How did you get started in music?
My dad was in a band at my age, he mostly played bass. They were an Astoria based punk rock band. He always wanted me to do music and be artistic and creative. I started dance classes, then piano lessons when I was 10, and at 12 I picked up my dad’s old bass.
Do you write all your own lyrics?
Yes, I’ve always written lyrics, since about 13. I never really showed them to anyone, until I began performing with a friend of mine in a duo called Pretty in Blue. We were a blues rock duo, and that lasted for about 8 months.
What artists do you draw influence from?
Theme wise, Adele. Production wise, definitely Emeli Sande.
What about her production influenced you?
The way her music really meshes with her voice, it’s how I want my music to be. The music working in time with my voice, so it almost blends together into one.
You recently released your first EP, what was that process like?
Well, my friend Kevin recently graduated from Berklee College of Music, and he came to me and said he’d help me out with an EP. I saved all my money – birthday, graduation, everything – and set to making the EP. I honestly had no idea what direction to go in – my producer was a LOT of help. Writing an EP kind of just…happens. I had 4 songs I had previously written and had been performing, and had more of less of an idea of what I wanted them to sound like. The thing is, you have so many songs, and it’s hard to pick just four. You have to really figure out which one would appeal to people more, which one had the catchiest hooks.
Where can people see you next?
My next show is August 16th, 3pm at Rockwood Music Hall. It’s an acoustic show. I’ll also be introducing my all girl rock trio, Queen of Wands, on September 12 at 8pm, at the Bitter End.
You can find Ashley Xtina on Facebook, Soundcloud and Youtube. Ashley’s music is also available for download on iTunes!