February 16, 2016


'Saturday Morning Fever' Cast Q&A: Ian Eagle Ashanti

Jatnna Nunez
Jatnna Nunez

1. Who/what inspired you to become a dancer?

Music inspired me to dance. It's easy to name artists that you have looked up to over the years that have inspired you to dance, but I feel that is completely inaccurate. Because what happens when that artist puts out a song or an album of songs that you just detest? Do you still dance? More than likely, you sit there in utter disbelief. How could they betray you in such a way? Where is the groove? Where is the honesty?

For me, it comes down to the right melody, rhythm, message, and feeling all coming together at the right time to quicken my pulse and spike my adrenaline. Then I have to move.

2. What's your absolute favorite song to sing in the shower?

It totally depends on the mood I'm in. If I'm hoarse or have to warm up, I'll probably sing standards—something I can croon—like Johnny Mathis or Frank Sinatra because it's easier to sing. If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll sing "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder or "Try A Little Tenderness" in the style of Otis Redding because the placement is harder and more challenging. Who knows, it could be the theme song to Winnie the Pooh or Gaston.

3. If you could duet/perform with one person in the world, whom would it be?

Okay, you'll never get me to pick one artist!

George Clinton and Bootsy Collins! Michael Buble, Johnny Mathis and Harry Connick, Jr! Paul McCartneyAerosmith and Prince! Lastly, Sly Stone! When I die, I'll be sitting on a cloud jammin' with HendrixRay, B.B., James Brown, Robert Johnson and Michael Jackson!

4. What's an embarrassing thing that happened to you on stage?

The most embarrassing moments have all been dropping the microphone. Without fail, it's always been from getting too excited and dropping the mic!

5. Last song you listened to?

If I'm being honest, right at this moment, Whitney Houston is singing as the fairy godmother in the 1997 Cinderella. It's an incredible movie. I miss her. Wish she could have found her way!

6. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

The best piece of advice I've been given is to control my temper. It doesn't always work. I really try to enter all environments in the most positive mental space, but this world is full of assholes and "bassackwards" people. When I can't avoid them, I give myself a piece of advice—run! Literally run. Run until you feel like you'll vomit. Until there is no energy to explode.

7. If Netflix were to recommend a "theme" of suggested titles to you, what theme would that be?

Netflix would recommend that I get some serious psychiatric help because I watch an insane amount of movies...all types. I'm a cinephile for sure. Right now I'm on a Kubrick kick. Been watching a lot of horror films.

8. What has been your proudest career moment so far?

My proudest career moment had to be having my own band. I loved saying, "I'm the founder of The Pink Elefant Show!" I was proud of the fact that my songs went from ideas in my head to live onstage productions. We were soulful, funky and raw. We were local and small, but those who saw us remembered us. That made me proud!

9. Favorite Philly dish?

Philly only has one dish, the Philly cheesesteak! My favorite is Dalessandro's!

10. Favorite reality show?

I like Dance Moms. I can't say that any kind of reality show is my favorite anything, but Dance Moms, I'll watch regularly. I think it's difficult for me to look at fish in a fishbowl. I feel sorry for the fish, so I feel horrible for the fish when the fish are beings as smart as humans. When things get bad, you know they want to peer out of that fishbowl and say, "Mind your business!" But they can't. I think I watch it to make sure all of those young dancers are okay, not that I can help them if they aren't.

Catch all-new episodes of Saturday Morning Fever Wednesdays at 11/10c, and check out Fuse's exclusive character spotlight on Ian below: