Photo courtesy of Ashlie Amber
She has one of the most pristine female voices in country radio right now. Maybe ever. If you haven’t heard it yet, go hear it. Her name is Ashlie Amber and she’s simply fabulous. She’s shared her magnificent talent all over the world and now she’s joined the country music world to share it with all of you. We couldn’t be happier, and I had the chance to speak with her via Zoom during CRS 2021. I think you’ll love her as much as I did. Here’s our conversation:
Patti McClintic: Hi Ashlie, I’m so glad to meet you.
Ashlie Amber: Me too. So happy to be here, thanks for having me today.
Patti McClintic: Wow. Your voice is so good. Are you the reincarnation of Whitney Houston? Your voice is so amazingly good. I wish you had more songs out there. Is there more coming? Please tell me there’s more coming.
(Ashlie Amber laughs)
Ashlie Amber: There is. I have a new single coming out on the 26th, actually.
Patti McClintic: Oh, good, that’s really soon. So, give us some background. Where are you from? What’s your background? All that good stuff.
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, so, I’m from Thornton, Colorado, which is in the suburbs of Denver. I’m one of four, I actually have a twin brother.
Patti McClintic: Oh, is he talented too?
Ashlie Amber: No, he is not. He beatboxes, he’s actually really good at beatboxing.
Patti McClintic: Okay, well, then he’s got a talent.
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, I’m the only one that’s really pursuing music, which I get from my dad’s side. I’ve been performing professionally since I was like, 19. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve been to over 70 different countries, I think I’m at 72 right now, with performing, headlining my own show. I actually have a Whitney Houston celebration that I headlined that has taken me all over the world.
Patti McClintic: That’s incredible.
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, so, I don’t have quite the traditional country music background because my journey kind of took me into musical theater. I was signed to an independent label at 19 and they wanted me to do R&B and hip hop, which I didn’t really want to do, so eventually I walked away from that. I was on musical theater ships all over the world, which eventually led me back to where I am now and getting to hang out with you and some girl power. (Laughs)
Patti McClintic: That is so cool. Very, very cool. I love your sound and I love the fact that you’re coming into country music at just exactly the right time. You’re arriving at the right time. We’re getting all these super talented black female artists. Mickey Guyton and we just did an interview with Chapel Hart, this crazy-talented trio.
Ashlie Amber: Oh, yeah! They are amazing!
Patti McClintic: Girl power, if you want to talk about girl power, they are it. This is just the right time. I think we’re all so accepting of this and we want this. Let’s face it, without gospel and jazz and blues, country wouldn’t be as cool as it is.
Ashlie Amber: Absolutely.
Patti McClintic: So, that influence has always been there and you’re just coming in at the right time. So, it’s good for you to say, “Here I am, let’s go!”
Ashlie Amber: You know, the crazy thing is this journey for me started long before these current events and all these recent conversations about diversity and country music being more inclusive. I met my manager, like, three years ago. He saw me perform and I said, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to be like, the Beyoncé of country,” and he said, “That’s a great idea, we should talk about that,” but I was so busy doing my other stuff that I had just started. So, I told him I needed some time to get settled, but we kept in touch and I reached out to him two years later and was like, “Hey, I’m ready.” So, I’d already recorded my six songs and released my first two songs before this huge media attention got brought on with country music. It’s crazy, because I do believe when you kind of throw things in the universe and you’re working really hard and you’re where you’re supposed to be, everything just kind of works out, and here I am.
Photo courtesy of Ashlie Amber
Patti McClintic: That’s right, and you’re gorgeous and you’re enthusiastic. You’re like a big cheer bubble. What’s not to like about that? You just seem like you’d be a fun hang. Let’s just put that out there.
Ashlie Amber: Thank you. I definitely do like to have fun. (Laughs)
Patti McClintic: Me too. I asked my husband earlier if it was too early to day drink. He said no, but I decided I’d better not because I can screw things up way too easily when I’m sober, and if I try to deal with technology in that condition, yeah, no.
(Ashlie Amber laughs)
Ashlie Amber: Well, we’ll look back into that day drinking the next time I’m in Nashville and we’ll have a girls’ day drinking trip. (Laughs)
Patti McClintic: I would absolutely do that with you. (Laughs) So, tell me about the latest single, “Fight With You,” tell me about that. Who wrote that one?
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, so “Fight With You” (Avrim Max Topel, Lo Miller, Mary Haller) is my latest single and it’s such a great song. I was actually on the other side of the world, literally, when I got pitched this song, and it’s one of those things when I heard the lyrics, and I think so many people can relate to this, especially now with the pandemic and everything going on. A lot of couples have been having to spend a lot more time together than they’re used to. (Laughs)
Patti McClintic: Yeah, I noticed that. (Laughs)
Ashlie Amber: Yeah. (Laughs) It’s very fun and playful. Like, the title is a little bit misleading because you think, oh, “Fight With You,” this is going to be a breakup song or something like that, but it’s not. It’s about, you know, having fun, like, “Hey, we’ve been together for 10 years,” “We’ve been together for five years,” “We’ve been together for six months.” Everybody’s story’s different and we bicker, we fight, we challenge each other, we go on the debate, but I’m okay with that because, sure, I could be on the beach sipping mimosas, but that would be too easy, like, anybody could do that. We’re vibing off of each other, we’re each other’s ride-or-die, so no matter what happens, we’re going to be here. I just really like the message of the song and I think it’s important to have a positive spin on things, especially in today’s time.
Patti McClintic: Yes, because we have no choice. The alternative to being together with your significant other and bickering is, well, what are you gonna do, quit life? You can’t do that. I mean, you could, but that’s not very pretty.
Ashlie Amber: Exactly.
Video courtesy of Ashlie Amber and YouTube
Patti McClintic: So, can you tell us about this new music that’s coming out?
Ashlie Amber: Yes, so my new single coming out is called “Those Nights,” and it comes out on February 26th. I’m really, really excited about it because this is actually my first self-penned single release of my career. So, this is a big deal. So, not only is it my first single in 2021, but it’s also my first self-penned. I’m introducing myself to the world, and to Nashville, as the songwriter that I am. It’s really, really exciting and I just shot the music video for it and it’s so beautiful. It actually came from somebody in the music industry that made a comment that I wasn’t authentic enough, and instead of being hurt or upset, I was just like, “Oh, okay. I’ll show you authentic,” and I went and wrote 14 songs in 14 days. This was the first of the 14 that I wrote, and I sent it to my producer, Jamie Tate and my manager, Don Ellis Gatlin, and they were like, “What? You just wrote this?” I was like, “Yeah, I totally just wrote this.” So, we decided to record it, along with three other songs that I wrote and this is the first of the batch that we’re releasing. So, it just kind of makes sense that my first single of 2021 is my first self-penned release, and it’s the first song that I wrote of 14 songs in 14 days. There’s lots of symbolism behind it.
Patti McClintic: Wow. Girl, you are a boss, 14 songs in 14 days. That is crazy. What did you do after 14 days? Did you just crash, or what?
Ashlie Amber: I did. I took a couple days off and then I went on, I think, a three or four day writing streak. I think I wrote five songs in like, three days, because there were a couple times where I was just in the zone and I wrote two songs in one day. I’ve actually recorded one of those songs, one of the ones where I wrote two songs in the same day. I don’t know, I guess I was just inspired.
Patti McClintic: Yeah, you were on a tear.
Ashlie Amber: Sometimes it just takes one thing to get that little nudge you’ve been waiting for, and I guess that’s what I needed.
Patti McClintic: You’ve gotta take it when it’s there because it might fall out of your head. You don’t want that.
Ashlie Amber: Exactly, yeah. So, now I write notes and I have a co-writing session later today actually. So, it’s just a lot of fun, it’s a fun journey. It’s really great to share my own music on Spotify and share my voice how I want to be portrayed, but it’s a whole other thing to 100% share your own lyrics. So, I’m just really, really excited. So far the response from everybody who has heard the song has been absolutely incredible, so yay!
Patti McClintic: Congratulations, and the 26th isn’t far. So, obviously with the pandemic it’s been difficult, but will you be doing any shows or livestreams? What’s the situation?
Ashlie Amber: Yeah. So, I actually have a couple of songwriter rounds coming up in Nashville, the 25th and the 26th.
Patti McClintic: I have my book out. I’m going to write those down. I might try to sneak over.
