Ashanti is taking a trip down memory lane.
Nearly 20 years after releasing her self-titled debut album, the R&B singer has announced plans to re-record the project. During her appearance on “Tamron Hall,” she revealed that she now owns the masters to 2002’s Ashanti and will be re-recording and releasing it independently.
“It’s so surreal,” she said while reflecting on owning her masters. “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 signing is so imperative, it’s so important nowadays. The fact that I’ll be able to re-record my first album, and put everything together.”
Ashanti’s debut was released on April 2, 2002 and spawned hits including “Happy,” “Baby,” and the chart-topping smash “Foolish.”
“It’s so humbling. It is such an honor. I’m so grateful,” Ashanti said. “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. 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.”
She recalled recording the Grammy-winning project in the basement of her house. “I wanted to feel like I had my own apartment. So I used to be downstairs in my own section and I would put on the Cartoon Network on mute and I would just write,” she said. “It allowed me to kind of get into my zone.”
Later in the interview, she opened up about her unexpected reunion with her ex Nelly during Fat Joe and Ja Rule’s Verzuz. “I really didn’t expect it, I didn’t know he was gonna be there, honestly. So when I saw him kind of coming across the stage, I was just like, ‘Oh…’ and it was so weird because we haven’t seen or spoken to each other for over six years so that was the first time in six years, so it was a weird feeling.”
Added Ashanti, “I always, like when we first broke up, I would be like, ‘Oh my God, when I see him.’ You know I went through that, and then it was like, ‘Oh, I’m okay.’ You know what I mean. So it had been so long, I didn’t know how to feel or what I was going to feel when I actually did see him. So, that’s what it was like.”