Following her break-up with Nelly, Ashanti has channeled her life experiences into her newly released album, Braveheart, her first studio effort since 2008’s The Declaration.
The singer admits that a lot has happened over the course of her six-year hiatus and it’s helped her grow as an artist. “I’ve evolved so much, just as an overall person, a woman, you know, a businesswoman,” she tells ABC News Radio. “Just being able to talk about the things that are happening in my life. You know, I feel like with this album, it’s a whole movement. It’s about being brave, being vulnerable and being sincere.”
The singer reveals that becoming “brave” is the concept underlying the project, which includes collaborations with Rick Ross, French Montana, Beenie Man and Jeremih.
“Braveheart is kind of like a mirror of my life for the past few years. You know, I’m talking about real life experiences and going places that I haven’t ever before,” she tells ABC News Radio. “Obviously being older than when I first released my first album in 2002, you grow. And it’s just about having the courage and the confidence to kind of bare your soul.”
After turning down seven major record deals, Ashanti ultimately decided to launch her own label, Written Entertainment. Ashanti tells ABC News Radio that becoming an independent artist was a risky move “not only in the aspect of the creative, but the business part.”
“Me choosing the route of going indie as a female, as a young black female in this industry, I think that’s a very brave move, you know,” she says. “And hopefully it’s something that inspires other women and other people to kind of take their career into their own hands and their destiny.”
So does she feel pressure to give her fans what they’ve desperately been waiting for? “I do, but in a good way, you know, in a motivational way.” Ashanti replies. “You know, I think it’s a blessing to have fans that kind of stood there throughout all the obstacles, the ups and downs and all the good things.”
She adds that having unwavering support from her loyal fans “definitely makes me go harder.”
Braveheart is available in stores and online now.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio