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Nov. 1, 2022

Interview with Ashe

We had the pleasure of interviewing Ashe over Zoom video!

California-based, RIAA Platinum-certified singer-songwriter Ashe releases her sophomore album Rae via Mom + Pop along with the video for latest single “omw.” Fourteen tracks in length, and...

We had the pleasure of interviewing Ashe over Zoom video!

California-based, RIAA Platinum-certified singer-songwriter Ashe releases her sophomore album Rae via Mom + Pop along with the video for latest single “omw.” Fourteen tracks in length, and created with close friends and collaborators Leroy Clampitt, Steph Jones, Casey Smith, Noah Conrad, John Ryan and Afterhrs, Rae ushers in a new era of confidence for the artist. Additionally, Ashe has announced her 2023 global “Fun While It Lasted Tour”, with venues to be revealed next week.

On the new album, Ashe shares, “Since my debut is called Ashlyn and Rae is my middle name, it seemed like the only name for my sophomore album. I’ve inevitably created a trilogy. Rae reminds me of California sunshine, but it also has a Western grit. Every day, you’re in the middle of your life from being born to dying. I’m in the middle of my life. Rae marks the next era.”

Rae kicks off with first single, “Another Man’s Jeans”, which cuts right to the chase in conversation with an ex. Wild guitar licks wrap around handclaps as horns pipe up in the background before she declares, “I don’t want to talk about the fights in your mustang, let’s just think about the nights drinking rosé-colored champagne.”

Later on, she is joined by her life-long hero and fashion icon, Diane Keaton for the beautiful and soothing “Love Is Letting Go”, her dusky delivery coasts over embers of acoustic guitar and a soft beat on “Hope You’re Not Happy.” Ominous percussion simmers, she takes aim at prehistoric industry sexism on “Angry Woman.” With its psychedelic Floyd-inspired title, “Shower With My Clothes On” bottles anxiety inside of minor chords and a dynamic delivery. The upbeat piano, buoyant tambourine and seventies-style groove of “omw” embodies her confidence. Rae concludes on “Fun While It Lasted.” Written on a slightly out of tune piano in Big Bear, California, she ponders the end of the previous chapter and the beginning of the next.

Ashe will embark on her global headline, “Fun While It Lasted Tour.” The 39-date tour spans across North America, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. See full dates below. Ashe has partnered with PLUS1 and a portion of all tour proceeds will go to supporting organizations working for equity, access, and dignity for all.

Ashe’s breakthrough debut, Ashlyn spawned multiple global hits, including “Moral Of The Story” and “Till Forever Falls Apart” - with FINNEAS - which was named one of the best songs of 2021 by the Los Angeles Times and surpassed 145 million streams on Spotify. Her meteoric rise includes amassing over 1.8 billion streams, 230 million video views, 8.9 million monthly Spotify listeners and a 4 million combined social media reach
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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to Bringin' it Backwards, a podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had the amazing opportunity to hang out with Ashe over Zoom video. Ash was born and raised in San Jose, California. We talk about that a little bit. She tells us how she got into music. Ashe ended up attending Berkeley School of Music for songwriting. Once she graduated, she moved to Nashville. She started off writing songs with and four other people. We talk about the first song she released as an artist, as Ash, the major success of her song, Moral of the Story. 3 (2m 22s): We talk about her brother that passed away to Addiction, the song, Ryan Song, which is on her debut album and how that song was written after the album was completed. And she went back in and recorded that song and added it to the album before it was released. And we talk all about her new album, which is called Rae Ashlyn was the debut. Ray is her middle name. That is the sophomore album. So I'm only assuming there's gonna be a third record called Wilson, which is her, her last name. But we don't get into that. Just talk about her, Her new new album, which is Rae and about how she got to where she is now. You can watch our interview with Ashe on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. 3 (3m 4s): It'd be amazing if you subscribe to our channel, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at Bringing back Pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcast, it would be incredible if you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five star review. 4 (3m 21s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts, 3 (3m 27s): We're bringing it backwards with Ashe. 5 (3m 30s): Hi Adam, how are you? 3 (3m 32s): I am fantastic. How are you? 5 (3m 35s): Hi. That hi. You just gave me, it was like such like a Hey old friend. 3 (3m 42s): That's how I like to, We just keep it like that. Hey old friend, how are you? 5 (3m 45s): I love it. Yeah, we go way back. How you doing? 3 (3m 49s): I'm great, I'm great. How are you doing? 5 (3m 52s): I'm well, I'm doing well. I'm just like kind of basking in the like album release hangover a 3 (4m 1s): Bit. I bet. 5 (4m 4s): No, I'm so grateful and yeah, I'm good. I'm 3 (4m 8s): Well. That's good. I like that. I like that. The album is amazing, I must say, right off the bat, so it's incredible. I'd love to chat with you about the record and then obviously everything else prior. I mean, this podcast is about you and your journey and music and how you got to where you're now. 5 (4m 26s): Let's get into it. 3 (4m 27s): Let's Born and Raised in San Jose, is that what I read? 5 (4m 31s): Born and Raised Californian. 3 (4m 33s): Awesome. I'm from San Diego. I lived in the Bay for about five years or so. Doing Nice. 5 (4m 41s): I lived in Encinitas for a, a brief year, 3 (4m 44s): Is that right? 5 (4m 45s): Yeah. Where are you at in San Diego? 3 (4m 47s): Oh, I'm not there any, I'm in Nashville now, but I, in San Diego I used to live in, 5 (4m 53s): I lived, I just bought a house in Nashville. 3 (4m 55s): Did you really? We recently moved here like a year ago. So are you in Nashville? 5 (4m 60s): I'm, I'm in LA now. I'm gonna be living kind of between the two spots. 3 (5m 5s): Amazing. 5 (5m 7s): But yeah, I got a little house there and it's like out of a storybook, it literally looks like the cutest little storybook house. It's like a baby. It's only 1600 square feet, but it looks like a little baby castle and I'm a baby. 3 (5m 21s): I love that. I love it. I love it out here. I mean it's so, it's such a different vibe, but it's so amazing. It's, it's so cool out here. 5 (5m 29s): It's like so much more down to earth. 3 (5m 31s): For sure. For sure. And it's so green. I mean, yeah, we were back in San, my sister got married last weekend and so we were back in San Diego. I hadn't been back since December. And it's like, oh my God, like it's so weird to see just like concrete and like everything else out here. It's like limestone on the side of the freeways and it's just, yeah, it's cool. 5 (5m 52s): Yeah, I really love Nashville Also, just like, despite sort of common belief, it's not just a country town. Like a lot of my friends who are sort of like up and coming buzzing artists like Daniel Nunnelly or Steven Sanchez were based out there and I mean there's just a whole other world of music that I, people I think forget about there. 3 (6m 16s): I definitely had that ignorance when I moved here. I'm like, Oh yeah, that's cool. But like is it just gonna be all country artists and No, I mean all different walks of the music industry. It's awesome. Well, so, okay, well, talk to me about San Jose. You born and raised in San Jose, 5 (6m 32s): Born and raised. 3 (6m 33s): Tell me about San Jose. I mean, I lived, like I said, I lived in the area close the closer to Oakland, but I went down to San Jose, went to Shoreline and, and did some things down there and 5 (6m 45s): Shoreline. I saw John Mayer at Shoreline like, gosh, in 2012 or something like that. Oh 3 (6m 53s): Wow. That's a cool venue. I worked for Live 1 0 5, Do you know that radio station? Yeah. 5 (6m 58s): Live 1 0 5 3 (7m 1s): And now I think they're called like Dan FM or something weird, but Dan, yeah, it's just some dude's name. But yeah, so that's when I worked up there and we used to do shows there, but before it changed to dfm it was live 1 0 5. Obviously 5 (7m 16s): I don't have any family there anymore. I, I hardly ever visit. I mean, it'd always be like ba up represent, but yeah, it's not that deep. I don't, I don't go home much. And 3 (7m 28s): Okay, well was it, what about music? Do you come from a musical household at all? 5 (7m 34s): Honestly, I don't. It's okay. Funny. I've always been like the odd, the odd duck in the family that this was something that I would pursue. It's funny, my mother and I have basically the same exact talking voice, like, Oh, 3 (7m 51s): Interesting. 5 (7m 51s): Like if I turned the camera off and she just started talking, you'd think that you were still doing an interview with me. It's kind of a, I don't know, kind of amazing. But also she can't not hold a, like she couldn't save sing to save her life. 3 (8m 6s): Really. 5 (8m 6s): You'd think that she'd be good at it because we have the same, I don't know. 3 (8m 11s): I I would you, were you able to like, like when did that happen? Like were you in high school or would you able to be like, to call in and say, Oh, you know, Ash isn't gonna be able to make it to school today and you know, use her voice to kind of just make some decisions on your own 5 (8m 26s): Be so genius. I'm, I'm like a notorious rule follower. 3 (8m 32s): Okay. 5 (8m 33s): As much as I like to think of myself as a rock star, I'm the least rebellious music artist out there. So, but if I would've been, I would've totally gotten myself outta school. I mean like, she's not smoking weed, she just pass the flu. Yeah. 3 (8m 51s): Oh, that's funny. But, so mom can't carry it soon, obviously. What about your dad? Did he play anything or no. 5 (8m 58s): Instruction worker. Yeah. Oh wow. 3 (9m 0s): Just 5 (9m 1s): No one in the family. My, I guess my great grandma was of like a piano savant or something. 3 (9m 7s): Oh 5 (9m 7s): Wow. I never knew her, so I didn't up around it. But yeah, it was definitely like, people were surprised that I was like, I'm gonna go to music college. And they're like, That's so that's, that's a choice. 3 (9m 20s): They're like, That's cute. That's so 5 (9m 23s): Cute. I know, I think they're all still like, this worked. Like you bought a house in Nashville off music. Like I think they're all still a little bit in the Twilight Zone. My grandparents didn't really think I was successful until I, I sang on American Idol with Finns, gosh, a year and a half, two years ago now. And that was like, they're like, okay, she's, she's a star. Okay. We get it. Like, yeah, 3 (9m 53s): She's on tv, we get it now. That's funny. Like I'll interview artists and they'll say like, their parents didn't understand that they made it until like they were in the local paper. Like they'll, like, they would have covers of magazines then it's like, oh. And then, you know, Johnny was in the local paper so we knew he made it at that point. He 5 (10m 10s): Was making it. Yeah. I don't know what it was for my parents, definitely for my grandparents. It was American Idol and then, and it wasn't like I was a contestant, I like was a guest with VINs and it was like, Right. Like whoa, this is crazy. And then, yeah, I think my mom is such a like a, she just, I could be, you know, I don't know, working at Starbucks or, or anything else and she would be proud. She's just, she could care less. 3 (10m 38s): That's awesome. 5 (10m 40s): Any of my success. 3 (10m 41s): Well they must have been supportive though obviously if, if she didn't mind, if you were doing Starbucks you probably was so excited to just let you pursue what you wanted. 5 (10m 50s): Yeah, I think they genuinely all were just like, it's your life. We love you. We obviously hope that it works cuz it's hard, but are very much like my mom especially is very like, I just want you to live a life that you are fulfilled by. And whether that's making coffee or making music, like follow your bliss. So, so yeah, it's, I definitely was very supported in that. I don't, as much as I think they didn't get it, I think they were also like, well good luck. 3 (11m 26s): Right, right. 5 (11m 26s): Break a leg I guess. 3 (11m 29s): When did you kind of get into music? Did you take voice lessons or piano lessons or anything like that? At a early age? 5 (11m 35s): I took piano and voice lessons when I was like eight maybe eight through like 12, 14, somewhere around there. Okay. And 3 (11m 43s): Was that a choice of yours or did your mom or dad be like, Oh maybe you should jump on the piano? 5 (11m 49s): God, I don't even know someone, someone threw me in. I don't think, think I were asked to do it but as soon as I started doing it I just like, it was one of those things that I was like, oh this, I get so much joy out of this more than anything else that I've ever done. And except my piano teacher, Lowkey hated me because I'd, she'd always like tell me to PE learn this piece of music and then I'd come with a original piece of music and I was like, listen how much better sounds? She's like, Yeah, but you didn't learn the piece but I told you to learn. So that would be a thing. But I, yeah, I think I just always enjoyed sort of, I don't know, expressing myself through music but like hated that. 5 (12m 36s): I hate that. That's what I just said but, 3 (12m 39s): But like it's, I mean, yeah, to be that early on on the piano and already coming and being like created this instead of Yeah. Right. Lemme try to figure out what the teacher, like you already kind of had that self-awareness that you were do already, you know, kind of writing music yourself at that early of an 5 (12m 55s): Age. Yeah, I mean I've been journaling forever. I think I was always trying to convince my cousins to like make a girl band with me probably. Oh 3 (13m 3s): Wow. 5 (13m 4s): Like eight, nine years old and they were all like, this is stupid. And I was like, we could write about anything. We could literally write about squirrels. Like it doesn't matter. And I mean they didn't wanna write about squirrels so, but then I think I really started writing more like in high school and then this whole thing happened very slowly over time. Like it, it wasn't a Billy Eilish, I've Magen I know what I wanna do with my life at 16. It was very, you know, I love music. It's my favorite thing to, to listen to, to create and you know, I'm gonna go to music college and see how that plays out. 5 (13m 46s): I'm gonna move to Nashville and do songwriting and see how that plays out. And then, you know, about halfway through Nashville I was like, wanted to tell my own stories and some weird reason I got the confidence to try and do the artist thing. And 3 (14m 4s): So prior to that you were just writing like four other artists you had like publishing deals and stuff like that? 5 (14m 10s): Yeah, I, I would, Oh wow. I, any room they'd let me in. I mean I was, I was doing like two songwriting sessions a day every day for like three months straight and Wow. Just, I put myself through my own bootcamp cuz I was like, you know what everyone tells you whatever, the 10,000 hours or 3 (14m 33s): Whatever. Yeah, 10 pounds. Yeah, exactly. 5 (14m 35s): I was like, I'm gonna double it. You know, I just wanted to, I'm I, well maybe not anymore. I used to be very disciplined and so I wanted to like, if I'm gonna get great at something then I'm gonna really go after it. And yeah, so that's kinda how it all sort of started and 3 (14m 56s): Well real, I don't know if you mind ru real quick, I'm just curious. I mean, to have a, to get into Berkeley, right? I mean that's like top tier level like school, I mean for music. John Mayer went there talking about people earlier, but it's like that way I 5 (15m 11s): Dropped 3 (15m 11s): Out but he went, he got in right. So 5 (15m 17s): It's like, sorry, 3 (15m 20s): I was just gonna say like to get into that school, you obviously, obviously you have talent, but to know that you had enough talent to get into that school, like at what, like what did you present to, to Berkeley? Like tell me about that process just to even get in there, you had to have some sort of validation that you were good at what you're doing. 5 (15m 37s): I think, I think what got me in, cause I got a partial scholarship to go as well and 3 (15m 42s): Wow. See you're obviously awesome at that age. 5 (15m 44s): Well I mean I was okay, they let anybody into Berkeley these days. I'm just kidding. 3 (15m 51s): That's 5 (15m 52s): Not true. Berkeley's a great school. I love, I love it there. But I, I, I think I auditioned with Nora Jones song, I sang Don't Know Why. 3 (16m 2s): Okay. 5 (16m 4s): And then I sang two original songs and I think it was the Originals that maybe 3 (16m 11s): Sure. 5 (16m 12s): The Line, I don't, they probably weren't any good but at the time I think maybe I showed potential or something. 3 (16m 21s): Yeah, well obvious. And then to have the courage to put up your own songs, cuz it sounds like you were just writing for other people and then, you know, after the fact and then before you said you started your artist project, but to have your own songs and like were you, were these songs that you were showing other people or was it just, okay, I write these in my bedroom and I'm not telling anyone I do this and then I'm gonna submit it to Berkeley. Like was that a surprise to anyone? 5 (16m 44s): I did like little coffee shop, like open mic songwriter things. 3 (16m 51s): Okay. 5 (16m 53s): I didn't do very many of 'em, but I remember I'll be like, okay, we'll test this out. But there was, there's was this one girl that I was friends with in high school, she was a year older than me and she had this gorgeous voice and she was a songwriter and I remember just always feeling inferior. Like it's me and her and that's it. Like there's no other worlds, there's just us. And I don't know, I think I really got into my head that I wasn't good enough to do any of this. And it took really long time to get to a point where I was like, no, I can do this and God love her and I think she loves her life but she's not doing music anymore and you know, it's just funny. 5 (17m 38s): See how things unfold. 3 (17m 40s): Right, right. Wow. Well I mean you get into Berkeley, which had to be such a amazing moment for you receiving the letter. Who knows if it became an email or whatever. I'm old. So it was a letter. It was 5 (17m 53s): A letter. I'm old 3 (17m 53s): Too. Ok. No you're not. But so you get this thing and it's like, oh my gosh, like we're gonna open it up and we're going to Berkeley and big moment at the household I would imagine. 5 (18m 4s): Yeah, it was cool. I mean scholarship bit too. It was like what? That's just, it felt very impossible and exciting. And also there was just like a lot going on at home and stories that maybe one day I'll get to tell but they're, you know, stories that belong to other family members too. But you know, you know, my brother died of addiction. 3 (18m 29s): I'm so sorry to hear that. I mean I yeah that personally cuz I'm also an addict, an alcoholic and I'm in recovery and actually I get to pick up my nine month trip today, but I've been through this for like, you know, numerous times and years and 5 (18m 46s): I is 3 (18m 47s): Amazing. Thank you. That really means a lot. But I watched the you in another interview talking about it and I was just like, like it broke my heart. Like honestly, cause 5 (18m 56s): It sucks, you know? I'm so grateful that you are healthy. 3 (19m 3s): Thank you. It means a lot. It's definitely a, a a tough, tough thing. And to hear that from what I heard you say, what I read, you know, he had three years and it's just three years is three years and, but it's so easy to just go back out. Right? I mean it's not 5 (19m 18s): One, one day at a time. I mean that's just like mental health period is one day at a time. You know, I'm like checking in with myself every day I wake up, I'm like, how are we today? You know? 3 (19m 30s): Right, right. 5 (19m 32s): Yeah. So, but I mean just kind of tying that into, definitely around his addiction. A lot was going on at home and Berkeley just offered 3000 miles of distance from sort of all of the chaos and sort of instability. And so as much as it was like great to go to music school and it was about that, it was also like my first time really prioritizing like me and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and like I didn't know what my favorite color was and I finally figured it out at college. And so there was just like Berkeley was about, you know, learning more about music, but mostly about, I feel like kind of discovering myself and 3 (20m 19s): Sure. Yeah. I mean having a younger sister myself and being the, you know, disaster, you know, in, in the fully addicted mayhan that happened when I was younger and, and just like seeing how she was kind of, you know, the attention becomes on the, you know, the person that's kind of, you know, with, with that, that problem. And then I could see how you could be like, oh my, you know, it's kind of the attention's kind of shifts I would imagine. 5 (20m 48s): Well, I mean I think it's, it's, it's both sides, right? Cause like you maybe like for, for me maybe at the time I felt a little bit like, hey, I'm the healthy one. You know, why is all the attention going over here? Right. Him, he was like, he always felt, even though he was my older brother, he always felt like I was living in my, like living in my shadow and he always felt like he was the screw up and I was the good kid. And so, you know, while I was having my own feelings, he was having feelings of really worthless and like, Ashlyn's the favorite because she's healthy and I'm the screw up. 5 (21m 30s): And then I'm on the other side going like, everyone's paying attention to you. But like, so, 3 (21m 35s): Right. No. Oh my gosh, that's so relatable for me to hear that. That's crazy. Just cuz I have a younger sister and it's like the same thing. I feel like she's like, you're talking to me as her. Like, and then you, you know what I mean? It's just bizarre. 5 (21m 47s): Yeah. Well I'm grateful that she still has you. Like 3 (21m 50s): Oh, thank you. 5 (21m 51s): I, I'm so, I mean that was definitely something for me that was like, oof, there were so many conversations that we needed to have that we never got to have. So yeah, 3 (22m 3s): That's, I'm so sorry to about that 5 (22m 5s): Go have those chats with her, you know. 3 (22m 8s): Sure, sure. Wow. Well to, you know, again, I'm so sorry. And obviously you have a song about that on your, not the new record, but the, the the first debut album. But I would love to hear, so you get to Berkeley, you grad, you end up graduating, then moving to Nashville. And when you get to Nashville, did you have like a demo, a, you know, some songs that you're ready to present to people? Or like when you get to Nashville, like what drove you to Nashville aside from it being, you know, where all the songwriters are, was it just like, I'm gonna go there and I'm gonna try to make this happen? 5 (22m 38s): Mm, I think the biggest thing was just everyone I was graduating with. It was New York, LA or Nashville. Most people were going to New York or LA and I was like, I'm gonna get eaten alive in New York or LA I just had this like knowledge or this like internal knowing that if I went to one of those cities I was just gonna have to be someone I didn't wanna be to make it. And Nashville, I mean, is growing and it's hu I mean it's getting bigger and bigger now, but at the time it really felt like it was a small enough town that I could be myself and kind of get recognition and meet everyone in town that I needed to meet fairly quickly. 5 (23m 27s): And so it was just a better place to go at ground zero of my career and, and not have it all figured out. Like I felt like I had friends who were like, I know exactly what I wanna do with my life, so I'm going to LA and I'm gonna do it. And I mean good on them. I didn't have it figured out. So Nashville felt just like, kind of like a safe haven but also a place that I knew I could like really work my ass off and kind of make a name for myself pretty quickly. So that's why Nashville. 3 (24m 4s): Okay. Were you able to meet people pretty, pretty quickly once you got there? Or was it, were you going to open mic nights, pounding on doors? Like what was the first kind of in for you? 5 (24m 16s): I was doing literally anything and everything possible. I was like, I was going into the song right around. I wasn't playing any open mic nights cause I wanted to be a songwriter. But yeah, I, it's funny actually I had this connection to Liz Rose is like one of the most amazing songwriters of all time. She worked with Taylor Swift a bunch back in the day she wrote Girl Crush, which was just like an incredible song. And she, she, she's amazing. She was like my idol when I moved to Nashville I was like, one day I'm gonna work with Liz Rose and somehow I got a meeting with her son. 3 (24m 55s): Oh wow. 5 (24m 56s): I don't remember why, like, sorry I'm a little foggy on it, but, Oh no, 3 (25m 0s): This is amazing. We 5 (25m 1s): Met, we met up and he just gave me a bunch of tips. He was just like, be going out constantly meet everyone, get in any writer's room, you can da, da da. And like, you know, probably pretty nicely was like, and you know that you're not gonna write with my mom. Right, because you're just starting out. Oh wow. 3 (25m 23s): I 5 (25m 23s): Dunno, he probably was really sweet about it, but he was like, you gotta prove yourself right. And full circle moment for me, like two months ago, one of my publishers was setting up sessions and was like, Liz Rose wants to work with you, Are you down? And I was like, Liz Rose. I was like totally freaked out and we, we met up at our house and I played piano and we wrote a song and it was like the most like surreal I've made it moment of 3 (25m 58s): My Oh my gosh. And that was so recent, you said just a few months ago? 5 (26m 2s): It was two months ago. Yeah. Just kinda starting to write again. The Out the Ray had already been kind of finished and 3 (26m 8s): Right. 5 (26m 9s): Just playing around with some new ideas, you know, 3 (26m 11s): Is this gonna be a song for you or what do you, what do you guys, what do you think is Yeah, 5 (26m 18s): I mean, well who knows? Maybe somebody else. I think that everything I write these days is pretty much all for me. Just, I, I think I'm better at it. I, I rather tell my own stories. Sure. That may change, you know, maybe in a couple years. I'm like, well I get the itch to like write for other people. I mean, if they want me to, God I don't like. 3 (26m 44s): Right, right, right. 5 (26m 45s): I feel like I do have a very like distinct vibe songwriter wise that like, I'm not sure it suits everyone, but so, but yeah, we got in the room and we wrote about a breakup, my last breakup that I went through and it was super fun and therapeutic and just cool to be in the room with her and yeah. Sure. 3 (27m 12s): Wow. Wow. That's huge. When what at like, I mean you're talking about writing with other people doing your 10,000 hours. At what point or was there a particular song that you had written that you were like, okay, this is, I want to start my own artist project. I'm kind of done writing for other people. I wanna take a stab at this myself. 5 (27m 33s): Hmm. I think I just like around six months into living in Nashville, I just got kind of sick of writing like for someone else's voice. And I think I, 0 (27m 49s): In business you rarely hear the expression for life. You make a purchase for a product for a service and, and there's a, there's a timeframe there. Well that's not the case with Awaken 180 Weight Loss. Allow me to explain, you know, a year ago I started with Awaken 180 weight loss and had incredible success losing weight, but you can lose all the weight in the world and not keep it off. And what good is it? That's why I have support for life from Awaken 180. Yeah. I mean I go back for check-ins and make sure everything's going smoothly, but if I ever had a problem, the counselors are there to get me back on track. 0 (28m 37s): How don't you do what I did and call for a consultation eight four four three four six eighteen hundred eight four four three four six eighteen hundred or go to awaken 180 weight 5 (28m 51s): I recognize I was now in the real world and I was, I was no longer in college. I was now in the real world working with real people in, in the rooms with amazing writers. And I think I was like, I don't know why I had it in my head that I wasn't good enough. But I think that's a lie and I think that I could do this and do it really well and that once there was like a shift in my brain, there wasn't like, you know, a train hit me and like I knew in that moment that I was gonna be an artist. I think it was just this like gradual thing where at some point I was like, you're not a piece of shit. You can do this and I bet you could do it better than a lot of people. 5 (29m 35s): Like there was just this knowing suddenly. And then I moved to, I moved to San Diego and Sunita's. 3 (29m 42s): Wow, okay. 5 (29m 44s): And with my, at the time fiance who I married and then divorced. 3 (29m 50s): Oh wow. 5 (29m 52s): But moved to San, he's from, he was from San Diego. So we moved there and it got me kind of close to LA and it was like within a few months that I had signed a record deal. 3 (30m 6s): Yeah, you signed with Mom. Mom and Pop. Correct. 5 (30m 9s): Yeah. 3 (30m 9s): I love that label. 5 (30m 11s): I'm still with him too. It's crazy. 3 (30m 12s): Yeah. That's so awesome. David Jacobs is such a cool person. I don't, I'm sure you know him, David. 5 (30m 17s): Yeah, I just saw him, he came to my Troubador show two nights ago. 3 (30m 21s): Oh cool. I love him. I you've known him through radio and then, and then into this podcast. But yeah, so you signed the deal with them and was it like you get to San Diego and did you already have a song out at that time or, Cause I know you've had a bunch of number ones on Hype Machine and you did stuff with, with other people before that, which is insane. But was it, were any of those songs what kind of drew in Mom and pop or was that after the fact? 5 (30m 49s): God Long lived the Days of Hype Machine. 3 (30m 52s): I know that's crazy to You had a number one on a hype machine. It was like over 5 (30m 56s): Yeah you were, 3 (30m 57s): You were it 5 (30m 58s): For a viral hit. 3 (31m 0s): Yeah, 5 (31m 2s): I know it's funny to have been in the business long enough to have seen just how much, Sorry my computer made a weird noise just to see how much it's changed, you know, like even in the last year got no wonder why people quit. It's hard to keep up are fast, 3 (31m 25s): Right? 5 (31m 26s): Yeah. I mean look at, look at the Power, you know, TikTok holds when literally two years ago, Moral of a Story was one of the first songs to go viral on TikTok and we had no idea what was happening. We were like, this is a totally new animal. There was no blueprint. It was still felt so sort of new. It's just a weird for good or good bad, The Ugly, I don't know what it is. I'm not gonna make a judgment about it, but it's fucking, it's hard to, 3 (31m 56s): Yeah, cause TikTok wasn't, I mean that was before Pandemic, right? And then that's when it, every mom and everyone else is on there doing dance moves and that, But to have it viral on there before that really all started to kick in is insane. 