Ashanti Says Changing Industry Reason For Absence, Talks Music, Film, TV & Books

Since her contractual release from The Inc. Records in 2009, Ashanti has been absent from the music scene. Her last album, ‘The Declaration,’ was released in summer 2008, which the former Murder Inc princess says represented the freedom she felt she had at that time in her career.

Fast-forward 3 years later, Ashanti is still jumping through hoops to revive her once successful career. Speaking with Larry Flick of Sirius XM Radio recently, the R&B songstress opens up about why she has been visibly absent and projects in the works.

“Well, I think it’s a combination of the industry changing as a whole. I think it’s about being happy, knowing what you want and how to accomplish it,” Ashanti tells Flick. “Dealing with execs and the way things change in the labels is really something you have to adapt to because it’s a lot of things that are beyond your control. So in order to get that control back you have to kind of sit for a minute, sort it out and know what you’re doing and have an amazing team.”

Ashanti has been surveying the changes in the industry, looking for the right timing to return. Along with a planned new album, the “Rock With You” hitmaker is also prepping Film and TV spots as well as a book deal.

“The first thing I plan is being focused, clearing my head, understanding and adapting. Like I said, the industry, the economy is completely different than 2002, when I first came out,” says Ashanti. “We’re surrounded by different people, radio has changed, labels have changed, strategic formulas have changed, so it’s about adapting to what that is. I think the first step is definitely staying true to yourself. My passion is music, I love writing music but music is dying so you have to have other outlets to continue to build that brand because that’s the focus. So you line up film, you line up television, you line up books and it’s all about timing and aligning the stars and having the right people behind you and knowing what you want. I think it’s really important to own. I’m on that path [right now]. If I’m doing something, I need to own half of that; I need the executive produce that, I need to collect that check and have my creative input.

She adds: “Everything that I just mentioned, film, television, music, books, is all in the works. We’ve been lining things up for the past almost 2 ½-3 years. It gets a little frustrating because I’m the type of person I want to see results right now. I want to do it now, I want it to happen right now. But in order for it to be as big as it possibly can, you have to build that platform and that was one of the hardest things to wait. Everything that I’ve spoken about we’ve been in development with [for awhile].”

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