Performing as an opener for Willie Nelson, Luke Bryan, and Chuck Wicks following the release of her debut album Heaven On Earth, Ashley Alexander proved she could certainly hold her own on a big stage. Opening spots were followed by numerous appearances at sporting events and media outlets, that eventually lead to an opportunity to perform the National Anthem at a NASCAR Nationwide Series Race (her performance voted as one of the top 10 best pre-race performances ever by the Bleacher Report). But whether playing in a coffeehouse or singing in a arena, Ashley makes each show a personal and entertaining experience for every audience. Since the release of Heaven On Earth (a collection of Country-Pop songs recorded in Nashville, TN) Ashley’s music and live performances have taken on a new life. Her mix of the spirit of country and the longing of blues translate to audiences yearning for a fresh approach from a relevant entertainer. Just at the beginning of her career, Ashley's seasoned talent makes for strong artist who connects to people through music.
Growing up in Manchester, New Hampshire her favorite artists ranged from Reba McEntire to Ella Fitzgerald, Martina McBride to John Mayer. Her appreciation for many artists developed a love for all styles of music such as country, jazz, pop, and R&B - all of which influenced her own vocal style. It was only after seeing Reba McEntire in concert for the first time as a young girl that Ashley fell in love with the stage and wanted to be a singer. She began performing in school talent shows, musicals and vocal competitions. "At my first talent show I performed 'Walk On' by Reba" says, Ashley. "I practiced for weeks, never really showing my parents what I planned on doing. When I got up on stage I was all dressed up in jeans and a tasseled jean shirt. My parents didn't know where it came from!"
In high school Ashley was recognized nationally for her work performing and recording with her sister Arsha, as the vocal duo Fantasy. Together the sisters earned a Los Angeles Music Award and opened for many artists such as, Lenny Kravitz, Christina Milian, J.C. Chasez, Baby Bash, Nick Cannon, O-Town , Tito Puente Jr., and more. After high school, Ashley went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston where she studied performance and music business management; earning her a Bachelor Degree in Music. It was at Berklee that she embraced her love of country music. Having studied and performed everything from Jazz to Gospel music, Ashley found herself bringing back a lot of country songs into her performance repertoire and discovered a new found love for the blues. "I always connected more with country music. When I started singing more songs I loved, that had stories I could relate to, I felt more like myself. And from that I became more confident to share my own music," says Ashley.
By the end of her time at Berklee, she released her debut album Heaven On Earth. The album is a mix of sweet melodies, catchy lyrics and great harmonies. Co-writing and performing on Heaven On Earth allowed Ashley to collaborate with an accomplished team of music industry professionals. Producer, Jerry Marcellino, (Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson) was the producer and co-writer for Ashley and Fantasy’s first CD. During her last year of college he encouraged her to record again. “We began working on just a 2 song demo and were so excited about what we had that we decided to do a full length album”, says Ashley. Co-Producer, engineer, and writer on the album, Bill Cuomo (Don Henley, Olivia Newton John, Barbra Streisand, Kim Carnes) helped to make the vision for the record come to life and was recorded at his studio. Finally, Ashley was honored to co-write with Bill and music legend Beeb Birtles, a co-founder and member of the Multi-Platinum Group ‘The Little River Band’. Mr. Birtles even sang on the song they penned together “Your Kiss”, lending vocal harmonies to this album.
Following the album's release Ashley began performing in promotion of the CD and soon after relocated to Los Angeles, CA. She met her guitarist, fellow Berklee College of Music graduate Miles Bergsma and formed a band with mutual friends and former bandmates from Boston. They began playing around town and soon gained a new audience on the West Coast. In an effort to bring other new artists together and provide another venue for them to perform Ashley began hosting her own songwriter's showcase round called the "Hello LA Shindy" at a restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Described as a "musical shin-dig", the nights soon became a fan and musician favorite that she currently hosts twice a month.
Today, Ashley is working on new music for release later in 2012 which will feature her latest songs "Nothing Like You" and "Let Down".
- Miles Bergsma- Guitar, Lap Steel, Dobro, Mandolin
- Dustin Higgins- Bass, Guitar
- Nate Laguzza- Drums
- James Elliot- Keys