R&B princess Ashanti is poised to heat up the music (and beauty) scene once again. And her latest cover spread is fueling the fire. The Foolish singer smolders in the shoot for Paper magazine lensed by Alexei Hay while rocking candy-colored top knot updos coiffed by Jerome Cultrera and smokey metallic eye painted by Fulvia Farolf.
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As the new face of Miss Circle, an indie fashion line by Isabel Deng, she poses it up in a series of looks she helped to create, including a tailored, pinstripe suit, a deep v neck crystal dress and bandage crop tops and dresses.
Inside, the 16-year industry vet talks about her fashion collabo, how the music game has changed and her forthcoming EP.
“There’s nothing better than a woman that’s confident. When you know you look good, it’s a different kind of swag, you know when you walk in the room,” Ashanti says of how great she feels in Miss Circle’s clothes. “Your whole aura changes when you know you look good. I feel like nowadays, especially with everything going on, it’s really important for women to feel uplifted and empowered.”
On change in music culture:
“I feel like we’ve definitely moved away from the community aspect of things,” she says. “There are not a lot of labels that are a crew that really celebrate together. If I was doing something, Ja [Rule] and everybody came. If Ja was doing something, me and everybody came. I don’t know where we are right now, it’s a weird space. But I do see a lot of rappers — men and women — making up instead of tearing each other down, and I’m really happy about that. It’s a ray of hope for me.”
On her upcoming project:
“I feel like there are a lot of vulnerable topics that I haven’t spoken about before that I’m talking about now,” she says. “I think people will be like, ‘What did she say?’ which is a really cool thing. I can’t say names of anyone else involved yet. But the feedback has been great so far — I’ve had conversations about there being a real void for true, soul-touching R&B, and that’s what I feel I’m accomplishing with this record.”
Click through for more images from the spread. Check out the full Miss Circle x Ashanti collection here.