Kelly Rowland’s quest to create the ultimate girl group has given exposure to a few singers who are now illuminating and shining in their own light. The popular docu-series co-hosted by famed choreographer Frank Gatson has introduced the world to new faces and in the case of breakout star, Ash- the show has moved the vocalist from the background to front and center. The pretty-complexioned vocalist and writer who describes her musical parental mixture as something in between “Steve Perry and Chaka Khan” is definitely someone who will be here for years to come. The Spelman College graduate who has served as Janelle Monae’ s background vocalist and dancer adds something different and organic to the music spectrum. Her angelic vocals are inviting and as soft and pure as morning rain. Her sound is hard to compare to other musicians because of its originality but descriptive purposes I would say Ash’s sound is somewhat classical pop with a little jazzy infusion of Billie Holliday and elements of Tori Amos, Faith Evans Gwen Stefani and (If you can picture that)
Music has always been in 29 year old Ash’s veins, the Oklahoma born- Ohio raised Spelman grad was almost going to purse an ordinary or should we say un-ordinary life as a federal agent after graduating but her musical passion lead her to pursue her innate gift of music. She was hired by Janelle Monae as a background singer and dancer and describe Monae as “the best artist to sing with and the best role model that I could have learned from.” Ash says she thought auditioning for the show would open up new opportunities and experiences for her. Ash sat down with Pynk to answer a few questions about Chasing Destiny, Kelly Rowland and advice for other singers.
PYNK: What did you learn from Kelly Rowland through Chasing Destiny?
ASH: I’ve learned to just remain graceful. I love her energy and spirit. As hard as it can be to maneuver throughout the entertainment industry, you can’t harbor a chip on your shoulder and that won’t get you anywhere. It’s important to maintain an optimistic and positive attitude. As tired as you may become, you can still maintain a sweetness and gracefulness and buttery energy. I am very passionate about my career and very confident in who I am and what I represent. That keeps me happy and that keeps me in a good space. Kelly was a great example of that.
How has Chasing Destiny helped you as an artist?
Chasing Destiny was a great opportunity. I met such amazingly talented women and had the privilege of being under the tutelage of Kelly Rowland and Frank Gatson, two greats in the entertainment world. How phenomenal is that!! I’ve always had a very good work ethic, but while filming Chasing Destiny the first week, I literally had one hour of sleep everyday because I was also splitting time by shooting the Joy of Pepsi commercial with Janelle Monae for the Superbowl. I was definitely stretched a little thin at times. As an artist, I continue to operate with a committed and diligent work ethic. There will be plenty of nights when you’ll miss sleep, but it comes with the territory. Although I came in the door with some experience, as well as some of the other young ladies, it doesn’t omit the need to roll up your sleeves, do the work and be a student. I am so grateful for that.
What advice can you give other artists?
Be authentic. Understand the business. Never think you know it all. Never pass on an opportunity to learn and never ever stop giving. Focus on a good product. Quality over quantity when it comes to music and don’t expect handouts. Stay positive and optimistic. Practice. Practice. Practice. Do the work and the sky is the limit!
Follow Ash on her Twitter, Instagram and soundcloud: @IAmJustAsh
You can also read our previous interview with ASH here: