Ashanti Moves Past ‘Black Cloud,’ Takes Control of Her Career

Blue skies are ahead for Ashanti. After a fallout with her former label Murder Inc., the R&B princess picked up the pieces and launched her own label, Written Entertainment. In an interview with “Access Hollywood Live,” the 31-year-old entertainer spoke about moving past the darker days and taking her career into her own hands.

“The label I was with kinda fell under an indictment and that actually put a hold on everything,” explained Ashanti, who will release her first album since 2008’s The Declaration this year. “It was like a black cloud that I had to kinda come out of and we had to do a lot of damage control. I felt that I wanted to distance myself from that.

“I did Broadway, I did some films, I did John Tucker Must Die, I did Resident Evil. I just had to regroup and say we’re gonna have a fresh start and I’m gonna try to put my business hat on and try to look for a different angle to approach the music. The industry was changing dramatically in those past three years.”

The businesswoman learned some valuable lessons along the way. “Being with the major [label] taught me that I needed a way bigger percentage than what they were giving me,” said Ashanti. “It’s about the profit sharing now and everything is digital and I’m cutting my own deal with iTunes. It’s about learning the behind the scenes to become a better businesswoman.”

Ashanti’s fifth album is due this summer on Written Entertainment/eOne. The first single, “The Woman You Love” featuring Busta Rhymes, is available now on iTunes.

[Written by Ashanti]