Ashe’s California beach pop will brighten the darkest winter day
Follow your heart. At least that’s what VEVO dscvr artist to watch, Ashe, would probably tell you to do.
Riding into the spotlight while on her supporting North American tour with Lauv, the 24-year-old California girl and beach-pop songstress caught up with Galore to talk motivation and stardom after the jump!
Photography by Dana Trippe
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself growing up?
I was really lame growing up. Fully a dork. My mom played a lot of Christian radio, so I did not have a good music repertoire. There’s some hidden gems in there of good songs and good song writing, but it’s few and far between. My saving grace was my grandpa. He’d take me on road trips and play some classics [from] Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Jefferson Airplane.
What were your interests?
Out of high school I applied to Berklee College of Music. Music was the only thing that made sense in my life. I went there and majored in orchestra writing, but still had zero clue of what I wanted, so I moved to Nashville after I graduated. It was weird because it seems like anyone who works in the [music] business that went to Berklee all dropped out, which [at the time] really concerned me that I didn’t. I still didn’t have ‘it’ figured out. I think [about] if I knew earlier that I want to be an artist, and I want to write my own songs, that I might have left Berklee. But I didn’t know. It took going to Nashville. I was just going to be a songwriter, doing day-in-day-out sessions, and then I started road-tripping to Chicago where I met Louis the Child. I started finding my family in the real music industry.
That’s so cool. Do you want to go back to Chicago?
I love Chicago, but I’m based in Hollywood now. We just bought a house out there which is exciting. In a weird way [Chicago] it’s sort of where I got my start, and where I figured out that I wanted to be more than a songwriter. It holds a special place in my heart.
I can relate. I used to live there for about eight years, and it’s the first major city where I got to push myself toward my dreams. What was your dream job?
I don’t know that I had one. I just wanted to be … I knew I wanted to be a renowned songwriter. A high-caliber, damn she’s a good writer, like a grammy award winning songwriter [laughs]. But it didn’t end up being enough.
What motivates you now?
I think honestly, just exploring who I am. I know it sounds kind of trivial but I think as a musician I get a very unique [opportunity] in life to basically seek out and find who I am. I have this ability to grow and change, and I’m really interested in being 100% authentic at all times. A lot of people don’t have that ability or that choice. I have this incredible opportunity to say basically anything I want and get away with it.
I’m interested in this discussion on being authentic. I think I sometimes struggle with that, not because I’m living in falsehood or anything like that. It’s more so like when I find myself online, I censor my thoughts because I feel like there are consequences to authenticity, and I just rather not offend anybody if I can be one less problem on the laundry list of problems.
I feel that. I think that goes back to like, remember when the Dixie Chicks called out George W. Bush? Their career basically ended. I mean, in the Country music world, they [were] a little more strict about what you can say. ] I think that’s changing, which is awesome. I grew up in a very Christian family. Even when I go home for Christmas, I do find myself censoring myself. [Naturally] I say fuck a lot, and when I’m home I remember, “Oh yeah, I should probably put a lock on that while I’m with my family.” I don’t know, I just think there’s a time and a place. You just have to figure out what matters more. Does it matter more to me to say exactly what I want to say, or does it matter more to not offend somebody. And I think sometimes, the right answer is I should hold my tongue, but most of the time I feel like speaking my mind is good.
Do you have any routines to keep you refreshed on tour?
Yeah! I just started mediating which I think is really helpful. It’s a lot of throat coat tea and meditation now. I think that’s going to be the key because I’ve gotten sick every tour I’ve been on now, and I really don’t want to get sick on this next one. It’s hard, you know, you’re hugging a bunch of strangers every night and belting your lungs out. It’s definitely a lot.
What’s a day off tour look like?
I’m working on my first EP right now. Everything I’ve been doing at home has been working towards getting that out. Photoshoots, interviews, writing sessions. That’s sort of life right now. It’s a lot of writing. Most of the inspiration comes from my life and my own experiences. I would say this EP is going to be a 360 view into who I am. I’m a total weirdo, so I’m really excited about that. I think people are going to be able to relate as well. I think it’s going to be a cool story. I’m excited for people to hear it.
Anything exciting happen for you already this year?
I can’t say too much yet, but 2018 is already awesome. This tour is definitely the biggest thing. Rob’s a really good friend and he’s an incredible artist so I’m really excited for this tour, and then hopefully we’re looking at headlining in the fall. It’s all sort of just up and coming.
Do you feel like a star waiting to burst?
[Laughs] That is an interesting question. I don’t know. I feel like there’s a lot of me that the world is going to see that they haven’t gotten to know yet, so in that way I guess there’s a story that’s going to be unfolding soon. But I don’t know. I don’t have much of an ego so I’m not like, “I’m going to be a star!”
Have you seen “Lady Bird”?
I just saw it. Talk about someone who demonstrates being authentically herself regardless of the consequences. She is an inspiration.