5 (32m 13s): Yeah, it was weird. Strange time. I mean, great grateful for all of it. I mean half the, I think half the secret to making it is just not quitting. Just sticking, sticking around and being willing to evolve with the music industry to an extent on your own terms. You obviously like don't forsake your own beliefs in the way you wanna do things, but if you can evolve and stay honest to who you are as an artist and not quit, I mean you're like, you're gonna out, you're gonna withstand a lot of other people. 5 (32m 54s): Most people will quit. It's crazy. The people I've seen fall off in the last six years, you know. 3 (33m 1s): Yeah, no 5 (33m 2s): That was a tangent, but 3 (33m 4s): No, no, no, no, that's beautiful. I was gonna ask, I'm gonna ask you a similar question at the end of this, but I was curious, Okay, so Pandemic Hits that song is doing awesome and do you have, have you started writing your, did you write Ashlyn yet or were those songs not even out or, I mean not out but not even started at that point, like when the pandemic happened? 5 (33m 27s): No, it was definitely the fir the Pandemic was hap moral of the story went or started, started to take off in February and then March is when 3 (33m 40s): Pandemic is, Yeah, yeah. 5 (33m 42s): So like we were planning an international radio tour and all this stuff and then all those flights got canceled because we were, we couldn't leave our house. 3 (33m 51s): So everything's shut down as you're pretty much at the, your peak. I mean that to see all that stuff happening like that must have been obviously devastating that there's a pandemic, but did you feel like the rug was kind of tugged out from under you? Or is it like, how am I going to, you know, is this gonna be able to keep going now that we're up here and all the attention is not there right now? I'm sure. 5 (34m 15s): I mean, hey, it's the way it went. So I think at the end of the day I was, I was kind of taking what I was given. I I, I'm very firm believer that things happen the way they're supposed to. You know, even down to like going through all the things that I did with my family and my brother, you learn to roll with the punches and you learn to, like, life's gonna kick you in the teeth cuz it's life and you just, you just figure it out. And so I was, I was sort of relishing in the, the joy of, you know, my career changing and also kind of recognizing maybe it's an inopportune time in the world, but we really, I mean honestly like where I'm at right now, I I think we really leveraged it into a career. 5 (35m 15s): You know, I'm not, that song is objectively my best song, my best performing song, right? Sure. But no one looks at me as moral of a story. Like I've, I've gained some sort of career recognition of that's in 3 (35m 33s): Part Right, Right. It's not, it's not, oh she's the girl that does moral of the story. Right. 5 (35m 38s): And that's, I think that's really hard to do. And I feel for, 3 (35m 42s): Oh yeah, 5 (35m 42s): For kids who are having like a viral song on TikTok right now, it's, it feels nearly impossible. I mean it's not impossible, but if it's really hard to turn that into a legacy. 3 (35m 57s): Right. So that's beautifully put. Cause a lot of the times too, it's a song that happens or goes viral and it's like, oh well I didn't even have anything else. Like it was just that. And then it's, Do I chase that? Do I try to write another song that sounds exactly like the one that just went off? Or I've interviewed artists that have had teasers of a song that wasn't even finished yet, go viral. And then it's like, oh, like now I gotta go finish the song and hopefully people will still stream it on Spotify or whatever. 5 (36m 24s): Yeah, Yeah. What a trip. 3 (36m 27s): Wow. 5 (36m 28s): I don't know, like I said, I don't know if it's good or bad, but it is what it is. It's pretty weird times where for sure. 3 (36m 35s): Sure. So when do you, so that, obviously that song's doing awesome and do you start, when do you start writing the record or the album? 5 (36m 44s): Pretty, pretty quickly after I like two months into Moral Doing its thing. We, I collaborated with Nile Horn and that was like my sort of like, sort of a backup to be like, Okay, let's keep pushing this song. Let's like, And Nile couldn't have been more lovely and we had the best time and, and it was pretty quickly after that I started writing the album cuz it was like, Oh, people care. Like let's, let's do the thing that I love to do most now I'm afforded that opportunity to do it and people actually wanna, like, they actually wanna hear what I got coming next. 5 (37m 25s): So that was pretty cool. 3 (37m 29s): Were you concerned at all by like having, you know, it's almost not like a sophomore album that you just release and it's doing well, but it's like having that follow up song, are people gonna care again? 5 (37m 43s): I, I think I subconsciously was feeling a lot of that pressure at the time. I just had never experienced like that level of success yet in my career. So I was just learning how to navigate it best I could will whilst being as honest as, you know, possible. There was definitely a lot of pressure during that time, but I think it was more what I put on myself. Not even, my team didn't even, they were just like, keep doing what you're doing cause that's how this happened. Yeah. So I never felt like the pressure to write another moral of the story. 5 (38m 26s): That's good. I wrote it about my divorce, you know, there wasn't really, I didn't wanna write another song about, like, I didn't wanna delve into exactly that thing. So yeah, it was a very, it was an interesting time. I was still grieving that relationship. So a lot of that album is me sort of the aftermath of that divorce and kind of coming to terms with all of it. And it's a very serious record. I I I think in a lot. 3 (38m 58s): Oh yeah. 5 (38m 59s): And, 3 (38m 60s): And vulnerable record not, I mean, not only to have all those, you know, talking about the divorce and everything else, but then you, a Ryan's song is on that record. Right. And that was, and a didn't you add that later? Is that what I read? 5 (39m 13s): Yeah, it was the last song we wrote on the album because the album was done and then he died and then I was like, Album's not done. We gotta, we gotta write one more for, you know, how 3 (39m 25s): Soon after were, were you able to actually sit down and write? I mean, I think that would be really hard to, 5 (39m 31s): It's, it's pretty quick. It's just the way I, it's the way I like filter my life. It's like I wasn't even planning on releasing it when I first sat down. I just knew that was how I needed to kind of process it. Sure, 3 (39m 52s): Yeah. 5 (39m 54s): And, and then as I started to write it, I called my, my producer that I work with all the time Le Clampett and was like, so my album's not done, we gotta add this last one. But it was pretty quick after. It was definitely, cause I was have, I was reeling with all those thoughts of like, oh gosh, if I would've known you weren't gonna be here much longer, I would've picked up the phone when you called. You know? And that just like, regret feels too heavy of a word, but just that feeling of like, we don't know how long we have with the people we love. And, and then actually there's a record on Ray on the sophomore album called Love is Letting Go. 5 (40m 39s): Yeah. A Tribute. 3 (40m 40s): Yeah. I wanted to ask you about that kind of a tribute to him as well, right? Yeah. With Diane Keaton on that one, Diane Keaton. So yeah, I wanna, I wanna hear about that one as well. But to add that as the additional piece and then going in it must, you know, you obviously knew it had to make the record, so you go in and do it and then put the album out and not only is the, the album already vulnerable and then to add that song to it, just another layer of of vulnerability there. 5 (41m 10s): Yeah. She was a, a vulnerable album for 3 (41m 14s): Sure. Yeah. Yeah. 5 (41m 15s): A very clear snapshot of sort of where I was at at the time. And I think that's like an album's job is to like kind of clue you in to where an artist is at the time. And that, and that's sort of exactly what happened with Ray. It was like this 3 (41m 35s): Complete, I'd say it's same, similar, right? I mean another super vulnerable record when you get into this new one, 5 (41m 42s): Super vulnerable but way more fun I'd say. Like, I arguably had more fun writing it. I was maybe a little bit less serious and I, I really didn't give a shit when anybody wanted me to make or I love it. Not that be I'm, I am surrounded with really wonderful people around me. I, they don't really have an agenda for me. But I definitely felt and still feel like, oh gosh, based on the songs that are doing really well in the world right now, I don't know if people want to hear the music that I wanna make, but I'm gonna do it anyways. 5 (42m 27s): That's why I'm the music I'm gonna make anyways. But it's been really like, I've been really grateful to, to see the reactions been so good and that was kind of a surprise in a weird way. 3 (42m 41s): I love how the album opens too. It's like, it has that jazz piece in the very beginning and I remember reading about you and jazz is a big part of your, a big influence for you. Correct? 5 (42m 54s): Yeah, I really, yeah, delved into jazz when I went to Berkeley, it's like a, it's a jazz conservatory or they would say, and God I just fell in love with big band records and singers like Ella Fields, Gerald and Mel Torme and yeah, just really delve in delved deeply into that world. But yeah, it's got like a little like film noir. There's like a little bit of like, I wanted it to feel like maybe you were walking into like a sexy western or something. I love that. You know, in the intro you can kind of hear a door open and it's as if you're like walking into this new world and yeah, it definitely has that jazzy element and it's super playful and fun and that clarinet solo's crazy and yeah. 3 (43m 49s): Yeah. I love it. And then so obvious, like when you pick your singles from this record, like was that pretty strategic? Like, you know, that you're, okay, I'm gonna go this then this and this and this to kind of tell the story or lay out what the, the record's gonna look like? 5 (44m 5s): Yeah, I mean we released too many singles for sure. I I Stand You 3 (44m 10s): Say that we released too many singles? 5 (44m 15s): We did. I mean the album just like, it, it works as one whole thing together. And I believe I'm an album artist and, and so I think it was just a matter of like, I started teasing in other Man's Genes Early and we were like, okay, we gotta catch up because it was kind of one of those, like there was a demand or like a on TikTok or whatever, right? Shit, we have to finish this song and like put it out. And I think we just, I don't really even know every strategy's different of rolling out an album. 5 (44m 58s): I think I'm, I'm happy with the way it all went. It just felt like too many more for my own mental health. Like if I'm just being very honest, it's too much. It's like a, a release when a song comes out, like release day or album release day. It's, yes, the work is done, but it's this like energetic wave of just insanity that hits you. And so do that six times and release an album. It's too much. So, and yeah, and I've already talked my label about this. We're all on the same page. We're like, okay cool, next time we'll just do a little bit less. 3 (45m 38s): Right. But you also want to give each song kind of its own moment, right? I mean, especially nowadays with streaming and people's attention spans. Like I feel like that it, it's a tactic people have been doing where it's album. I love that you did an album because I feel like that whole world is almost disappearing unless you're, you know, are the top of the top. 5 (46m 1s): Yeah, I, yeah, I mean I think at the end of the day you just have to like, you gotta do it on your own terms. Cause what's the point of doing anything if you're not sort of doing it your way? And I think that like, even if the, the industry is definitely leaning maybe more towards a single's focused world, but like the, the worst thing for me to do is do things exactly the way that maybe I'm supposed to and then quit because I'm miserable. 