Ashley Monroe talks about the new direction she's taking her music in!
Ashley Monroe has had a fantastic career as an artist and songwriter within country music; from writing hit songs such as 'The Truth' for Jason Aldean, to being one third of the supergroup the Pistol Annies to her own solo career, Monroe has enjoyed all aspects of the industry. However, her most recent project sits outside of the country music norm as she experiments with her sound whilst conveying her new found happiness with the world. I spoke with Ashley to find out more about the new direction her sound has taken.
When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I feel like when LeAnn Rimes came on the scene I thought hmm I can sing now? When I was really really little, around three years old I loved to sing and play piano. I did some karaoke nights in Knoxville to try and get discovered, tractor pulls. I did fares and clogging and yodelling when I was like 11.
Whats the process of writing songs like for you? Do you write lyrics first and then melody for example or is it different every time? Does it come from personal experience?
I usually write lyrics and music at the same time but it doesn’t always happen like that. With Sparrow and Orphan, I had the music for that a long time before I had the words so it depends. Even though I’ve always been on major labels, no one ever forced me to be what I wasn’t, they supported the music that I wanted to put out there. my Dad died when I was thirteen, when he was sick, thats when I wrote my first song, I released all those feelings I had through songwriting.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this album as it's quite sonically different from The Blade and Sparrow?
At the time I was listening to Kanye West and The Beach Boys and I would really dive into those parts that gave me chills on my arm, whether that was the melodies or the way the bass dropped in and out. I was listening to a really cool new artist called Dominic Fike. When my son was born I felt this wave of love wash over me, I told all my co-writers I didn't want a single sad song on there, I wanted to hold onto that joy! I didn't produce it as a country record because that's not how I heard it in my head.
Who did you enjoy collaborating with on this record?
I mean it when I say I loved working with every one of them. Mikey Reaves did Siren, Groove and Drive, he’s just a cool guy and an ace songwriter. Everyone I went to with these production ideas was so good at capturing them. Jordan Reynolds wrote silk. Nathan Chapman and I have been friends for a long time, we wrote Gold together. Tyler Cain produced The New Me which I wrote with Brett James.
You've had success alongside Angaleena and Miranda as part of The Pistol Annies too, are you still working on new music with them?
We’re good friends, we’re like sisters, we talk everyday and it’s more than a band to us. So even though we’ve all got our own careers, we still hold onto each other and we’ll always be creating music and releasing it.
None music related question: If you was to describe your personality as a flavour of potato chip what flavour would you be?
Haha! Sweet and Salty smoky mountain barbecue chip.
What's next for you?
Well, I don't have any shows booked in just yet but I'm sure that'll come soon. Other than that... I'm not sure!
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