Ashanti. In French, it means to sing. To Indians, it would mean peace or war, while over in Ghana, there’s an African princess called Ashanti.
To those in the dark, it might seem that the stunning R&B singer Ashanti breezed onto the music scene to instant success, thanks to her collaborations with Ja Rule and Fat Joe and her recent hit single, ‘Foolish’, all of which are riding up the Billboard charts.
“People don’t realize the struggle. They hear the song on the radio and see the video, and it looks easy, but it’s been an eight-and-a-half-year struggle, really” says Ashanti, who had a deal back then with Jive Records, home of Britney, et al. “They were a good company, but I wasn’t feeling the creative vibe from the people I was working with. Ever since then I’ve been doing my own thing, essentially.”
What does she mean by doing her own thing? She co-wrote ‘Spending Time’ for Christina Milian and Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Ain’t It Funny’ with Ja Rule, with whom she teamed up for the infectious ‘Always on Time.’
Now, Ashanti, 21, is getting offers from all over the place to songwrite, including one from Enrique Iglesias. “That’s one of the names. Optimistically, that will go down. A couple of people have been kicking some things in my ear about the lyrics, wanting me to write for them, which is a honour.”Ashanti’s ‘Foolish’ was so phenomenal so much so the release date for her LP was bumped up even though the rest of her remaining cuts were barely finished. “It’s like it’s majorly wanted,” Ashanti says. “The song is blowing up, the demand is out there. I’ve loads and loads and loads of positive feedback. Girls tell me that they all can’t believe I wrote about their lives. So, you do not want to lose the momentum at all. It’s a bona fide good feeling.”
Deliberately, the only guest on Ashanti is her label-mate Ja Rule, who co-wrote one song, ‘Leaving’. “I didn’t want to flood the album with loads of people. I wanted to stand on my own feet and prove I don’t need a lot of artistes to help me along the way.”
Her sophomore solo single ‘Happy’ which she suggested will be dropping in the next few weeks, is also about dropping defences. “It’s just a great vibing record. It’s a feel-good record, especially for the summer, and that’s where we kind of want to gear it towards. I’m talking about how you find that person and you’re searching for him and you’re just happy.”
Also, read an earlier Pop-Music.com article pertaining to the beautiful Ashanti entitled: Foolish Ashanti Hangs Out With The Mob.
Ashanti’s official website can be surfed through at: