Exclusive Interview: Mary Wilson
Founding member of The Supremes Mary Wilson has amassed a colourful and credible career within the music industry spanning over 3 decades. She is widely respected and about to embark on a tour alongside soul legends Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack. I was lucky enough to spare 5 minutes to talk to her exclusively about life after Diana Ross, life on the road and the future.
What was it like to work with Diana Ross?
It was great. We started out as very young girls; we were like sisters. We were only 13 years old, and we were best friends. Then…well, we kind of grew up and became famous. That’s when it became a little difficult. She was moving on to become a superstar and there was a different dynamic to when we were growing up. We went our separate ways but we still love each other like sisters. We’re not as close as I would like to be, but our relationship is good.
What do you think of groups such as En Vogue and Destiny’s Child that have taken direct influence from The Supremes?
Well I think their parents are the ones who started them off that path. The ladies and I are very happy are very happy with what they have done.
Do you prefer to sing solo or in a group?
When I was in the group I loved being in the group. I like sharing things. Now that I’m a soloist though, I really like it because I can make my own decisions based on what I like. I don’t have to share or change my position and consider other people like you do when you are in a group.
What would you say is your favourite thing about going on tour?
I love to travel. Of course with all the security we have it’s not as much fun, but I like travelling to different countries and meeting people from different ethnic groups. Touring is good. I’m going on tour with Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack, which I’m really happy about. This is a once in a lifetime moment.
You have two best-selling autobiographies. How hard do you find it to draw a line between your personal life and what you share with your fans?
You’re right it is very difficult to find the right balance. You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings but you still want to tell how you feel about things. Sometimes that can mean stepping into somebody else’s space. I’m actually working on a new book as we speak.
Motown Records has such a legacy. What does being associated with Motown mean to you personally?
Motown Records is the greatest record company in the world. It’s still business, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
Who would be your ideal person to play you in a film of your life?
Halle Berry. She’s a wonderful actress; I like her spirit.