At SXSW, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor, author and entrepreneur Ashanti, announced her historic partnership with EQ Exchange.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Janice Taylor, EQ Exchange is the first female-owned tech company in Silicon Valley and is a Web3 company that’s dedicated to empowering musicians and rewarding their fans, through blockchain technology.
Ashanti made history in 2002 with her double-platinum, self-titled album “Ashanti,” which still holds the Guinness World Record as the highest selling debut by any female artist in music history. The album landed the #1 spot on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, selling a whopping 504,593 units in its first week and set a SoundScan record as the most albums sold by any debut female artist in the chart’s history. Ashanti has released six studio albums and received eight Billboard Awards, a Grammy, two American Music Awards, two Soul Train Awards, six ASCAP Awards and many more awards and illustrious honors. She has continued to reign at the top as one of Billboard’s “Top Females of the Decade from 2000-2010” and continues to break Billboard records as having a Hot 100 entry in the 2000’s, 2010’s and 2020’s.
As the 20-year anniversary of “Ashanti” approaches, the singer makes history again in music and technology, being the first, Black female artist to be a co-founder of a Web3 company. During her conversation on the SXSW main stage with Janice, they discussed the partnership, as well as the creative economy, future of Web3 and female empowerment.
For the past 12 years, Janice has been a pioneer in the tech industry, developing technologies to protect children online and to build software that supports social and emotional learning. As a 3X founder, Janice is bringing her expertise in human behavior, building tech-inclusive products to Web3, by making EQ a marketplace for creators to access capital fairly, transparently and equitably.
Ashanti recently made headlines when she shared plans to reclaim her power as an artist and entrepreneur by re-recording her debut release for a special anniversary edition. With the 20th anniversary of her debut album approaching on April 2, anticipation is high around this partnership, new music, her upcoming book, UK tour and Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“It’s so important to me to get the message out that artists should own their intellectual property,” Ashanti said.
“By empowering myself through new technology, I’m trying to help other women avoid going through the things that I’ve been through. The future belongs to those who take control and make it their own.”
“Ashanti is paving the way for the next generation of artists in the new creator economy. EQ Exchange could not have asked for a better partner as we work together to change the game for all artists, particularly women and people of color,” says Janice Taylor, founder and CEO at EQ Exchange.
As co-founder, Ashanti will release creative experiences and NFT’s exclusively with EQ Exchange.
To celebrate this moment, Ashanti gave a surprise performance at SXSW at Empire Garage.