If you've ever wanted an artist to listen to who could genuinely lift your spirits in a non-cheesy way, the search ends here. Ashley DuBose's music oozes with love, authenticity, and the kind of energy that makes it impossible for you to frown while listening. She as a person embodies this message of hope, self-love, and gratitude with everything she does. Optimism can be hard when all you can think about in your life is "the bad side", but if you look at your entire life as the bright side, things actually become better. Ms. DuBose personifies this ideal in a real, attainable way.
How did you first get into music?
My mother encouraged me to sing at a young age after finding out that it was an interest and gift of mine. I started writing songs at age 10-ish and later recorded my first song at age 16. In my senior year of high school, I linked with a friend of mine and her mother who invited me to sing around town with them and get paid to do it! I also performed gospel R&B/hip hop with a group of three male friends that same year – we called ourselves Sky Hye – I was the singer and the three of them rapped.
What genre would you call your music (if you have one)?
Gosh this question is always so hard. I would say Inspirational R&B/Neo-Soul. But you know we artists don’t like boxes!
What is your creative process with making music?
Most times melodies and lyrics just come to me as I go throughout my day and if I am lucky, I get a producer to build music around it. Other times, I am presented with a beat and I create lyrics and a melody to it. Then there are those rare times when I am presented with a beat and it just so happens to work perfectly with an idea that came to me previously and I marry the two and a song is born!
Your music has a really happy, lively vibe to it. Do you try to put this energy into your work or does it just happen unintentionally?
Both. It happens naturally because I am most creative (inspired and motivated) to write when I am in a good mood. I also think about the message and emotion I want to convey to the listener. I think we have enough sad songs out and I believe I was put here to add balance to things so to speak. Not to bash songs about heartbreak, sadness, or any other “negative” themed songs – because I do make those too – I just have a propensity towards the feel good songs.
Where do you get inspiration from when you need it?
99% of the time, my inspiration is from my thoughts, emotions and life experiences at the time of writing the song.
Who are some of your favorite musicians?
This is also a hard question. The first five that come to mind: Lauryn Hill, India Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Alanis Morissette, and Beyonce. There are others.
What are your goals for 2016 & beyond?
I have many, including (in no particular order): Releasing another album, starting my denim apparel line, writing hit songs for myself and other charting artists, placing my music in television and film, writing a book, traveling more for music and for pleasure, purchasing a home for my mother, strengthening my relationship with God, learning to play the piano and the guitar, winning a Grammy, being a wonderful mother to my 6 year old daughter.
Do you have any advice for up & coming artists?
Don’t follow trends. Make music from the heart. Be persistent. Always seek to improve. Seek God and ask Him for guidance. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be the best YOU you can be. You are your only competition.
Your album, "Be You", is really inspirational. Why is that the title?
Be You was one of the last songs recorded for the album. Before that point, we could not decide on a title. It was a long and frustrating process to figure out a title that tied all of the songs together. One of the challenges I faced in the early stages of creating the album was deciding whether to edit myself and my emotions put into my music based on what I thought others were expecting of me given my first album. I decided I wasn’t going to let that dictate my creativity and from that point, I wrote/recorded songs that were true to me. I decided that I would express and be myself regardless of others’ opinions – be it good or bad. So when I came up with the “Be You” song, which I absolutely love and never gets old to me – my executive producer and I agreed that that should be the overarching message that we wanted to convey with this project. Therefore, we boldly stated the message by titling the album after this song.
Any new projects we can expect from you?
Most definitely. I am giving myself time to experience life and be organically inspired to create. Please stay tuned!
You can find Ashley on Twitter and Soundcloud @ashleydubose.