Ashlie Amber: Oh, my gosh. You should surely come. The 25th is at Live Oak right near Music Row, and the 26th is at Puckett’s in Franklin.
Patti McClintic: Oh, I love Puckett’s. They have really great food there.
Ashlie Amber: I’m really excited. I will be doing all original songs. The 25th is actually going to be my very first writer’s round. I’m really excited.
Patti McClintic: You’ll nail it.
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, I’m going to be surrounded by really great company and you know, my PR team is behind the event, so it’s gonna be great to share all the stuff I’ve been working on.
Patti McClintic: I’m really going to try and make it out.
Ashlie Amber: Awesome, then we can do that drink, it’s not going to be during the day, but…
Patti McClintic: No, it won’t be during the day, but it’ll be just as good. So, next I have this Chat Pack. It’s a box of random question cards. Are you up for one?
Ashlie Amber: Yeah, let’s go.
Patti McClintic: Okay, I’ll try not to pick one I’ve already picked. There are like, a gazillion cards in this box and with the last guy I talked to, I actually picked one I already picked. How does that even happen? I threw it out, I refuse to do any duplicates. (Laughs) Okay. The card says, “Aside from any family occurrence, marriages, special anniversaries, birth of a child, etc., what event or accomplishment would you consider to be the highlight of your life thus far?”
Ashlie Amber: Oh, my gosh, that’s really hard.
Patti McClintic: I know, that’s really hard because you’ve accomplished a lot.
Ashlie Amber: Wow. Does the fact that I’m still standing count? (Laughs)
Patti McClintic: Well, that should be mine. I’m still here, that’s a major accomplishment and I’m proud. (Laughs)
Ashlie Amber: I’m still here. It’s been a journey. You know, like I said earlier, I haven’t had the traditional country music background. My family’s very supportive, but I don’t have family that can help me financially, I’m like, 100% on my own and I’ve always been that way. I’ve had to work really hard, you know, with lots of shifts bartending 16 hours at a time, to be able to pay for all the things that I’ve done, and the fact that even after all this time, you know, a lot of performers get their break earlier in life, I’m a little older, I’m not a spring chicken, as they say.
Patti McClintic: You’re not as old as me, so to me, you’re a spring chicken. (Laughs)
Ashlie Amber: (Laughs) Well, the industry standards of what they typically look for, I’m a little bit on the older side. So, I could have given up a long time ago. I could have given up when I wanted to pursue country music when I was 19 and they just didn’t want anything to do with it. I could have just given up, but I bided my time and just took a couple detours, quite literally taking the scenic route, I’ve been to 72 different countries, and here I am getting to live out my dream, getting to talk to you and share my story. Being really well-accepted and really well-received thus far in the country community, it’s just exciting. I’m legitimately living my dreams right now, so I don’t know how I can get much better.
Patti McClintic: I don’t know. I think you’re here now and you still have room to keep going.
Ashlie Amber: Of course, I still want to be on the CMAs and win a Grammy and crossover into film. There are so many things I want to do, but right now, at this moment, I’m just really thankful for where I’m at and all the stuff I had to go through in order to get here.
Patti McClintic: I can so see you on the CMAs and the Grand Ole Opry. I can see you in all those places, I really can. I’m just looking at you and I’m thinking, you should be in a really beautiful Versace gown and you should be on the CMAs, getting one. I’m so excited for you.
Ashlie Amber: Thank you. Thank you.
Patti McClintic: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us and keep thinkin’ country because we are Think Country.
Ashlie Amber: Oh, my gosh, that’s all I think is country.
Patti McClintic: Alright Ashlie, thank you! Bye.
Ashlie Amber: Thank you Patti, bye.
What a pleasure! Do check out Ashlie Amber’s music and her new single that drops on February 26th. She can be found at all the links listed below. If you leave her a comment on her socials, do tell her that Think Country sent you!
For more news, interviews, reviews and features, please visit thinkcountrymusic.com
Photo courtesy of Ashlie Amber
ASHLIE AMBER CAN BE FOUND:
FACEBOOK: Ashlie Amber on Facebook
INSTAGRAM: Ashlie Amber on Instagram
TWITTER: Ashlie Amber on Twitter
YouTube: Ashlie Amber on YouTube
*Featured photo courtesy of Ashlie Amber