Born in Glen Cove, NY, ashanti S. Douglas first sang in a gospel choir at age six. Her R&B singing career began in 1994 when ashanti performed at a local talent show. Her strong soulful voice caught the attention of industry insiders and ashanti immediately signed on with a management team and began showcasing her talent with performances at the Soul Cafe, China Club, Madison Square Garden, Carolines Comedy Club and Greek Fest 2000 at Jones Beach to name a few. Signed to AJM Records, ashanti quickly caught the attention of multi-platinum producer Irv Gotti of Murder Inc. who recognized her exceptional singing and writing talents and set the stage for her introduction to the music world. ashanti is featured on Ja Rules current single Always On Time and appeared with him on MTVs Making the Video. ashanti also appears on two other tracks on Jas current platinum CD Pain Is Love as well as Big Puns smash hit single How We Roll from his Endangered Species CD. ashanti has also worked with Murder Inc. recording artist Cadillac Tah on his singles Thug Love and POV City Anthem. ashanti also released a solo track titled When A Man Does Wrong in addition to being featured on rapper Vitas remake of Madonnas Justify My Love on the soundtrack of the Vin Diesel movie The Fast and the Furious. This multi-talented singer songwriter is currently writing and recording her first studio album and writing singles for Jennifer Lopez and Christina Milian.
ashanti's talents extend beyond the recording studio. ashanti began her dance training at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and performed with the Senior Pro Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Apollo Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Black Spectrum Theater. Her dance credits include the Disney TV musical directed by Debbie Allen and starring Phylicia Rashad, the 1994 Caribbean Awards and dancing with Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. With the same creative and seductive energy that ashanti has captured the attention of the music industry, ashanti will captivate the public, with the power of her voice, lyrics, melodies and natural beauty. Look out for her first single release coming soon.
Ja Rule. J. Lo. Big Pun. Fat Joe. ashanti’s worked with some of the industry’s best—writing lyrics and singing hooks that help their records reach the top of the music charts. Now it’s time for 21-year-old ashanti Douglas to take center stage and shine on her very own self-titled debut, the much-anticipated ashanti. In April, ashanti hits the scene as the first R&B vocalist on Murder Inc. Although this is a departure for the hip hop powerhouse label that has a roster including rappers Ja Rule, Vita and Charli Baltimore, all indications show that the transition has been more than smooth and successful.
ashanti’s lead single, “Folish, has already made waves at radio—getting heavy rotation on urban stations and galvanizing fans to demand an earlier-than-planned release of her album, a tantalizing blend of edgy hip hop groves and subtle R&B styling. With ashanti’s clever lyrics and slick production by Murder Inc.’s president Irv tti, “Foolish immediately reminds music lovers of the Notorious B.I.G.’s popular “One More Chance remix. (True old school heads will remember the familiar melody from DeBarge’s 1983 hit “Stay with Me. Either way, you’re sure to be hooked. And that’s what Irv’s depending on.
“ashanti's album is full of ‘one-listens like ‘Foolish says an exuberant Gotti, whose passion for this project is palpable. “When you hear this song, and other songs on the album like “TK, which is based on one of Scarface’s old cuts, you remember it, you’re bopping your head to it and you immediately get it. Making sure people “get it and truly feel where ashanti’s coming from is also of the utmost importance to ashanti, who penned all 12 songs on the album, most written on-the-spot in the studio. “I want to create something so real and reflective that people just sit back and listen like, ‘damn, was ashanti in my window last night, because this really happened to me, says the eldest daughter of a dancer and singer. “Everyone has gone through something that’s on this album, and I want to be able to articulate their feelings.
With cuts like “Happy, “Baby and “Rescue, which detail the ins and outs of relationships, the precocious Long Island native is sure to make her mark with streetwise sophistication similar to the reigning queen of hip hop soul, who first blended hardcore beats and heartfelt lyrics in the early nineties. “Mary paved the way, says ashanti, who began pursuing her singing career at age 12 and also cites Ella Fitzgerald and Blue Magic as influences. “I didn't want to sing only slow songs and I didn’t want to be spittin rhymes. But Mary put those concepts together. ashanti cleared the way, and now I’m following my own path. Says Irv, who executive produced the project, “I want ashanti's album to pick up where Mary’s My Life left off. By no means are we trying to take Mary’s slot because ashanti’s undoubtedly the queen. But ashanti is Murder Inc.’s princess—with a gansta feel to her.
I really want men to champion this album, Irv continues. “Usually, with an R&B record, women pioneer it or champion it before anyone else. I want men, thugs, ganstas—I want them to hear the record and be like, ‘yo, this shit is hot. That’ll make women like it even more. ashanti flips the hardcore songs and makes ‘em sweet, so ashanti appeals to both sexes. ashanti’s already well established track record has placed her on the sweet road to success. (Ja Rule’s “Always On Time has broken history as Def Jam's op selling single.
Her contribution to J. Lo's “I'm Real helped give the former fly girl-turned-actress-turned-singer urban credibility.) With her own album, ashanti continues the saga that is sure to gain her the hip hop/R&B princess crown. And the impact ashanti hopes to make during her reign is simple: “If you’re a person who has trouble expressing yourself, all you have to do is pop in this album and it’ll speak for you, ashanti says with all sincerity. “When you listen to this album with your man or your girl, everybody will be on the same page. Says a much more boastful Gotti, “ashanti delivers at the highest level. And ashanti has this personality that makes people love her. ashanti’s got too many people feeling her, too many hit records and too much heat for her to stop, he praises. “ashanti can’t lose.