In The Spotlight: Ash

I really do love featuring the up and coming and hearing their stories! As always, if you are or represent an upcoming artist, designer, producer, etc, please contact us (refer to our Features/Submissions page for more info!).

Today, on The Spotlight, we have alternative pop/R&B singer Ash! A few weeks back, I featured her song "Perfect" on the blog, which is getting a lot of great feedback from listeners. Of course, I wanted to interview this great upcoming artist, and share her story here!

Ash grew up in a creative home, and actually starting singing around the age of three. She wrote songs basically all of her life, but, after graduating from Spelman, decided to actually work for the government, just like her mom. "Once I started working in the public sector, I realized that I needed to stop working in the public sector and pursue my dreams," she chuckled. The singer saved up money, and began working as a background vocalist.

Ash has sang background for a variety of different gospel artists, including Karen Clark Sheard, at church conferences, and also did background vocals on music from Tyler Perry's film I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Now the artist sings background for the Electric Lady herself, Janelle Monae, which she calls an amazing experience. "The band is composed of really, really cool creative people. Everyone is like a jack of all trades. It's really, really fun," Ash said. "[Janelle's a gem and [has] lots of great energy, [and] lots of poise. And many of us went to college together so it's really cool working with friends."

Inspired by artists like Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, and Steve Perry from Journey, Ash is branching out on her own to create her music, her way, and to let her voice be heard. When asked what prompted her to step out as a solo artist, the singer stated it was the time to do. "I've completed my education, I've had experience working in the real world. I've had experience traveling with an amazing artist, and I've gained so much insight," Ash said. Now is the time for her to give herself a voice and put out a project and see if people can relate to what she has to say. "You just go for it," the singer admitted. "You don't know how it's going to turn out, but you just kind of have to try."

Her single "Perfect," as I said in my previous post, is a bright, fun alternative-pop track that is a great debut. It was really about my dad [who recently passed away]," Ash revealed. When her parents divorced, she grew up thinking certain things and being mad at some situations, but as she grew older, realized that any issues with her father didn't matter. "My father and I were very close. [I realized] I didn't need him to be some of the things I don't think he was for me as a kid, but I appreciated all of the other jewels he offered me over the past few years," the singer said. "Because of that, I realized that he was actually perfect after all."

"Perfect" is the lead single off of Ash's upcoming project, The Perfect EP, which is set to be released on February 10, 2015! The singer said listeners can expect "some fun, honest, relatable music," which I'm excited about! "I can't wait to hear what everyone else's thoughts are, but just get ready to have a good time, smile, and be cool because that's definitely the energy that's in that project," Ash said. She is working with producer Terrence Brown on the EP, writing and creating music for the project, so definitely be sure to watch out for that!

What I loved about talking with Ash is her positive, laid back vibe, and the fact that she's confident in herself. "I'm just comfortable being Ash. Doing my own hair, putting on my own clothes out of my closet," she said. "I'm really just going to be myself, and write from my heart. Nowadays, it's hard because you want people to accept you, and you want be the next Beyoncé or even Janelle Monae, but I'm very comfortable in my own skin. That's what I look forward to offering to the music industry, the whole me." In terms of her future in music, the singer has a few specific goals that she would like to accomplish. "I would like to win a Grammy one day," she laughed. "I want to be able to travel all over the world, and sing and play for people who want to listen." She also wants youth to know that even if you go to college or become a part of other ventures, you can still be creative and dive into music or other artistic moves. And, for Ash, even if the awards and major performances don't come, just to be able to sing and perform is what she's looking forward to most!

Be on the lookout for Ash's debut EP, The Perfect EP, on February 10, 2015 (purchase can purchase "Perfect" on iTunes now)! You can also listen to more from Ash on SoundCloud, as well connect with her on Twitter and Instagram

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