Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BGG Chats with R&B Singer Ashanti



I recently had a chance to chat with Grammy award-winning R&B singer, Ashanti. Known for her catchy lyrics and heartfelt tunes, this Long Island native is back and hotter than ever. Her latest single, "The Way that I Love You," is climbing the charts and is in heavy rotation across the country. She's declaring that she's no longer "Foolish."

Check out our Q&A:

BGG: Tell me a bit about your new album, "The Declaration." What makes it different from your other CDs?

Ashanti: Well this is my first album in 4 years. I’ve done a lot of growing up and I did basically everything on my own this time around with the project. I executively produced the entire thing…behind-the-scenes and the creative process. So I’m really excited about it. It’s very versatile and you can just tell sonically, musically, vocally and lyrically I’m at a different place than with my last album; so I’m very excited!

BGG: What producers did you work with this time around?

Ashanti: I worked with a whole bunch of producers. Every single one didn’t make the album, but the fact that I was able to work with them was really an amazing experience for me. From Babyface to L.T. Hutton (who actually worked on her latest single), Pharrell, Jermaine Dupri, Brian Cox, Polow, Rodney Jerkins, Robin Thicke, 7 Aurelius – a lot of very talented producers.

BGG: What’s your relationship with the Inc.?

Ashanti: The Inc. is signed to Universal so it’s the Inc/Universal. And that’s what it is (laughing)!

BGG: What’s your next single?

Ashanti: I’m not sure yet, which is a really good position to be in because we have 2 or 3 really great candidates. We’ll see!

BGG: I know that you write all of your songs. What’s the inspiration behind your lyrics?

Ashanti: Just real life. Usually it’s something that I’m going through or something that I’ve gone through or something that people who are in my circle are going through or have gone through. No matter what, it’s always something that is real. I’ve always been really genuine and sincere with my lyrics and I think that’s why a lot of people can relate to my records. I’ve just always had a passion for writing so I feel like when you hear a record and you can relate to it, it’s like “Ah,” it’s such a wonderful feeling. It’s like, “I’m not the only one going through this!”

BGG: Are you going on tour this summer for the album?

Ashanti: Definitely, I’m not sure when, but I’m definitely excited about touring.

BGG: Tell me your secret to staying in great shape!

Ashanti: It’s about being healthy. I do have a trainer. I do try to hit the gym as much as I can. I don’t eat a lot of fried foods and I don’t eat red meat or pork. That’s just my own personal preference. It’s just about being in shape and again trying to hit the gym. If you really 'wild-out' with pizza, chicken, cake and all kinds of stuff then you really should hit the gym. You have to make up for it.

BGG: I know you once wrote a book of poetry (Foolish/Unfoolish), do you think you’d ever do something like that again?

Ashanti: Yes! I had a really good time writing that. I’ve been thinking about doing another book. I’m not sure if it will be poetry, maybe or maybe not. I have had an idea of doing a book called, “Ashanti’s Style.” It would basically be about beauty secrets and fashion tips. A lot of behind the scenes stuff that most people don’t talk about too much like, the miracles of double-stick tape! (laughing) Look for that maybe later this year or early next year.

BGG: If you could do a duet with someone that you admire, who would it be?

Ashanti: Wow, I don’t know. I’ve honestly taken it one step at a time and working with a variety of producers is already a huge step for me. I’ve always worked with in-house producers. But as far as collaborating, I feel like anytime you get two artists in the studio, you could potentially come up with something incredible just with a lot of talent and creative juice flowing, but I don’t have anybody particularly in mind right now. I’m still stuck on the high of, “wow, I’ve worked with so many different producers this year alone!”

BGG: What are a few of your must-have beauty products?

Ashanti: Lip-gloss!! MAC! Recently, I’ve actually been into the MAC color glosses for the last couple of months.

BGG: I’ve seen a few photos of you in shades similar to what you’re wearing now.

Ashanti: Yeah, I like it. Oh and lotion. I have 3 things of lotion (travel size) in this bag right now. You never know when you’re going to have to lotion up those toes! (laughing)

BGG: Your latest video, "The Way That I Love You," is like a mini-movie; are you working on any new movie projects?

Ashanti: I definitely want to venture more into the movie side of things. I had a really good time filming all of the films that I’ve been in. It’s a different experience than recording. It’s good so I definitely want to get back into it. I’ve been out in L.A a couple of times this month working on a couple of things so I have my fingers crossed!

Check out her video here:

BGG: Is there in any role that you’re more drawn to than others?

Ashanti: For me I would love to get everything in one big ball – drama, comedy, action and romance! That would be ideal for me.

BGG: What would you like your fans to know about you that they might not already know?

Ashanti: Well, I don’t know because they usually know everything! (laughing).
Wow, I guess I would tell them about…(long pause) My favorite bike was my Strawberry Shortcake bike that I received when I was 5-years-old. It was pink and I got a pink jacket to go with it. The bike had a basket with strawberries on it!! I loved it! It was my best toy for like so many years! (Her mom adds, more like “FOREVER!”) And I would always wear my pink jacket with my pink and red bike!

BGG: Is there anything else that you want readers to know?

Ashanti: ALBUM IN STORES JUNE 3rd!!! Oh yeah, I also have this website site called, Gotchagram.com, which is a viral tool that you can use if you find out if that your boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating on you, you send them this email blast that you can fill out and customize. It shows a snippet of my video (The Way That I Love You) and basically it says my boyfriend is cheating on me and the way I’m going to get him back is that I’m going to put a boot up in his ass! You can use a boot, Timbaland, high-heel, a machete or whatever it is and you kind of put him on blast so you can be like, "I caught you!" And he could be guilty of not being emotionally available, he cheated, or he’s trying to talk to your cousin and you just put him on blast! You have to see it! Just log-on to www.thewaythatiloveyou.com.

50 comments:

Product Junkie Diva said...

Hey BGG
I enjoyed your interview. Great job!
I can see the results of your facial, your skin is glowing!
Product Junkie Diva

Rita said...

Ashanti looks incredible. I especially love her bright gloss for spring! This Q and A was so fun to read! The picture is super cuteeee!

K-Bear said...

BGG, what a great interview. I didn't know she wrote her own songs! Now I want to listen to all of her songs again. She is a powerful talent and I look forward to her exciting future as she continues to grow! I would like to know how she feels about being compared to Beyonce' because like it or not, there is some serious similarities. In my mind, that's a good thing!

Kwana said...

Fab, fab, fab interview BG! And you look great in the pic. Really good questions. Thanks for sharing.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

good for u great interview u balling

Eb the Celeb said...

I dont care for ashanti too much but I had to comment and say that you have the best cheek bones.. OMG!

Shadd said...

Great interview. I'm glad that she's still doing her thing and hanging in there after all this time. No matter what happens, since she writes al of her own music, she's going to stay getting paid. A smart business woman! Keep up the good work, BGG!

SH said...

The interview was very nice. I like this young lady and I think she has talent. Also, she is a very strong and positive role model for young women. I wish her much success in the future.

SH

T said...

Oooh... exciting! Truth be told, I'm a closet Ashanti fan. Especially when I'm going through some relationship ish... I'll be in my house singin' baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.

And I've been seeing her with the pink gloss a lot lately on the gossip blogs.

BGG, thanks for bringing the fabulousness to my Wednesday morning!

Wes said...

Great interview!! You look lovely in that pic; very classy and chic.. BTW- Cute cardigan!!! ;)

Gina said...

Congrats on a great interview! I think its cool that Ashanti writes her own lyrics from real life and its even cooler she loves MAC lipgloss I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT either!

Keep up the good work

Gina
"Monicas friend"

patricia said...

hi, I REALLY FOUND YOUR INTERVIEW WITH ASHANTI INTRESTING KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!

antithesis said...

ashanti isnt my fave but great interview!

Anonymous said...

great interview! look forward to seeing more.

warmbrown said...

Great Interview. But, I must admit it seems like all the celebrity interviews answers are all the same. It's seem like they are trained to say..... But, I am glad you had a great experience.
www.kewanda.blogspot.com

mimieyes said...

Your interview is awesome and your questions are on the dot.

I like Ashanti's Happy video and song. She comes off as just like a normal girl -happy and confused at times. I look forward to her new cd.

Dominican Enigma said...

What a FANTASTIC INTERVIEW!!!! i've always been a fan of Ashanti! You both look beautiful, and like Eb the Celeb said, I agree, your cheekbones look amazing. i wear massive amount of highlighter to make my cheekbones look that high. Hugs, DE

Dell80 said...

I remember seeing those kind of bikes when I was a kid lol. The song sounds great, the video was good to, best of luck to Ashanti.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Impressive (both you and Ashanti)!!! I didn't know she was so versatile. I now want to check out her book of poetry, which I didn't even know existed until yesterday...I don't buy too much music (I am too ashamed to write the last thing I purchased), but I think I will try her new cd.

