Ashanti to Re-Record 2002 Self-Titled Debut Album After Securing Her Masters
By Mekishana Pierre
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Ashanti is taking a trip back to the aughts by re-recording her debut album.
The GRAMMY winner announced her plans to hit the studio during an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show, where she explained that she recently gained ownership of her masters and wanted to redo the self-titled album that was released in 2002.
"I have an amazing legal team, and I got my first record deal when I was 14 years old, so understanding and seeing how things have changed so much from then to now and conceptually understanding what you're singing is so imperative, it's so important nowadays," she told Hall about securing her masters after almost two decades since her debut.
The 40-year-old singer recalled creating the album in her basement and called the experience "humbling" and adding that she's grateful for the ability to do it over.
"It's such a blessing, you know, the fact that we are still here, we're living through a pandemic, and these blessings are still coming in, it just makes me so happy again, so humbled and such a believer," she added. "There's a higher power, and I think that just being as a person and praying and putting your heart into things you get that energy back, and I think that's so important. So, I'm just really, really happy."
The debut album Ashanti hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America by the end of the year. It featured several hit singles, including "Happy," "Baby" and the iconic record "Foolish," and went on to earn the singer Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 2003 GRAMMY Awards.
Ashanti has more musical projects coming up, including the movie Honey Girls, which is based on the Build-A-Bear line of the same name. The singer stars as the international superstar triple-threat, Fancy G, hosting a talent competition to discover the next big pop star.
The film marks the feature debut of music video director Trey Fanjoy, who helmed Taylor Swift's "Love Story" among many, many more. Julia Michaels is on board as music supervisor, with original songs penned by Mark Nilan Jr. (who wrote several of Lady Gaga's songs in A Star Is Born, including "Why Did You Do That?" and "Hair Body Face").
"The music is super uplifting," Ashanti teased. "It's a completely different vibe from Ashanti. But it's cool and it's different and I feel like it's so important as an artist to continue to evolve. You have to continue to build the empire."
Honey Girls is available exclusively on DVD and digitally on Oct. 19.