What inspired your new look?
Honestly, I did a photo shoot last year and everyone was like, “hey let’s try something different.” I felt this is Braveheart; this is a new movement. It’s about bearing it all, about being vulnerable, pushing it to the edge and trying something different. I’ve always had long hai,r but this time around we wanted to try something totally different and I’ve never rocked short hair before. After the shoot my photographer was like, “If you don’t cut it I’m not talking to you anymore; the relationship is over.” So it was a little bit of a threat (laughs), but more so about the whole movement of being true. I can’t say I wasn’t confident before, but this is a different kind of confidence with short hair. I do miss a nice slick ponytail. I can probably still do it but it won’t be as cute [laughs].
What is one thing you hate about being a celebrity?
Just the things people expect from you sometimes, it’s mind boggling to me. Sometimes we are not considered as human beings. A person may not know I just got over the flu, was in the studio for three days, my throat hurts, I am on pain killers and I just want to sleep for 2 hours on this flight. Then I’m called a bitch because I don’t want to take this picture at this particular moment. Can we wait until this flight is over maybe? Sometimes you have to do it, otherwise the word gets spread out, “Man Ashanti was a bitch,” so you got to suck it up and just do it. It is never an off day.
It’s a family affair with you. How does it feel to have a tight knit family in this cut–throat industry?
It is the best thing ever and it’s really a blessing, I don’t know how people do it without their family—being able to laugh, cry, and share joy and understand the struggle. To have both of my parents still married after 37 years, my sister, my aunties, my cousins everyone is involved. I am very grateful for the blessing of having that. I admire people who do it without their family because I couldn’t do it without mine.
Who is the hardest person on you in your family?
Probably my mother and my sister- just to do better and strive. My sister makes a prominent point to throw it in my face, but it is never in a ill will demeanor. It is always in a way of, “yo, I am looking out for you.” I’m lucky because my sister is in a younger generation so that keeps me in the know of what is going on for generations younger than me.
What is one un google-able fact about you?
I’m a good cook; I make the whole spread for Thanksgiving.
What’s your favorite dish to cook?
I love to do a whole chicken, cabbage, rice, and teriyaki salmon. My orange chicken and my asparagus is crazy. I made some jerk tilapia not too long ago on the grill– that was new for me. I like to make kabobs–pineapple, onions, peppers, and I season the chicken sometimes I put shrimp in-between.
Have you ever thought about making a cookbook?
I did! We might do something like that.
Photo Credit: Getty