By Joey Nolfi
March 28, 2019 at 02:30 PM EDT
Credit: John Parra/Getty Images

Ashanti fans have some happy news to celebrate.

The Grammy-winning R&B icon tells EW she’s currently working on her first new album in five years, which she hopes to have out by the end of 2019.

“I’m working with some amazing producers, really cool ideas, and collabs!” the 38-year-old star and executive producer of the new movie Stuck (out April 19) says of the planned follow-up to her 2014 LP Braveheart. “I’m excited about the next few moves, the year ahead, and releasing new music. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

In addition to overseeing the project’s production with mega-producer Metro Boomin, Ashanti says Tory Lanez, Jeremih, and Swae Lee will also appear on the album, while she’s discussed potential collaborations with Davido, J-Roc, J Balvin, and Cardi B/Iggy Azalea producer J. White Did It.

As for a release date, Ashanti says her seventh LP still needs more time in the oven.

“With me, it’s timing. There are a lot of things going on and it’s important to try and line everything up as much as you can, but it’s also important to not sit and wait on things. Sometimes I have a bad habit of waiting for things to line up perfectly because sometimes that doesn’t happen and then you miss out,” she explains, seemingly referencing the six-year gap between 2008’s The Declaration and Braveheart. “But I’d love to have some new stuff out this summer!”

Ashanti, who rose to prominence with smash hits like “Happy” and “Foolish” in 2002, previously teased the forthcoming album with the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted, DJ Mustard-produced slapper “Say Less” in November 2017, though she hasn’t released a single from the studio set since. Still, she promises something “really cool” with a concept that will be worth the wait.

“I can’t tell you yet. It has a concept…. it really tells a story [but] you really have to get it. I don’t even want to put a little bit out there because people are going to be like, ‘what?'” she continues of the album’s title and thematic narrative. “I’d rather give you the whole, full-course meal instead of just the appetizer, because if you don’t taste it right, it might not go down right!”

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