R&B singer and current Army Wives actress Ashanti has been working on her latest album right here in the Holy City, and thanks to Chucktown’s own Darius Rucker, she’s picked Charleston Sound to record her upcoming indie release, BraveHeart. In fact, we hear that she can’t stay away from the studio. “She’ll get up super early, shoot Army Wives all day, then come straight to the studio, and stay here until like 3 a.m.,” says Charleston Sound owner Jeff Hodges. “She is insanely driven.” Her most recent single, “Never Should Have,” was recorded and engineered by Hodges and Joey Cox at the studio. “I’ve literally been blown away by how good she really is,” says Hodges. “She didn’t get where she is from knowing people. She’s the real deal.”

Though Ashanti gets her background tracks from producers in L.A., she is committed to writing all of her own lyrics and melodies. “She’ll get struck by something, and then it’s non-stop writing. It pours out of her like water,” says Hodges. Ashanti’s last record, The Declaration, was released five years ago, and BraveHeart has been in the works since 2011, so Ashanti fans are probably pretty eager to hear what she’s been up to. And according to Hodges, they shan’t be disappointed. “It’s definitely not your cheesy R&B record,” he says. “There’s a lot of diversity and depth to it. She uses her voice in a lot of cool ways.” He adds, “Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish what is her voice and what is an instrument.” For more information, visit charlestonsound.com.