Ready and eager to soar through air waves across the globe with her infectious new single “Dare Ya”, Ashley J brings a fascinatingly diverse background, artistically, musically and otherwise, to her emergence into the pop-world.
Growing up in Orlando, the multi-talented singer/songwriter held her own with her four brothers and friends by achieving a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 5, and First and Second Degree Black Belts not long after. When she wasn’t training with her brothers and father, she was off with her mom to ballet classes. In her spare time, she was found writing song lyrics on her bathroom wall that her parents had to continuously repaint. Later attending the Dr. Phillips High School of Performing Arts in Orlando, she scored leading roles in theatre, dance and musical productions – while also active in shows at the First Baptist Church.
Influence-wise, Ashley J gravitated to pop greats like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and Michael Jackson – but she also loved Johnny Cash and cites her all time musical hero as Dolly Parton. So when it came time to pursue her career as a writer performer, she gravitated first towards country music. She and her parents Googled music producers and knocked on their doors in Nashville. Ashley, whose family spends time vacationing near Pigeon, also visited Music City frequently and attended ASCAP conventions where she learned from and hooked up with prominent songwriters and producers.
While enrolled at the University of Tulsa to pursue a Bachelor’s in Business Law, she wrote, recorded and produced several pop and country songs in Oklahoma and Nashville including a duet titled “This Love’s Forever” which was created for a well known country music couple and was recorded and produced at the Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
Ashley J, who ultimately realized that her vocal gifts were more suited to being a pop singer, brought this constantly in motion whirlwind of talent, energy and tenacity to her exciting transition to the pop-world. Already with two billboard charting hits (her first single “One and One” charted in Billboard’s Top 20 Dance and second single “Cali” hitting into the sweet spot of Billboard’s Top 10 Dance) Ashley J is hitting the charts hard and is ready to release her third single, “Dare Ya”.
“”Dare Ya” is such a special song for me. I tend to write all of my music based off of current or past experiences in my life, and this song really tackled some feelings. Lyrically, I wrote the song based off of a compilation of text messages and letters I have received that really hit home for me, and motivated me to be the person that I am and want to be. So putting these feelings and words of wisdom into this song really gives homage to those I have it dedicated to. It has that “pick me-up edge” that makes you want to move and feel free. It’s a song that can be relatable or inspire anyone.”
Ashley J made the definitive switch from country to pop, after a trip with her parents to Los Angeles, where she met with President of Electra Star Group, Michael Blakey. Falling in love instantly with her music, Michael decided to bring her on board. As she says, she “landed in the best hands the music business has to offer” and signed her first recording contract.
In December of 2015, Ashley J graduated form the University of North Texas with her Bachelors Degree. With her musical dreams coming true every day as a recording and performing artist, she is also setting her sights on someday owning and running her own record label.
“In regard to my decision to stay at the University and finish my degree while all of this is going on,” she says, “I like to say that those who have the backup plan won’t need it and those who don’t, will. I am grateful to be working with so many talented industry professionals who are helping me in my career, but I also think it’s important for artists to understand every aspect of the business. Life throws you curveballs all the time so you have to be prepared for anything.
“I’m really having a great time, and I’ve never felt more a part of the industry than I am right now,” Ashley J adds. “I feel that I’m in complete control of who I am and what my music and message is. ‘Dare Ya’ is all about taking chances, and being free with love. Pushing yourself past your limits and out of your comfort zone. It’s the perfect way for me to let people know that I am here and excited to relate to them and touch them emotionally on many different levels.”