Ashanti is more than just a singer with a pretty face and a big voice. With more than sixteen years in the music business under her belt, she is a pioneer of contemporary R&B, a businesswoman and a role model for women everywhere that if you work for something, you can have anything you want.
I sat down with the chart-topping songstress moments after her sold out show at Foxwoods in Connecticut. If there’s one thing I learned from my sit-down with Ashanti, it’s that she is a boss and she is on top of her shit.
The “Happy” singer was all smiles as she and her Mom-ager, Tina, welcomed me into her dressing room with warm hugs. “Don’t worry, the spikes don’t hurt.” Ashanti said with a laugh as she pointed to the gold embellished spikes on the shoulders of her stage costume. She looked like a golden goddess wearing gold aviators, an all gold ensemble covered in Swarovski crystals that glistened as she walked across the dressing room paired with thigh high metallic gold boots. To say I’ve never felt more underdressed would be an understatement.
Ashanti was all smiles as she talked about her newest business endeavor: collaborating with Diddy and French Montana as the new celebrity spokesperson of Ciroc Vodka’s newest flavor, French Vanilla.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial. I had an amazing time shooting with Puff (Diddy) and French and all of the other artists like Khalid. It just felt like one of the regular parties that happens in LA,” she said. “It was just really cool to just stand as a female empowered, just making my own choices and my own decisions amongst the guys. You know, with my little sparkly bikini on and the guys are dancing with their suits on and I think it just sends a message that you can still be sexy and be a boss at the same time amongst the guys.”
We also talked about her new music for her upcoming album, her first album since 2014’s Braveheart. Her latest single, “Say Less,”Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard, is a funky single with throbbing electro chords that quickly turns into a modern R&B banger. Other collaborations on her new album include Nigerian singer WizKid, Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd and Tory Lanez, with production from Metro Boomin’ and A1.
Photos: Stas May/Ciroc