Singer Ashanti hasn’t been sitting on her hands since her fans last heard from her. The former Murder Inc. songstress is planning a major comeback that will involve more than just singing.
“My passion is music. I love writing music, but music is dying,” she told Larry Love on his radio show. "You have to have other outlets to continue to build that brand, ‘cause that’s your focus. So, you line up film. You line up television. You line up books. It’s all about timing and aligning the stars and having the right people behind you and knowing what you want."
Ashanti’s obviously learned a few things from watching the music industry evolve over the last few years.
“The industry—the economy—is completely different than 2002, when I first came out. We’re surrounded by different people," Ashanti explained. "Radio has changed. Labels have changed. Strategic formulas have changed. So, it’s about adapting to what that is." Now, she’s planning to do more than just perform. She’s going to be working things behind the scenes, too.
“I’m on that path of if I’m doing something, I want to own half of that," she said. "I need to be executive producer of that. I need to collect that check and have my creative input."
Although her fans haven’t seen her, Ashanti said she’s been on her grind. This is the year she expects her ideas to become reality. “I think it’s going to be an amazing year. Everything that I just mentioned: film, television, music, books … all in the works,” she revealed. “We’ve been lining things up for the past two-and-a-half, almost three, years.”
For Ashanti, waiting to move on her visions has been the most difficult part. “I’m the type of person, I want to see results right now," she said, "but in order for it to be as big as it possibly can, you have to build that platform. That was one of the hardest things…to wait.”
So, what have fans been waiting for all this time? Ashanti wasn’t willing to share too much, but in addition to new music, she’s also working on a project with actress Mira Sorvina “that has to do with breast cancer. We’re reaching out to Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Angela Bassett." She added, "I don’t want to speak too premature. I like things to be signed, sealed and delivered on the dotted line before I speak about it."
Acknowledging that the game has changed, Ashanti said she’s using any hate to fuel her fire, stating, “I think it’s really essential to use hate as motivation. They’re little stones that you step on to complete building your brand."
As for her, she’s opting not to spend her energy hating on any so-called competitors in the industry. “I don’t like beef. You block your blessings when you’re negative,” Ashanti said.
Listen to Ashanti’s radio interview here.
—Tracy L. Scott