There’s no question that Ashanti is not one to skip out on an opportunity to board a private jet and find herself practicing self-care by way of an exotic getaway. Whether lounging beachside on a private island or cruising through an African safari, the songstress always finds a little time away from work to enjoy exploring the world’s beauty.

Many have noticed that Ashanti has been spending quite a bit of time in the Caribbean. After participating in Trinidad’s Carnival, she was dubbed an honorary Trinidadian, and most recently, she headlined the St. Kitt’s Music Festival alongside other musical greats such as Sean Paul, Maxi Priest, Popcaan, Bares Hammond, Wale, and Keyshia Cole.

Ashanti at the St. Kitts Music Festival Press Conference / Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Ogbogu

While in St. Kitts and Nevis for the St. Kitts Music Festival’s annual press conference promoting her performance later that evening, Ashanti was asked about what draws her to the islands. Check out what she had to say below.

Ashanti on what draws her to the Caribbean

“I just have such a love and a passion for the culture, the music, the food, the love, the celebration,” says Ashanti. “I had one of the best times in my life in Trinidad for Carnival. That was my first time. It changed my whole perspective. Just the love, the music, how to celebrate, and again, the costumes, the food… America is cool, but I just love it over here.”

The singer jokes that she loves the Caribbean so much that she even questions her ancestry.

“It’s so funny, I ask my parents, ‘Are you guys sure I’m not  Jamaican or Trinidadian or Kittitian?'”

Ashanti on the differences between the Caribbean and the United States

As a world traveler, Ashanti has quite a bit of experience dealing with various cultures. The New York-born singer shared how she’s treated in America verses the Caribbean.

“Coming from the States, it’s a different love out here,” says Ashanti. “I feel like the Caribbean celebrates you differently. It’s a different passion. I truly appreciate it.”

Ashanti's favorite Caribbean destination

“I love every place [I’ve visited],” the singer reveals. “I went to Jamaica for one show with Shaggy. I was supposed to be there for two days, and I ended up staying for two weeks. Everybody at the airport was like, ‘Oh, she’s not coming again.’ The same thing happened in Trinidad. I was supposed to stay there for two days. When they said it was two weeks for Carnival, I was like, ‘no way, I’m going to leave in like three days!’ I was there for two weeks.”

About the St. Kitts Music Festival

Since 1996, the St. Kitts Music Festival has taken place during the last week of June. It not only has great economic value to the 45,000 citizens of St. Kitts and its sister island of Nevis, but the massive musical gathering featuring soca, reggae, dancehall, hip hop, and R&B is one you most definitely have to experience in your lifetime. Stay tuned for next year’s lineup here.