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 Ashanti on New Album

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Geyla Queen
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PostSubject: Ashanti on New Album   Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:38 pm

Ashanti: A New Attitude
The Grammy Award winner returns with a new sound and tips for the heartbroken


Credit: Courtesy of Universal Motown Records
Ashanti speaks her mind--at least through her music. Since her unforgettable, four-times platinum 2002 self-titled debut, which resurrected the 1994 classic "One More Chance" by the late Notorious B.I.G. for her chart-topping single "Foolish," the Princess of Hip-Hop Soul has cemented her tiara by giving voice to the young and brokenhearted.

Before the accolades (two American Music awards, eight Billboard Awards and a Grammy), the first lady of the once powerhouse label Murder Inc. (now known as The Inc.) earned loyalists the old fashion way: speaking boldly and honestly about the peaks and valleys of love. Never straying too far from her lyrical formula, the sultry girl-next-door who has graced the big screen in blockbusters such as Resident Evil: Extinction, continues her blueprint for no-holds barred lyrics with her fourth release The Declaration. Essence.com chatted with the singer to discuss her virtual-pay back for scorned lovers, her relationship with Nelly and why she's no longer a spoiled brat.

Essence.com: Welcome back! Itís been a minute since the summer had an Ashanti jam. So what can we expect from your new album The Declaration?

Ashanti:
Itís been about four years since the last album and with this project I did everything myself so I learned a lot. I think people are going to walk away and go, Wow, this is solid. Itís also versatile because I put some songs on there that people would never expect me to do.

Essence.com: So with all these new experiences, are you a new and improved Ashanti or the same girl who sang 'Baby'?

Ashanti:
Honestly, itís a little of both. Some of those same old habits I still have, but I've definitely grown and learned so much, musically, vocally and lyrically and you can hear that growth with this album.

Essence.com: The first single ďThe Way That I Love You,Ē is the ultimate female anthem. You've even taken it to the next level with a virtual pay-back for the female scorned called Gotchagrams where users can send slasher messages to ex-boyfriends. We love it! Now, is this a message to any potential guys or trifling exes not to play with you emotions?

Ashanti:
100 percent! I want people to feel me the passion of getting your heart broken whether you're a guy or a female. We all get hurt at some point. This is something to put those type of dudes on blast like "Listen, donít be out there doing that."

Essence.com: Before there was an Ashanti Gotchagram, what was your choice of release therapy after a bad or failed relationship?

Ashanti:
Well, I really donít promote violence. But sometimes you get pushed to that point and you get so frustrated you want to hit something or scream or whatever it is that you do to get through.

Essence.com: Now it has also been said maybe the song is autobiographical and addresses what transpired between you and Nelly. Any truth to that?

Ashanti:
Iím talking about a whole bunch of guys, anyone who has ever broken a heart. I wrote that song last summer and the final product was something I thought everyone could relate to. As far as the rumors and it being all personal the answer is no.

Essence.com: So what else on this album has you excited?

Ashanti:
I love the song I did with Robin Thicke called "Things You Make Me Do." Itís such a sexy record.

Essence.com: Nice! Now speaking of Robin Thicke, are you open to interracial dating?

Ashanti:
(Laughs) That is so funny. I had a Puerto Rican boyfriend in high school so as long as they are cute.

Essence.com: (Laughs) We hear you. And for women today, itís hard enough dating so I can only imagine how difficult it is when you're in the spotlight. What is your secret to a successful relationship that is constantly under public scrutiny such as you and Nelly were?

Ashanti:
You know, me and Nelly are really good friends. He has an album coming out, I gotta album coming out. Thatís how it is.

Essence.com: Ok. So what has been one of the biggest lessons youíve learned since entering the music industry that you didnít know beforehand?

Ashanti:
You canít take anything personal. Itís a business at the end of the day. You canít trust anyone. You have to differentiate. People look at you as a commodity as opposed to a person. Itís a very cut-throat, dog-eat-dog industry.

Essence.com: Yeah, now I hear that maturity you are talking about.

Ashanti:
(Laughs) Definitely. Iíve also learned that you have to hurt in order to grow. It makes you such a stronger person. I was what they call very spoiled and used to getting things my way all the time. I learned and accepted the fact that growing up is so crucial and essential in life. You have to accept that things are not going to go your way and the challenge is dealing with that. Know what I mean?

Essence.com: Indeed. So what has been one of your biggest hurts that has helped you grow into this new self?

Ashanti:
As far as music is concerned, the politics. Sometimes the phone doesnít ring as much and you think certain people are a certain way and you find out theyíre not.

Essence.com: Uhh hmm, I see you are being vague . . .

Ashanti:
(Laughs) But you get the point

Essence.com: (Laughs) Alright. Since youíve been gone the market has become even more saturated with young R&B singers. How do you hold on to your tiara as the princess?

Ashanti:
There is always room for good music. I commend anyone who makes it because this industry is so fickle and crazy, and so cutthroat. I have my own lane. I write my own records and I definitely set myself apart from many other female artists.

Essence.com: When you first came out we could always expect a summer jam with you and Ja Rule. How is your relationship now?

Ashanti:
I think Ja has been busy working on his album. Iíve definitely been busy finishing up and getting ready to put mine out. We all collectively have to get on the grind to get it back poppin'. Itís been such a long time. I havenít really spoken to him lately but everyone is working and focused.

Essence.com: Ok. Well, are you looking to act more?

Ashanti:
Definitely. Iíve been out in L.A. working on a few projects so I have my fingers crossed. I donít want to talk about it too much. The ink is still wet, so we wanna wait until itís all solidified.

Essence.com: Sure. Since you have had so much success in your life at an early age [her first album earned a spot in the Guinness book of world records for selling the most albums by any female artist in the Sound Scan recordís history], do you ever find yourself trying to compete with your past accomplishments?

Ashanti:
Iím so blessed, thankful and content that Iíve been fortunate enough to have the success that Iíve had. But Iím still a competitor at heart. You always want to do better. The Declaration is my best yet. Itís about a sense of empowerment, freedom and growth. Iím declaring that Iím here and Iím happy!
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PostSubject: Re: Ashanti on New Album   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:20 pm

you go girl!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Ashanti on New Album   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:21 pm

<--They can make them up so much...that picture don't even look like her Rolling Eyes .

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PostSubject: Re: Ashanti on New Album   Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:47 pm

dat show business now GQ.. lots of money, men, mahem, make up, misery, mystery, etc...
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