Vixen Chat: Ashanti Talks ‘Braveheart’ and Her Top 5’s

Ashanti 'Braveheart' second album cover

Is this new album going to be personal like your past projects?

Absolutely, hence the title Braveheart. It’s about being brave and vulnerable.  I feel like this is my most vulnerable and organic album. I wrote about everything that I went through at that moment, everything I felt—good, bad, and indifferent. I feel like the album tells a complete story from top to bottom.

You haven’t been musically mainstream for a long tim,e so is the music is a compilation of all these years?

For the most part everything has been recent, and when I say recent, a year to two years [ago].

How does it feel to have your own label?

It is an amazing feeling and a lot of hard work. It gets frustrating at times with being an indecisive person, and the fact that I have everything in my control, it is a lot to wear on your shoulders. But, it’s worth it, when you put in the blood, sweat and tears and you are happy with the outcome and you can pat yourself on the back and say, “you did it”. It’s a learning process, I’m learning every day. I learned a lot from the people behind the scenes and just being able to apply it and understand it.  kind of have to split myself in half—half of me being the artist and half of me being the CEO. One thing I learned about myself that I don’t like, I make very expensive mistakes—it’s not a good feeling but I’ve learned from them.

What have you learned the most or appreciated now since you are on the other side?

To be grateful and thankful in the moment of positivity.  In the beginning, I didn’t realize what it meant to be top 5 or 3. I didn’t realize how good it was to have the #1 record in the country. I knew it was great, but you don’t realize how sacred that is.  To have these accomplishments, it was so easy back then, the music industry from 2002 to now. I learned to really take it in and appreciate it because you might not get another one.

Does that scare you that it is harder and different?

It doesn’t scare me for the simple fact that I am super content. I’ve done some monumental things that I’m very humbled and proud.  I have an amazing team around me and the amazing accomplishments that we did, still hold records years later so, I’m content. That doesn’t mean that I am not going to try to go farther and break my own records. I’m going to continue to strive for bigger, better things.

Which song made you cry or made you say “did I really just put my business out there?”

I would definitely say “Scars”, “Nowhere”, and “Never Should Have.” Those are the most heartfelt.  Those records speak vulnerably. “Rest in Peace” is another one that is really deep–it paints a very vivid picture. The first line I say is “your hands should be cover in blood by the way you ripped my heart.” That’s the visual [laughs].