Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Irae.
Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born with a gift to sing and write music early on. As a youth, I began singing pop, jazz, R&B, country, and ballads in school performances, and private outside performances. Before coming to the realization that it’s all about the message in the music I had to go through very dark times early on in my teens well into my early 20’s. During those times, I had fallen into self-destructive behavior patterns that nearly took my life several times. The over consumption of drugs, alcohol, self-defeating thoughts, eating disorders, rape, and self-harm were times that, now, feel like a completely different life time ago. The fact that I grew up in a very strictly parented household was of no help, however my parents were doing the very best to help me in the ways that they knew how. The rebellion spirit had always existed inside me but as a youth was not channeled into a positive outlet. By the end of 2012 after many near death experiences from the life style I had been living I had a moment of revelation like none other before. The Most High within myself spoke to me saying “What are you doing with your life? NOW IS THE TIME to begin your new life journey”.
From that moment forward, I picked myself up from the dirt and dust and marched forward into the self-love that is always born within each and everyone of us. I began gravitating towards Roots Reggae music and the pro-active lifestyle of Rastafari as well as spiritual practices of yoga and meditation. From this initial spiritual awakening I found my true most highest self within the sounds and vibrations of African rhythms that I feel deeply connected to as well as teaching myself how to play ukulele and guitar. I had played piano as a child so I have always been naturally musically inclined. I began studying Reggae music and creating community attending my favorite artist’s shows all over California and the West Coast. By 2016 I joined my first band and shortly after began pursuing myself as an artist in 2017 releasing my first single “Roots of the Seed” produced by Stoney Eye Studios in Long Beach. In 2018 I released two more singles and began working with Crowntown Records from Trinidad &Tobago. I began putting myself out there and following my heart’s calling to travel to Jamaica to record, film music videos and immerse myself in the roots and culture and community.
In 2019, I released two more singles and in August 2019 released my Debut Album “Love Iration”. The album is a reminder that Love truly is the Most High within each and every human being. As the greatest Leader Haile Selassie I of these times has said We must remember that we have the unlimited potential to become bigger than we have been, more courageous, larger in outlook, we must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community. I give thanks for all the trials and tribulations that I continue to experience as I push on in making a name for myself within the Reggae Music Industry because it is how we overcome these perceived challenges that truly gives more strength, growth, and perseverance. I hope that my story as a youth going through drug and alcohol addictions as well as eating disorders can help inspire other youths to remember that you can be anything you set your mind and heart to and it all starts with loving yourself as a whole and completely. Change is the only thing that is constant. We are forever evolving beings of love.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Although the road can be rocky and rough at times persistence is a must. As an independent artist and entrepreneur my main struggle has been financially. However, I continue to learn and draw in the abundance to bring me where the Most High wants me to be.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Besides being a Reggae Artist, I am also a Kemetic Yoga instructor, Pilates instructor, and spiritual wellness coach. I specialize in helping people live a life a revitalization through these ancient practices of meditation, mindfulness, eating whole plant-based foods, and getting in touch with the movement of life force energy to manifest their reality. I would say in my music career what sets me apart from others is the fact that I am white but I have such a deep connection as a roots woman to the true roots and culture of the music and lifestyle. My voice is unique all on its own and my consistent drive to move to Jamaica and pursue my music career there as well as take part in the creation of community is really what sets me apart from others. My authenticity and passion for the love of life.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood is singing in choir and performing.
- Love Iration Digital Album: $12.99
- Love Iration Physical Album : $10.00
- Website: ashleyiraemusic.com
- Phone: 7144993984
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: ashleyirae
- Facebook: facebook.com/ashleyiraeartist
- Other: youtube.com/ashleyirae
Crisanto Santa Ana, Soultrydubs