MUC: How are you setting yourself apart from all of the fellow female country artists that are also currently breaking into country music right now?
I always strive to be myself and stay true to who I am. That is key. Songwriting is a big part of who I am so I feel that the fact that I write my own songs about my everyday life experiences also helps in sharing my own unique story and sound with the world.
MUC: You are about to graduate from Lipscomb University; how hard was it balancing school and a musical career?
Yes, I am super-exciting about graduating! Music has always been a huge part of my life and upbringing and now I will have a lot more time to devote to a full-time career as an artist and songwriter. During my time at Lipscomb University, I pretty much always took the maximum amount of credits, therefore, between school, music and work (I nanny and also teach four and five year old children at my church), I always made time for music, but my super busy schedule left me with limited time to write and perform. Upon graduation, that will change and I plan to really take advantage of that!
MUC: With all the big names that have performed at the Bluebird Cafe, what was it like performing on your 22nd birthday at the famous music club in Nashville?
It was such an honor to spend my 22nd birthday performing at ASCAP’s In The Row at the world famous Bluebird Café. I had only performed there once before. The Bluebird Café is one of the few venues where every time you are invited to play it is special and such a privilege that I do not take for granted.
MUC: What would you say is the biggest musical accomplishment so far and what do you still plan on accomplishing within the next 5 years?
I have already been blessed with so many great opportunities and accomplishments between having other artists to cut my songs, opening for top-name artists, writing with amazing hit-songwriters and playing well-known clubs and festivals but I would have to say to date my biggest musical accomplishment would be releasing my first EP and having it debut at #4 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and Bestseller list. As far as my long term goals, I plan to take my music to a whole new level growing both as an artist and a songwriter. My ultimate goal is to continue to move people with my songs and to make a difference. I also want to help people through my music and with whatever success I may achieve.
MUC: Has being on TV as well as being in print ads for companies like Cracker Barrel and Reader's Digest made it easier to be in the spotlight on stage?
Yes, definitely! Having hosted international television shows, auditioned for roles on major networks and for movies and doing print ads for major national magazines has tremendously helped me. This experience has made it easier and more comfortable to be in the spotlight, in front of the camera and in front of audiences. It has made me be more conscious of what I do and say as well as helping with overall stage presence. It’s not to say that I don’t still get nervous going in front of a crowd, however, it has definitely help to mold me into the performer I am today.
To learn more about Ashlyn you can go to her website at: https://www.ashlyngrayce.com/