Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Chanel.
Ashley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Thanks to my parents I grew up listening to jazz both straight ahead and smooth jazz, soul- James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Frankie Beverly and Maze, funk- Parliament/Funkadelic, Ohio Player, Bootsy Collins, everyone from Motown and everything that was played on Radio Disney. Radio Disney used to edit a lot so I spent my teenage years relearning songs from the 90s. I knew at age five when I first sang in front of an audience that I wanted to pursue music. I distinctly remember people’s reactions from that day. People were smiling, clapping and dancing. Everyone expressed a level of happiness and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to make people happy. That evolved into being an artist/musician but my purpose of making people happy and feel good is what motivates me, it’s what drives me. When I would read about artists I grew up listening to I often came across a stories of them being taken advantage of by either their managers or record labels so I knew I wanted to learn about the business so I didn’t go into anything blindly. I studied music industry and jazz studies at USC. I graduated in 2016 and independently released my debut album #RIGHTNOW of all original music in 2018.
Has it been a smooth road?
Ha! Absolutely not! The road has been jagged but of course that’s relative. In many ways, my road has been smooth with its fair share of bumps but the ultimate struggle has been internal. Music is hard to pursue as a career, everyone knows that, but it’s not just for the reasons most people think. The internal battle of feeling like you’re good enough and actually have something special to offer is the hardest thing. Believing in yourself is the battle. There’s a lot of rejection in this business. Heck, the non-response is even worse. It takes a lot to get up again the next day and keep going. As a creative you put your heart and soul into what you create in the hopes that it will mean something to someone else. I just want to create music that people can connect to the way I connect to the music I love. I’m still just trying to make people happy.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
My music is feel good music. All the genres I grew up listening to influence the songs that come thru me. I studied jazz in college because all the legends I love like Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Prince all had roots in jazz. I understood that all these artists are musicians first and that’s what made them great vocalists. I wanted to be able to sing any and everything. Studying jazz has allowed me to understand how music works from a musician’s standpoint while also understanding the importance of developing a strong sense of who I am in my music and making sure that comes thru to the listener. Being able to improvise and hear beyond what’s expected has definitely contributed to the sound of my music. I am most proud of the fact that wrote all the songs on my album. I have always heard music in my head but I didn’t always the skill to take what I was hearing in my head and get it out in a tangible form. I would get so frustrated. I knew a lot of people who could help me in writing my songs but I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and I did. There’s nothing more gratifying than pushing yourself to do something solely because you want to and then doing it. I had wonderful people help me in putting this album together as far as production and mastering and I couldn’t be more proud of the end result. What sets me apart from others? I don’t know if I can answer that question. I grew up terribly shy and very introverted so I’m always pushing myself to connect with people and fighting the urge to be apart from those around me. I know what I have is unique to me just as everyone’s talents and gifts are. As long I remain authentically myself thru and thru I know I stand in my own lane of love and light.
What has been the most important thing to my success in life?
That is a great question. Honestly, it is my faith in God that’s most important to my life let alone my success in life. My mother taught me how to truly believe not just conceptually but in a way where I have personally experienced the power of relying on God and fully believing without a doubt. I think knowing music is a gift that was given to me so I could serve others really makes me value what I have and pushes me to work harder so I can do right by it and by God. Relying on God is what’s gotten me this far so it’s what I’ll continue to do.
- Website: ashleychanel.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don B. Wells, Janis Yue, Jason Gooden, Ashley Sirls