Ashanthi, the queen of Sri Lankan hip-hop music

Ashanthi has made her mark in the music industry as the number one contemporary female music icon of Sri Lanka.

The Queen of Sri Lanka 2Ashanthi is better known as ‘The Queen of Sri Lankan Hip Hop music’. Touring the globe, wowing audiences worldwide on stages from the Sydney Opera house to the Millennium dome in London, The Cannes film festival in France and beyond, Ashanthihas made her mark in the music industry as the number one contemporary female music icon of Sri Lanka.

She recently bagged a ton of awards at the Indiego Music Awards Asia 2012, the biggest South Asian music awards.

She received recognition in the following categories – Most Creative & Innovative award for music, Best Overall Female Vocalist (GOLD), Best Pop Act of Asia (Silver) &The Best Hip-hop/Rap solo award (Silver).

Ashanthi has this to share exclusively with the readers of FMTnews.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, the kind of music you perform and your music influences

I am a Sri Lankan RnB /Pop singer and I am the only female rapper in the island. I have been singing and rapping professionally for a little over a number of years. My passion is music ranging from pop, RnB, hip hop, rock to jazz and everything else in between… I don’t limit myself to genres because I think a musician should appreciate every genre of music possible and show their versatility in their music.

My music is a combination of international RNB, hip hop and pop sounds fused with ethnic Sri Lankan flavour and instruments, it a genre unique to me because I have created my identity with this sound. I draw a lot of inspiration from international artistes like Mariah Carey, Beyonce Knowles, Black Eyed Peas, Boyz 2 Men, Blackstreet, Missy Elliot, Lil Kim and Nikki Minaj

Whats the music scene in Sri Lanka like? How do you see the future of music in your country?

The Sri Lankan music scene is predominantly Sinhalese based (which is our native language). There are many types of music that our people listen to from traditional to contemporary pop. We are a nation full of people who like to party and enjoy their music. Our openness and acceptance to all genres of music, even though we are a small country, is what makes us special.

The future of music in Sri Lanka is very bright, we have a lot of up and coming musicians experimenting with all different genres and blends of music and I definitely feel that as a senior artiste in the country we have to encourage this movement for Sri Lankan and South Asian music to go global.

You have had an amazing string of achievements. Could you share with us your greatest achievement and why it means so much to you?

My greatest achievement is completing my first ever international album in English, All the songs have been written and composed by myself with the assistance of my very talented studio engineer Shenal Maddumage assisting me with the creation of the tracks.The Queen of Sri Lanka

I am about to take this album global. I feel that if I am able to do this from a little country like Sri Lanka, I will have paved the way for many other South Asians to make their mark in the global industry. I am also really honoured to have performed on stage beside so many industry greats such as Asha Bhosle, Vanessa Amarossi, UB 40, Aqua and many others in the international industry and proud to have released 3 albums in my career, in my native language Sinhalese with 2 more on the way this year, in both my native language and one for the international English market.

If you had any advice for up and coming musicians what would your advice be?

Stay focused and make real music for the love of making music, not just to be popular or to be somebody. Your fans who love and appreciate what you do will be the ones to put you on that pedestal because you deserve to be there…

What can fans of Ashanthi expect in the next 12 months?

My international English album with tons of catchy hits, featuring collaborations from international artistes Asia wide as well as in Europe which will hit the airwaves of UK, Malaysia and India shortly. There’s also loads more new videos to come!

How do you feel after winning the IndieGo music awards? What impact has the awards recognition had on you and your fans?

It feels really great to have won so many awards at the IndieGo music awards! it has opened up the opportunity of working with so many talented artistes from across Asia and has given me the first step for a cross over into the Malaysian market. My fans have been great and so supportive through out the competition and continue to support me as I carry on my international journey through to the Bite My music global awards as well.

I also want to share some info with fans in Malaysia. I have collaborated with a major artiste in the Malaysian market and the single will be on air soon! I dont want to reveal names right now, but I assure you this is gonna be something special!

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