Exclusive: Ashanti Talks ‘Braveheart’, Reuniting w/ Ja Rule, Possibility Of Working w/ 50 Cent & More
March 5th, 2014 by Navjosh
Ashanti may be best known for her self titled debut album which spawned the number 1 single ‘Foolish’, went Gold first week and won her a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B album. But the truth is that she has put out consistent, well defined R&B music ever since then.
Her 5th album, Braveheart hit stores yesterday (March 4th) through her own imprint Written Entertainment with support from eOne music. The album features contributions from Rick Ross (on 1st single ‘I Got It’), French Montana, Jeremih and Beenie Man. And while she was on her promo campaign, we were able to chat with her for a few about the album, being a CEO of her own label, her favorite songs on the album, upcoming music with Ja Rule, possibility of working with 50 Cent, whether she gets tired over media asking her about Nelly, ghostwriting for other artists and more.
And oh yes, I openly told her I had a huge crush on her.
Hey Ashanti. First off, I appreciate you taking out the time to speak to me today. How’s the promo for Braveheart going?
Aw, thank you. Oh my gosh, I’m so sleepy but that’s a good thing because it shows I been working. I’m at BET right now, just did two performances and a good interview. It’s been a packed day, I celebrated last night at VIP so have just had 45 minutes of sleep (laughs).
You’ve been grinding hard with Written Entertainment. How does it feel to have your own imprint and having control over release of your music?
It’s an amazing feeling but it’s also lot of hard work. It feels great to have control but you gotta make certain important decisions that don’t just affect my life but everybody around me. But it’s a liberating feeling to be the main person making the decisions, own my masters and be very hands on with everything going on.
Was it hard to secure features like Rick Ross, Jeremih and French Montana on the album?
Umm, fairly easy. Hey look, we got them done in the end so must not have been that hard (laughs). But it helps that I have some amazing people around me. Slow Bucks actually hooked me up with Ross and Jeremih.
What’s your favorite song on the album?
Damn, that’s a tough question. But it depends on the mood I’m in. I love ‘Nowhere’, I love ‘Love Games’, I love ‘I Got It’.
We noticed that you changed the artwork a couple of times. Was it just change of moods ?
You know what, I never really changed it. The first image that everybody saw with me wearing blue lipstick was just a promo thing we did with eOne and for some reason, someone took a screenshot of it and promoted it as the album cover. But that was never really the cover. The rest of the images were really just promo images I would post on my Instagram and people thought they were album covers. And I was just like, ‘you know what, I’ll let them run with it because the more pictures out there, the merrier.’ The current one is and was always the only official one.
You look great on the cover. You know what, I’m engaged and I always tell my fiancée that Ashanti’s been my only long time celebrity crush.
(Laughs) oh my God, thank you Navjosh!
Ha, you’re welcome. You’ve worked with LT Hutton a lot through out your 5 albums. I have a question. ‘Girlfriend’ is probably one of the best songs you’ve made. You never thought about making that a single from ‘The Declaration’?
That’s funny and a really interesting question because some people have asked me about this in the past. Had we had more support and time with that album, it would have been a nice third single. But yes, that’s definitely a fan favorite.
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