July 2013 Artist of the Month: Ashley Leone

Meet Ashley Leone, the winner of Rock on Philly’s May Edition of Bands and Bites.  Ashley is not your typical high school senior. This amazingly talented 17 year old has been performing at open mics since she was 13 years old, and she has recently headlined at the TLA on South Street. She just released a new single on iTunes this past month, “Spinning”, and is hoping to come out with an EP in the near future. Check out the interview below and be sure to follow Ashley as she is continuing her music career!


Have long have you been performing?

I’ve been performing since I was 13 when I did my first open mic night. Before then I was really scared to sing in front of people, but I did perform at my school’s chorus concerts.


Did you first start writing music or lyrics?

I wrote lyrics first. I would make up songs when I was 3 years old about literally anything: broccoli or the phone ringing. Actual music… I would say around 12 or 13 I started to get really serious about it.


How has this journey progressed this past year?

It seems like the dominos are started to fall in place. There is still a ton more to do and to be done, but this year has been an opening year for me. I am starting to headline at places, I just co-headlined at the TLA. We are starting to talk to other people in the industry; doors are opening up. I just released my first single called “Spinning”, so I have the whole recording thing under my belt now.


What are your hopes for the future?

I hope it is going to continue to expand. I really want to go on tour so I think the next step is to open up for someone already on tour. I want to get an EP done, keep writing songs. I want to get my music out there.


Not many people are so talented at a young age… does your age give you more confidence or give you more insecurities?

A lot of the places I go, there are not a lot of people my age. I am not sure how the crowd is going to react to a younger song. Sometimes I feel more confident… maybe I’m ahead of the game because I am young, but sometimes it’s intimidating.


You recently played at TLA, was that your first big show?

Yes. It was amazing. I have played at the Tin Angel a lot, the setting is so much different, very narrow, a sitting and listening thing. The TLA is general admission so everyone is standing up… it was cool to see everyone up and moving. We did a Kid Cudi cover, “Up Up and Away” and people started jumping. It was really cool, an awesome experience.


How is it on stage?

It depends on the day. Bigger shows I get more nervous for. My nerves have definitely gotten better. My first open mic night I was shaking. I always get over it after the first song though.


What musicians inspire you?

Beyonce. I absolutely love her. I love the way she acts; she is so poised with her head on her shoulders. She is an amazing performer.


What is the last song you listened to?

“We Are Young”– Fun.


Do you perform at your high school?

Yes, in middle school I always tried out for the select chorus and I would never sing loud enough for a teacher to hear me because I was nervous. I don’t think anybody really knew I sang except for some friends. There was this solo, “Joyful Joyful” from Sister Act 2, that was the first time I sang. I transferred to a new school in high school. I had a new confidence and really took off. Everyone in school knows I sing. I sing at assemblies, the coffeehouses we have. Everybody is really supportive.


What will happen after high school?

I graduate this upcoming year. I am looking at colleges, schools in Nashville, LA, and New York… I want to be put into the bigger music scene.


What is your favorite song to perform?

I’m gonna go with this song I wrote called “Love Love Love”. When the band and I perform it we have this breakdown session where we stop and clap and it’s a really cool thing to see the audience clapping and singing along with you.


A bit of advice?

It is important to go after what you want. Everyone always says if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it, and as I am starting to do it more and more I really think if you put the work in and really believe you can do it, it is possible.


To listen to Ashley’s music, check out http://www.reverbnation.com/ashleyleone.

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