It’s hard to think of many artists who’ve achieved the accolades that Ashanti has. The R&B singer, actress, entrepreneur and more; has broken records and also has undeniably been an immense force in modern hip-hop & R&B. With Murder Inc., Ashanti dominated popular music in the early 2000s and has given listeners a plethora of good memories through her stellar discography. This month the princess of hip hop & R&B is returning to the UK with 2 headline shows in Birmingham and London alongside one of R&B’s kings, Joe. Ahead of her show, we caught up with Ashanti talking Murder Inc., R&B and her plans for 2017.
Bespoke: What is your favourite collaboration with Ja Rule and why?
Ashanti: “Mesmerize” and “Down 4 You”. “Down 4 You” because I remember writing that verse blind with no direction and always loved the melodies. I remember playing the verse in the studio with all the guys and they went crazy! “Mesmerise” because I love that it’s back & forth.
The Murder Inc. sound was undeniably the most pioneering and most popular sound in the early 2000s. What was the secret behind it and why do you think it worked?
It was real music and our chemistry was always genuine. That positive energy was extended to our music and created such memorable releases that thankfully a lot of people loved it, which I’m always grateful for.
With that being said, what are your thoughts on today’s R&B?
Today’s R&B is very different to how it was back when I was coming up. There’s not as much heart and soul as there once was.
You’re performing at the Eventim Apollo and o2 Academy Birmingham with Joe. Tell us what this means to you and your experiences when you’ve performed in the UK previously?
Extremely excited! I always receive so much love and I’m so happy to be coming to back! I had some amazing experiences in my career over in the UK.
What can we expect from you in 2017 and when will we be getting more new music from you?
New music! And I’m excited about my new single and album coming soon. Yes, more new music coming very soon and I really can’t wait for everyone to hear what I’ve got coming up.