiss I heal, you take me there, a place I didn’t think was real.” Co-written and produced by Mashonda and The Millennials, the emotional contemporary R&B track flutters with soft, palpitating percussions and irresistible, humming synths.
“Positive Distraction” is about a healthy, healing relationship. “I wanted this song to be about someone connecting with a person that makes them completely forget about anyone or anything that has ever hurt them,” Mashonda says. “Nothing else matters because this person gives you a whole new life, they rewrite what love means for you, what romance means for you.”
Fans of 1980s pop will love Mashonda’s nod to The Police’s 1981’s classic “Everything She Does Is Magic” which influenced part of the melody of “Positive Distraction”’s chorus. “I’m an ‘80s baby at heart,” she explains. “I was on my way to the studio and ‘Everything She Does Is Magic’ came on. It’s one of my favorite songs. I was singing it in my car, and when I got to the studio, I couldn’t get the melody of the hook out of my head. So, I played it for the producer. I said, ‘Give me a track.’ I started singing what became my version of that song.”
“Positive Distraction” follows Note to Self’s first single released in July, the well-received, sensual bop “Forbidden Fruit” (listen here), and its equally rousing music video (watch here). The EP is inspired by Mashonda’s romantic relationships over the past five years. “I’ve learned so much from my relationships,” she says. “There’s always a lesson in love or pain.”
In addition to the music releases, Mashonda continues curating art via her company Art LeadHer, a platform dedicated to empowering women in art. Her second summer exhibition, Art Genesis: The Beginning of Legacy, takes place from August 12 to August 18 at 3118 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, CA. The free showcase highlights the works of 12 global emerging artists, Chantel Walkes, Dana Marie Bullock, Johnson Ocheja, K’era Morgan, Joshua Griffin (p.k.a Zim), Lauren Pearce, Lord Ohene, Megan Lewis, Ronnie Rob, Sisqo Ndombe Akisieful, Unyime Edet, and Zwelethu Machepha.
Boston native Mashonda Tifrere signed a publishing deal with Warner Chapel Music in 1998 and wrote songs for Monifah, Maya, and Yvette Michele. She has appeared on songs with artists Jay Z, Lil Kim, Eve, DMX, and LL Cool J. As a solo recording artist signed to J Records and Swizz Beatz’ Full Surface Records, she recorded the 2005 album January Joy which featured production from Beatz, Raphael Saadiq, Mike City and guest appearances from Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, and Jadakiss. In 2018, she released the book Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, featuring contributions from co-parents Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. She founded Art LeadHer in 2016 to provide equitable opportunities for emerging women in visual arts. She has shown more than 200 artists globally.
Photo Creds: Mathieu Turk | Push and Pull Media