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Name: Ash.

Hometown: Born in Oklahoma City, but raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

When did you find your voice and decide that you wanted to pursue your passion?

I found my voice as a young girl in writing. It was my sport, my therapy, my playtime. I wrote about everything, anytime. It was a world I could step into and like a closet, undress. Singing wasn’t something I thought to deeply about, it was something I was born with, however, once I figured out the connection between my stories and singing them, that marriage, I knew I had something cool I wanted to develop. That was exciting to me. It wasn’t about being an amazing singer, for me it was about sharing my stories and poems in a warm way. I figured they, my stories, could make more of an impact through song.

Who are your musical influences?

Steve Perry (Journey), Babyface, Stevie Wonder, N’dambi, Michael McDonald, Shania Twain, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Janelle Monae of course. All art influences me honestly. My list would never end.

If you were the lovechild of two artists, dead or alive, who would they be?

Chaka Khan and Steve Perry. I like Chaka Khan because she’s an amazing vocalist, but also because she has so much strength. I know that she’s struggled with so much publicly over the years, but when she hits the stage she commands it in such a graceful way. She’s very sexy, beautiful and very confident in whatever size she happens to be–she just wears it so well. She is the epitome of perseverance. I would say Steve Perry because of his heart. Although he is a big pop/rock star, he writes and performs in such a beautiful and honest way. There’s a uniqueness about him that’s so cool. The mix between those two artists spirit-wise is what I aspire to be.

What was your first break?

Well, I’ve not met that place yet, I’m still taking one step at a time. It has been amazing touring and singing background for Janelle Monae over the past few years, so I guess you can consider that a break in life, a milestone. As a solo artist, I’m still trying to reach one person at a time, day by day and one of these days I’ll have that moment.

How do you describe your music and its message?

My music is fun, simple and honest. Hopefully everyone who hears it, loves deeper, dances harder and feels better. I hope you enjoy my EP.

Buy Ash.’s album on iTunes!

Ash.’s The Perfect EP:


BASE LEVEL: Janelle Monae’s Background Singer Ash Is Breaking Out  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com