Ashley Spencer - a breath of fresh airStory and interview by Chris Koppers-images courtesy of Ashley Spencer
Ashley comes up with a personality that makes a difference in her genre.
First noted with her version of "fever" - her voice conveys a variety from sultry to tranquil timbre - a skill I do not see that often.
No matter what song I listen to, Ashley's music is a true pleasure. Solid-to-the-ground tracks with her lovely voice.
Ashley had some time for an interview.
--- Interview ---
It seems you give at least 100% for every song you compose. Does that also mean we always get 100% of you? - I can listen to your music and I can meet you somewhere in a mall and I would figure "Wow, she is like in her music".
For the most part yes. I haven't yet figured out if it's a blessing or a curse that my personality is so intertwined with my music. As every part of myself begins to evolve (fashion style, interior design style, knowledge of who I am as a person, etc) my music tends to evolve with it. One thing I've noticed is that you can hear the maturity difference in a song I wrote years and years ago, verses a song off the EP I released on iTunes recently. For instance, I wrote my very first song "Satisfy You" 7-10 years ago, and when you listen to a song like "Until I Paint In Color," there is such a drastic difference between the two songs. Both of the songs are still Retro-Soul, but you can hear the music coming into adulthood in a way. My music and I are the same person.
What is your latest project?
My next project is a hip-hop song I collaborated on with a rapper named "AK" from Houston, TX. I wrote and sang the chorus on his song. It turned out really well! Can't wait to finally show the song off! We're both very proud of our collaboration.
Other than that, I've been contemplating doing an acoustic holiday single in the next couple of months... might be an interesting project.
One of my "picture this" questions:
Your are on tour, worldwide assignments, you are at the airport - your last gig will be tomorrow. Your booked flight has been canceled due bad weather. What is your choice? Please pick one:
a) Cussing bitterly until the weather gets better.
b) You unwrap your gear and start performing your music.
c) You take another transportation method, because you do not let your fans down.
c) The last thing I'd ever want to do is cancel a show.
What is your favorite song you have composed so far? Why?
Oh man, that's a hard one to decide... Every song is so different from one another, and I have so many songs that no one has heard yet. I guess I would say, the song I'm currently most proud of is "Until I Paint In Color."
As a little kid, you have so many dreams for yourself and you are so full of optimism and hope. Then one day reality takes over and sometimes the cards you are dealt try to take away your hope, or they force you to forget your dreams in order to survive. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control or awareness, I was unable to pursue music for quite some time. As I got older my dreams evolved and I wanted love and music, the whole bit. One day I woke up in different circumstances where I was finally free, for the very first time, to pursue my most authentic life. There is so much freedom and power in knowing your life is in your hands, and that you'll get nothing you want until you go out there and create it. Moving from a place of confinement to a place of freedom is sort of an awkward space, because you have so much anger and bitterness mixed with exhaustion and hope... All the while having no idea how to even get what you want. As long as you know what you want, and every day you take tiny steps towards it, one day you'll end up somewhere beautiful. ... And that's what the song is about.
I communicate through poetic lyrics, melody and with the emotion in my voice, so much so that in my daily life I have a hard time articulating what I'm feeling or going through. I took down the wall on that song and let people see my insides.
Your music should... (please pick one and tell us why)
a) enlighten everyone's heart.
b) pay my dues.
c) be the mirror of my soul.
Hmmm... I'm leaning towards A, but I think I'm going with C on this one. Soul music requires you to pour out everything you have inside of you. It wouldn't be soul without mirroring the songwriter's soul.
Where is your perfect spot to perform your music?
I'm pretty picky about sound. I prefer the smaller more intimate venues that don't distort the singer's voice. I want people to be able to hear every detail in my voice loud and clear, especially since my music and performance style is based on emotion and soul. Not much point in performing if the venue makes you sound like a very high-pitched Mickey Mouse. o:)
Where will you see yourself in the near future?
Moving into my new apartment. :) I'm a bit obsessed with interior design lately and getting the place just right.
I'll always be striving to live my most authentic life possible, so no telling where I'll end up or who I will become in the future. It's a journey I am enjoying, one day at a time.
Who is your most supportive person in your life?
THE most supportive person has always been my best friend. She believed in me and my abilities when no one else did, and often times believed in me when I lost faith in myself. She's always there to say the right thing at the right time and remind me of who I really am inside. I'm so grateful to have a person in my life who has had such unshakable and undying faith in me for the last 12 years. I only hope I've been able to adequately reciprocate the generous gift.
Thank you for taking your time, Ashley.
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/introducing...-ep/id553102667 AND http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/satisfy-you-single/id498076245