The album, BraveHeart, taps into Ashanti's R&B roots and features collaborations with Rick Ross and Beanie Man on two of the record's lead singles.
The 33-year-old singer told the Huffington Post that the title of the album "speaks for itself, just being brave and having heart in everything that you do in life." She acknowledged that her last album came out years ago in 2008, and said that BraveHeart is herself at her "most vulnerable" and speaks the most about her personal experiences.
One of the "personal experiences" Ashanti touches upon in her new album is her breakup with longtime beau Nelly. The singer said that the song "Scars" talks "about being scarred in a relationship," but is "a head nod" song and "not a ballad." She and Nelly had an on-again, off-again relationship for over nine years, but broke up in December 2012.
Ashanti also said she hasn't found it hard to adjust to the current R&B scene and that she has grown since her last album. She expressed her desire to "[stick] to my roots and...to what my core fans love me for," but "[understands] that things evolve." The singer hopes to have a reunion with longtime collaborator Ja Rule and work with him again sometime in the future.
Ashanti has stayed busy during her six-year singing hiatus. A recurring role on Army Wives is just one of the singer's recent forays into acting. Ashanti indicated she is also into executive producing and hopes to continue her acting career. "If I had it my way, it would be all three [film, scripted TV and reality TV]."
BraveHeart is available for download now on iTunes.