Ashley Gearing is a modern female country singer with a voice that could easily be placed among the great women of the 90s. As a new fan to her music and career, I listened to her self-titled debut EP, Ashley Gearing, on repeat a few times and eventually found myself singing along…a definite success in my books. I spent some time on an ordinary Wednesday afternoon learning about this extraordinary artist and this is what I found out.
Can you give a little “about me” for people who may not be familiar with who you are?
“Sure. I’m originally from western Massachusetts, about an hour outside of Boston so I guess I’m a northern girl, but my mom grew up in Georgia so I got a lot of my love of country music from her. I guess I really started doing musical events, like singing at church, around 12 years old but I really just grew up a normal girl like everybody else.”
Was music always a goal for you as a career?
“Honestly, even doing different events at a young age growing up, it wasn’t until people started asking me to play at their weddings that I really started to consider this as a career and started getting into more of a business mindset. I signed with Lyric Street Records when I was 12 and Curb Records when I was 16 but I didn’t make the big move to Nashville until I was 18. It was scary leaving my family but I enrolled at Belmont University and that really helped ease the transition.”
In your experience, what are some of the best and worst things about Music City?
“One of the best things is definitely the talent…oh and the countless opportunities that this city has to offer. For me, it’s the happy medium between being city and country because it is a big city but it has a very small town feel which I kind of love. One of the worst things is again the amount of talent. There are so many talented people who live here and sometimes they’re all going for the same opportunity so it does get challenging. The best advice I’ve received about being in business here is to ‘keep your horse blinders on.’ You know, stay in your lane, focus on what you do best, and when the right people notice you you’ll know it’s a good fit. I also hate the traffic. *laughs* This city is amazing but it’s struggling a bit to keep up with the amount of people who move here each year.”
What was the process for creating your latest EP?
“It was a long process. It took us three years of writing, defining what sound we wanted, and finalizing everything before we put it out for people to hear. I’ve been in this business for years, but I’m constantly defining my voice and artistry. Nashville was very helpful in that respect with some of the most talented songwriters in the business coming in and just being around them and being able to write with them was a great experience for me. There seems to be a common thread of female empowerment throughout this EP which wasn’t planned at all but I’m happy with the way it all turned out.”
Can you tell me about your new single?
“Absolutely. It’s called ‘Love Can Go To Hell’ and we really didn’t find it until the end of the song search process for the EP. At first we just did an acoustic version to hear how it would sound and we immediately loved it. The rest of the EP is kind of more upbeat and up tempo, so we weren’t sure how a ballad would fit in but it’s just so relatable. You know sometimes it just feels like there’s two extremes – on the one hand you see people who are just so happy and completely drawn to one another…and on the other, there’s the heartbreak and feeling like you’re just going to be alone forever. *laughs* I’m glad we made room for it on this EP and I think a lot of people will connect with it.”
(Author’s Note: She’s right. I definitely relate to this song).
What do you think about the influence of social media in an artist’s career?
“Honestly, I feel like I’m usually one step behind the latest trend or app. *laughs* I love using things like Twitter and Instagram though because it’s such a direct survey of how people are reacting to the music. I think one of my favorite things is being able to connect with fans online and then at some point getting to meet them in person at a show and it really feels like a full-circle experience.”
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
“I’m afraid of squirrels. I really don’t like rodents in general, but squirrels, I can’t have anything to do with them. I’m a big believer that everybody needs some sort of normalcy in their life. Driving is my escape where I don’t turn any music on. I can just be alone and process thoughts and whatever I need to do. But, most of the time I end up thinking about song ideas anyway.”
Last question. Where can fans find your music?
“Wherever music can be found! I think we’re on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon…oh and Spotify is adding “Love Can Go To Hell” to one of their radio playlists soon so that’s really exciting!”
I’ve really become a fan of Ashley Gearing’s music and after getting a chance to talk with her, I hope I get to meet her the next time I make a trip to Nashville.
Ashley Gearing’s self-titled can be found on iTunes.