10 Questions with ... Ashley Gearing
January 2, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I signed with Lyric Street Records at 12 and was "the youngest female artist to chart on Billboard" with "Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You." Then went back home to 6th grade and enjoyed a normal childhood. I signed with Curb record when I was a 16 year-old sophomore in high school. I decided to finish high school in my hometown with my friends and then make the big move to Nashville to pursue my career in music head on. Now I am able to be a college student at Belmont University, a Country singer & songwriter for Curb Records and a normal 19 year-old girl.
1) When I started to write the questions for this interview, I started reading your Twitter posts and the first thing I saw was a post that you were driving around in the rain with broken windshield wipers--what happened?
Haha! That is funny. Yes, unfortunately my windshield wipers decided to malfunction on the one day of the month Nashville decided to have some rain. The flap on the left wiper fell off so it did not do its duty and wipe the windshield. I've been meaning to get it fixed but I'm not home long enough to have any time! For now I'm just hoping it doesn't rain. If it does, I guess I'll have an excuse to stay in! I guess you will find pretty candid information such as that on my Twitter @ashleygearing so stay tuned.
2) What was the highlight of your CMA Awards week in Nashville? By the way, congratulations on a fine show at The Stage in Downtown Nashville, along with artists like Amber Hayes, Ty Herndon and others.
Thank you! CMA week is such an exciting time to be in Nashville. The town is bustling and everyone is on a mission. I love it! I really did enjoy doing all the different radio interviews because A LOT the radio stations were in town and all stationed in one room so it was like I traveled to 35 different states in an hour because of the different interviews. I got to go to the CMAs for the first time this year and I wore a sparkly dress. It was pretty sweet.
3) You have said that your latest single, "What You Think About Us," is the song that captures your signature sound and is what you'd like people to think of when they think of Ashley Gearing. Can you explain?
I can't fully explain my music in words, I guess you'll have to take a listen to have it speak for itself. But I want my music and my sound to be relatable and infectious to people. I want it to be something that they can put on for different moods in their life and inspire them just as I have been inspired to create the music.
4) You have the record as the youngest person to have a song enter the Billboard Country Singles Chart when you did "Can You Hear Me When I Talk To You." First of all, congratulations on breaking a record held by Brenda Lee for a very long time--and secondly, did you realize what was happening at that young of an age, which was 12, correct?
Thanks so much. That time in my life was a complete whirlwind. I was so young and didn't realize the logistics of everything, but it was SO fun for me and I was so passionate about the music and the people that I was lucky enough to meet and perform with. It was amazing. The best part of it all was that after all of the hype was over, I was able to go home to Massachusetts and have slumber parties like 6th grade girls do and it was like nothing had changed - I was just Ashley.
5) You grew up in Western Mass., which is not exactly considered a hotbed of Country Music, but it's actually quite popular there isn't it?
Country music has truly grown around my hometown in Western Massachusetts. I'm not sure if I have anything to do with that but people love it up there. A lot of my family members and friends didn't know much about it until I would make them listen to it. Then I would catch them listening to it on their own and I would say, "see, I told you!" I was one of the only kids in middle school jamming out to Alan Jackson and Martina McBride but I was so proud of it. My mama is from Rome, GA and grew up only on Country music so she made sure I loved it, too.
6) Is it true that you signed a record deal on your 13th birthday with Lyric Street and on your 16th birthday with Curb? Tell us the date so we can buy lottery tickets that day.
Yes! This is true. It's kind of crazy now that I think about it. May 15th is my birthday. I was born in 1991.
7) Are you glad that you started working in the industry at such a young age? And does it now seem like a very long time ago?
I am glad and thankful I have had the experiences I have had. I am now able to have a few years of creating music in Nashville and I feel like I come into my own more and more each day. I am growing as a girl but also growing as an artist and my fans are able to watch the ride.
8) You're living in Nashville going to Belmont as a full-time student and balancing that with a busy music career. How are you juggling all of that?
It is very difficult and does take some dedication, but I really love it and am thankful I get to have the opportunity to do them both. I take classes 2 days a week and then travel/write/record on my days off and on the weekends. I don't know what to do with myself when I have a day off.
9) What is it like to work with great songwriters and people like producer Byron Gallimore?
There is SO much talent in Nashville and I am so lucky to have the chance to work with and collaborate with these amazing people. Byron is a wonderful producer who believes in me and challenges me to do my best.
10) If you were told that you had to give up either your college studies or your music career which one would you pick?
I don't think it would be a choice. Even if I tried to give up music I couldn't. Music is something that is so deep in my bones that I couldn't get it out if I tried. I love that. I do love going to college, but I am so passionate about all that I am doing in music.
1) Fantasy time. If you could write a song with anyone, any format, who would that be?
That is really difficult. I can never really answer that question cause I have so many answers. I think I would absolutely love to write a song with Katy Perry. It would be a sassy girl anthem or something like that.
2) What are you listening to right now?
Right this second, I am listening to a band called Needtobreathe. They are a really cool band that inspires me musically and spiritually. I am going to see their concert tomorrow night at the Ryman and am preparing myself for the excitement.
3) When can we expect an Ashley Gearing album?
SOON!! I am currently in the studio with Byron cutting new songs. It is difficult picking the absolute best songs to make up my debut album. I want to make sure everything is perfect for my fans and a good representation of who Ashley Gearing is now.