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LI Sound: Ashanti's collaboration with soca star tops reggae charts

Ashanti native's silky, soulful vocals balance the up-tempo

Ashanti native's silky, soulful vocals balance the up-tempo soca beat with Machel Montano on "The Road."   Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Amy Harris

Ashanti is doing her part to heat things up this winter with “The Road” (Monk Music), her collaboration with soca star Machel Montano.

The Glen Cove native’s silky, soulful vocals balance the up-tempo soca beat and Montano’s wild delivery, as she declares, “You can take me anywhere, wherever you go, I’ll go.”

Co-written by Ashanti, Montano, Jovan James and producer Travis World, “The Road” is an unexpected combination that caught fire immediately in reggae and soca circles, already hitting No. 1 on the iTunes reggae chart.

“I had a blast making this record,” Ashanti tweeted when it was released. She’s also already deep into working on her own album, which could include collaborations with Metro Boomin and Big Sean, along with Lil Wayne, who she worked with for his last album. There is also ongoing chatter that she may reunited with “Always on Time” pal Ja Rule for a full album.

But music is only part of Ashanti’s 2019 plans. Her movie “Stuck,” where she, Amy Madigan, Giancarlo Esposito and others are stuck on a subway and get involved in each other’s lives, is expected to be released this year. And her fashion line with Miss Circle designer Isabel Deng has already hit stores.

"I just really wanted things that I love, things that I wear, things that make my body look the best and accentuate," Ashanti told Fashionista about the line. "Just really make it my style and my swag and, at the same, time affordable and approachable."


If the voice on the theme for the new Netflix animated series “Carmen Sandiego” sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Port Jefferson Station’s Raquel Castro.

The new slinky, James Bond-ish theme may have upset some fans of the poppy, a-cappella theme from the original “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” but it fits in nicely with the stylish vibe of the reboot. “It kind of had a Camila Cabello vibe, like a ‘Havana’ kind of thing,” Castro told TooFab. “It’s super-poppy. It’s definitely more modernized.”

She’s also releasing a new single “Bodies” (Enhanced Music), a collaboration with EDM producers TwoWorldsApart and Jordi Rivera, that should get her back on the dance charts. “Bodies” has a big groove, and Castro offers more playful vocals than her usual soulful diva turn — yet another piece to keep her name out there as she works on her debut album.

Contact The Long Island Sound at or follow @ndmusic on Twitter.

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