It takes a certain something special to have longevity in the music business, and Ashanti is a prime example. The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, known for hits like "Foolish" and "Rain On Me," just celebrated the 20th anniversary of her debut self-titled album, as well as the 19th anniversary of her sophomore album Chapter II. Looking back on the millions of albums sold and hits under her belt, Ashanti is proud of the mark she's left on R&B. On this week's episode of "She Comes First," Ashanti unveils what it took to stand tall as the only woman on a male-dominated record label, and how protecting her boundaries led to a career she gets to define on her own terms.
She Comes First Podcast | Episode 4: "A Little Bit Self-Ish" featuring Ashantiyoutu.be
Looking back, Ashanti remembers being "young and naive" starting out in the game to the point where she didn't even realize how monumental it was to sell half a million copies of her first album. "[I thought] is 500,000 [copies] a good number? Did we do good? I didn't really know what was going on," she says. "I think I appreciate it now more than I did then because now I understand how much it resonated."
Ashanti, now 41, has since become an independent artist and is forging a new career on her own terms. She says her happinness now came from sticking to her guns and setting clear boundaries about what she felt was best for her career. "It was hard walking away from the seven offers from major labels," she recalls. "I remember that space and time. The boundary was, 'I'm not taking these deals that I don't like. Don't call me with that because I'm not taking a 360 [deal].' It was hard and scary, but it turned out pretty good. I'm in an amazing space right now."
Watch the full interview above!