By the way, both you and Ashanti looked fantastic in that picture! You have such lovely skin; it actually glows (in a good way-not that too much fried chicken greasy lookin' way)LOL!!

MeMe
p.s. you're doing your thing!!!

kitty vodka said...

Yes! she like MAC! thats riiiiight :) you 2 look really cute in that picture, good thing u always have ur camera.

Brownskin said...

Great job on the interview. I love your blog too....

Anonymous said...

BGG, do you know you two look alike! What an awesome interview! I hope you plan on doing more in the future!!

Just K said...

BGG, I loved your interview and from what I read Ashanti sounds like a very nice young lady with more to come. Thanks for the up close and personal chat with a super star. I really feel like you give us the inside scoop on things!

*Tola* said...

Nice! keep up the good work!

12kyle said...

great interview BGG

did you get any dirt on her and Nelly? Or whatabout her and Irv Gotti? LOL. I'm nosey!

Aisha said...

That was a great interview with Ashanti. I like her new single. You can tell she feels what she is singing about. I can tell she worked with new producers, because they pushed her more vocally. I wish her much success on the album. I love to see women taking control of their careers.

Ms.Erika said...

That bad--I'm with 12Kyle I wanted some dirt. I know she got some.

Still, a good interview nonetheless. Congrats!

Be Just said...

That was hot!!!! I really like Ashanti! Brown Girl, you always come through with the hottest info! Big ups!!!!

PBW said...

Like Product Junkie Diva, the first thing I noticed is how fabulous your skin looks. Wow!

Very cute picture and great interview.

Anonymous said...

Hi BGG,

I enjoyed your interview with Ashanti.....Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

wasn't really into Ashanti, but this makes me want to check out the album. Thanks BGG!!!

that guy said...

Nice picture with Ashanti!!! Great interview as well.

Miss Mika said...

Love that picture of you and her. Very pretty lady you are!!!

Although I am not a fan of hers, you did an outstanding job interviewing her. I am kind of on the boat with 12Kyle though... did you ask anything that she refused to answer?

SolShine7 said...

Cool interview. You asked some good questions. I hope you do some more interviews. Keep up the good work!

Nicole said...

I love BGG! I didn't know Ashanti wrote her own songs. It's good to see young black entertainers actually get their money lol. Ashanti looks great and you ms Karla look great standing next to her. You guys look related. I dont want to see that red lip stick on her again though. lol

Joie de Vivre said...

Great job on the interview. As a journalism grad (Howard U '03), I'm hyper-critical of Q&A pieces...most tend to be boring. However, I found your piece to be insightful & full of flavor..great job!

mg212 said...

thanks for helping me get to know Ashanti - I love that she has the GotchaGram

Yasmeen Christian said...

She is honest and cute. Love.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the interview!! To 12Kyle and others who wanted to know the dish on her relationship with Nelly, I decided that I wouldn't ask about her personal life. I probably just should've asked her because people want to know, but I had read other interviews before I talked to her and she never really admitted or denied her relationship with Nelly so I didn't think anything would be any different.

Thanks Eb the Celeb, Product Junkie, PBW and everyone who gave me compliments. I never thought I had good cheekbones! LOL I really appreciate everyone who left a comment. I love getting feedback!! Stay tuned for more interviews. :-)

Ananda said...

congratulations bgg. wow. great interview.

yummy411 said...

great stuff BGG!! i love it! keep it coming ;)

KBL said...

I loved the interview! She seems so nice and sweet. I usually don't purchase CD's but I think I will purchase this one now knowing that she writes her own songs. BTW, you guys look like sisters!!LOL

saywhat said...

I loved the interview. It was very classy. Hey, I like her lipgloss, I think I will check out mac.

Bunny93 said...

Loved the interview. Is she as down to earth as she seems?

Sterling G said...

Excellent interview, very insightful information. Keep up the good work...Now what about Mariah marrying Nick Cannon?

Demetrius said...

Great Site BGG! Your interview with Ashanti was worth reading. I like the bike story. Looking forward to more celeb shots featuring BGG!

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

@Bunny93 - Yes, she seemed to be just a regular young lady. She was snobbish at all.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the interview. Looking forward to reading many more...

Tawanna said...

Taking a moment to breath, and catching up with BGG! Great interview with Ashanti, love the crute picture of both of you!

Anonymous said...

Very informative interview. I'm a music head so the line-up of producers definatley helps me get an idea of how the album sounds. Great job BGG!