5 (46m 42s): You know? So I think that regardless of the way things will ebb and flow and change, I think staying sort of true to sort of, you know, I'm gonna make an album. I'm an album artist, that's how I wanna create music. Do it in this like, you know, like I said, like snapshots of my life and love it or hate it. At least I'm not gonna quit, you know, at 3 (47m 5s): Least. Right, 5 (47m 5s): Right. I'm gonna stick around for the tour and I'm gonna do the thing. So yeah, I mean, I'll release more singles, don't get me wrong, but Sure. We'll see, We'll see how many next time. Okay, 3 (47m 19s): Well I, yeah, I love, I love albums cuz it's, there's a reason why you put the first song, how it opens up. But even like the fifth song as where it is the ninth song where it is because it's just this, the way that it, that it feels. And that's probably something that took, you know, hours and days on it's like by itself that I feel like not as many people really will pay attention to. Maybe it's just cause I come from like radio programming world, but it's like, I'm sure that took you a while just to figure out how you wanted to lay the songs out. 5 (47m 50s): It's like writing another song is putting them in order. It's like telling your story of like ordering the songs is interesting. Yeah. Hours. Hours and hours. But, and these little transitions, like there's a transition at the end of Count On Me, which is the second to last song 3 (48m 16s): That goes into the, Yeah, sorry, go ahead. 5 (48m 18s): It's, yeah, it starts playing like a voice memo of the piano part when we were writing fun while it lasted. So you hear that and then suddenly just smoothly transitions into the piano part of fun lasted. So yeah, we very, very meticulously put these in order and made them all flow into sort of one movie, you know. 3 (48m 40s): Well, tell me about working with Diane Keaton and then, you know, this, this song about your brother that's on this album as well and like kind of revisiting that. 5 (48m 50s): I mean, Diane Heaton is a legend, obviously. She's just one of the kindest, most real honest people. She's not really here for all the bullshit, you know, she's also 76 years old, so she's pretty, like I've done been around the corner and sure She is like, I'm not setting a five year plan, like a five year goal from now. I'm just like, I'm 76, I'm gonna enjoy like my life and where I'm at right now. And I'm like, I'm gonna do that here right now at 29. Like that's, if I could, if I could adopt that way of thinking so early, I'd probably be a better off in life. 5 (49m 38s): Yeah. She's just one of the most incredible people in the world and I've always really looked up to her and she had a very similar relationship with her brother and so we, I, I basically asked her to sing on this song and told her the story and we got on the phone and I was like, I can't believe this is happening. I'm talking to Diane Caden right now and she was just like, You're making a big mistake having me on the song. Like she was just so classically self-deprecating and awesome and yeah, got in the studio together and I, I wept silently while she did her vocals and she came to, she came to soundcheck two, two days ago for, 3 (50m 29s): But yeah, 5 (50m 31s): And just, I sat there and I sang, Love was Letting Go and I started crying and she was just standing there just like, it was just so like precious and she's awesome. 3 (50m 40s): That's cool. That's so cool. And I didn't even know that she was a, like music as far as like a singer. Like she would do a record, you know what I mean? And then like to get her, that's that's a huge accomplishment there as well. 5 (50m 54s): It's lit. It's literally one of those like, I must be a witch, you know what I mean? Like there's no other explanation. Like I've idolized this woman, There's no one above Diane Keaton for me. 3 (51m 9s): Really? 5 (51m 10s): It's, it's Diane Keaton, then it's Carol King, then it's probably like Justin Vernon, you know, Bon 3 (51m 17s): Bear, Bonnie Bear. Yeah. 5 (51m 19s): Yeah. And then I don't, and then I'm out, I'm tapped 3 (51m 25s): You're and then 5 (51m 26s): I'm done. And, but like Diane takes the cake. She's literally the one and I think it's, it's just like, I mean I'm a human and I get emotional and I'm gonna have bad days, but how dare I ever feel sorry for myself. I've literally worked with my hero. Like I'm fine, I'm good. I'm like, I'm just so, I'm so grateful and yeah, it's the coolest thing I'll ever get to say I've ever done with my life for Till I Die Done. 3 (51m 60s): So Cool. And then you have a big tour coming up to support the record and then, which is amazing. You're gonna be gone for a while, right? I mean you leave Yeah, in November 5 (52m 11s): Ryman 3 (52m 11s): You're doing the Ryman. I know, I saw that on May 23rd I think I just put on my calendar. 5 (52m 18s): Oh I definitely, definitely dunno what day it's, 3 (52m 21s): But I do, cause I literally was like, okay, she's playing the Ryman, I gotta put it in here. 5 (52m 25s): Yeah, please come. We'll put you on the list. We'll 3 (52m 28s): Take care. Oh, thank you. Yeah, I'm going, It's a Tuesday. I figured it all out like, but that's super exciting. Has it been a while since you've done a big run of shows? 5 (52m 42s): Honestly, no. Not on. Okay. I just got off like a, well not just, I was on a, like a 54 show headline tour that started in April. 3 (52m 54s): Oh man, okay. 5 (52m 55s): Of this last year. So it went like April, May, June and then we did like Europe in the UK in May and then we did like kind of one off festivals and things like that. But it's been, it's been pretty crazy. I'm grateful for all of it though. Also I met my boyfriend on tour. He was the drummer of the band that opened for me, 3 (53m 23s): So Wow. 5 (53m 25s): I'm grateful for tour tours. 3 (53m 27s): Great. There you go. Yeah, 5 (53m 29s): Me very well in the past. 3 (53m 32s): I love it. And thank you so much Ash, for doing this. I really, honestly, really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much. 5 (53m 38s): Oh my gosh, same. And yeah, it's an honor. I hope to see you in Nashville and I go to Dose Coffee sometimes meet you there. 3 (53m 47s): Yeah, no, I would love that. I have one more question real quick before I let you go. I wanna know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 5 (53m 56s): Oh gosh. I feel like a little bit, kind of what I was saying earlier of just like, don't quit like a, know that it's what you wanna do more than anything else in the world. Because if you want other things that's great, want other things, but don't choose this career, then like pick it. If you can wholeheartedly go after this for a while, it's just one of those things like you have to fight for and so know that you really want it and don't quit. 5 (54m 37s): Stick around. Like you're gonna get a lot of no's and there's, you're gonna feel bad about yourself sometimes, but it's, it's so, there's so much joy wrapped up into getting to do this as a career. So yeah, I guess that's my advice. I'll work on that answer. 3 (54m 60s): That was beautiful.