Since the age of 16 when she moved to Atlanta to fulfill her dreams of a music career, R&B singer Ashanti has been unstoppable. Ashanti talks to Gayle about her successes in the music industry and how she plans to stay on top of it all.
Ashanti says success didn't come easily, but a positive outlook, hard work and the challenges of rejection helped her get where she is today. "That's where the power comes from," she says. "You have to go through harsh realities to be successful because you have to establish that thick skin. I would almost say I am thankful [for the struggles] because that pain made me stronger, and here I am."
Because of the harsh nature of the cutthroat music industry, Ashanti says she always has to be on top of her game. "I think in this business, in order to grow, you have to push the envelope, you have to do different things just to try and see," she says. "It's all a part of growth and changing your level and changing expectations."
In The Declaration, her first album in four years, Ashanti says the music came from the real-life experiences of herself and her loved ones. "I always had a passion for writing, and I think it's a beautiful thing to be able to connect with people and write when you are writing about reality and real issues."