Ashlie Amber is a singer, actress and entertainer who is in the midst of an incredible music career as a black recording artist in Nashville, a music culture that historically has not embraced gender equality or diversity. As a child, she discovered the power of music and developed a deep connection to country music. However, as she began to pursue her professional career, she was stereotyped as an artist and was encouraged to sing music styles exclusively associated with black culture. In this episode, Ashlie Amber speaks candidly about her journey in the pursuit of her dream to become the “Beyonce” of country music. She shares with us that success has little to do with vocal ability and that social media, branding, a solid business and marketing plan, and the ability to negotiate contracts are vital for a career in the music industry.

Listen to Ashlie Amber’s Music


In this episode

01.07 – About Ashlie Amber

04:41 – Realising her love for singing

13:52 – Previous voice training

21:06 – Working onboard a cruise ship

29:46 – Singing Whitney & self care

33:04 – Meeting Don Ellis Gatlin after a performance

36:06 – Signing Don Ellis Gatlin as her manager

38:30 – Women in country music statistics

43.39 – The music Ashlie Amber has released so far

46.20 – The importance of a good team

49.29 – Dealing with discrimination

55:01 – Make it happen mentality

1:00:10 – Covid’s effect on the voice

1:02:29 – Advice for up and coming artists

1:06:15 – Finding Ashlie Amber online


More about Ashlie Amber

Ashlie Amber grew up in Colorado with the dream of being a country star. Introduced to country music by the kids in her neighbourhood, she developed a deep connection to this music. Being the only Black family in the neighbourhood, Amber is no stranger to the lack of diversity. When she decided to pursue country music in Colorado no one took her aspirations seriously. By the time she was 19 she signed with an independent label, but it wasn’t the direction of music she wanted to go into and walked away from the label deal. After a few auditions, Ashlie began working in music theatre which eventually led to her performing on cruise ships. Eventually, she created and began performing her headliner show “I Will Always Love You”, a breath taking tribute to vocal legend Whitney Houston. Her unique approach to the show along with her outstanding vocals and ratings, led to Ashlie being discovered by Darryl Ellis. She is currently collaborating with Grammy and Emmy award winner, Jamie Tate, to create and record her very first album in the country genre in Nashville. It is Ashlie’s aspirations rising to become one of the first Black Female Country Stars to have top 40 success and beyond. Her dream is that it will help pave the way for a new generation of music, open minded thinking and a new outlook on music today.


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Listen to Ashlie Amber’s Music

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Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Hey, it’s Dr. Marisa Lee Naismith here and I’m so honoured to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you listen, and you will be inspired by amazing healthcare practitioners, voice teachers and music industry professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to help you live your best life every day as singers our whole body is our instrument and our instrument echoes how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. So don’t wait any longer. Take Charge and optimise your instrument. Now remember that to sing is more than just learning about how to use the voice. It’s about a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. Ashlie Amber is a singer, actress and entertainer who is in the midst of an incredible music career as a black recording artist in Nashville in a music culture that historically has not embraced gender equality or diversity. As a child, she discovered the power of music and developed a deep connection to country music. However, as Ashlie began to pursue her professional career, she was stereotyped as an artist and was encouraged to sing music styles associated only with black culture. In this episode, Ashlie speaks candidly about her journey in the pursuit of her dream to become the beyond say of country music she shares with us that success has little to do with vocal ability and that social media branding, a solid business and marketing plan and the ability to negotiate contracts are vital for a career in the music industry. I’m sure you’re going to love Ashlie and enjoy this podcast. Ashlie Amber grew up in Colorado with the dream of being country star introduced a country music by the kids in her neighbourhood she developed a deep connection to this music. being the only black family in the neighbourhood. Ashlie is no stranger to the lack of diversity. When she decided to pursue country music in Colorado. No one took her aspirations seriously. By the time she was 19. She was signed with an independent label but it wasn’t the direction of music she wanted to go into and walked away from the label deal. After a few auditions, Ashlie began working in music theatre, which eventually led her to performing on cruise ships. Eventually, she created and began performing her headlining show, I will always love you a breathtaking tribute to vocal legend Whitney Houston. Her unique approach to the show, along with her outstanding vocals and ratings led to Ashlie being discovered by Darrell Ellis. Ashlie is currently collaborating with Grammy and Emmy Award winner Jamie Tate to create and record her very first album in the country’s genre in Nashville. It is Ashlie’s aspirations rising to become one of the first black female country stars to have top 40 success and beyond her dream is that it will help pave the way for a new generation of music, open minded thinking and a new outlook on music today. So Hi, and welcome to a voice and beyond, Ashlie Amber. I’m used to calling you AA would you prefer that I call you Ashlie?

Ashlie Amber:

No, you can call me AA that’s totally cool.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I know and I feel really privileged that I get to call you AA. I feel like level of kind of friendship there. But um, Ashlie, you are an extremely talented singer, actress, entertainer, and you’re in the midst of an amazing music career at the moment. And we’re going to get to all of that there’s so much I feel that we’re going to be talking about in this show. And I’d like to start off first of all, by talking about where your inspiration for singing came from. You were born and raised in Colorado. And at what point of time did you realise that you love to sing? And what music Were you listening to at that time?

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, so um, you kind of heard some of this story a little bit. But um, You’ve seen me perform my Whitney Houston celebration. But my dad is the one who told me I could sing when I was six. I was singing along the radio on the back of the car. And he was, you know, basically was just like, Did you know you could sing and I was like, der of course. I’m six, I know everything haha. And so I was thinking all over the place. My parents listened to a lot of Earth, Wind and Fire. And, you know, like the beegees, and the spinners and just like a lots, lots of different things, lots of great, great music. But when I got a little bit older, I started getting into the music that my friends were listening to. So obviously, I am known for doing a Whitney Houston celebration. So she was a huge, huge part of my life growing up. But I was also heavily influenced by, you know, top 40 a lot of 90 or 90 RMB. My first CD I ever bought with my own money was Britney Spears.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Oh, that’s cool.

Ashlie Amber:

I use my lunch money to do by her, her debut album. That was forever ago. And yeah, so I had a lot of that I listen to a lot of country music. So my, my musical background is very eclectic. And the journey began really early on, but it probably wasn’t until I was about, I would say, going into high school. So about 14, I mean, I was really serious about a around 11 or 12. But then, it was when I got to high school that I was like, This is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I’m not, it’s not just for fun anymore. Like it’s not just because I’m passionate about it. It’s because I do not want to do anything else with my life. I don’t want to run sprints anymore for soccer, I don’t want to, you know, I’m not gonna go to college for a volleyball scholarship. And I just had no interest in anything else other than doing what I needed to to get by. And then everything else was was music focused. So it’s, it’s really been a part of my life since I guess, you know, before I can remember.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yes. And you do talk about and you have spoken to me, and I’ve seen it in your Whitney show that your father had a big, big influence on you, he tragically passed when you were six years old. But I mean, for you to have experienced that grief and that loss at that time. And he already had influenced you in the way that you were singing. But also singing was a great outlet for you.

Ashlie Amber:

Mm hmm. Yeah, singing, it really got me through a hard time, you know, we are supposed to bury our parents. That is the circle of life. But it doesn’t make it any easier. And when you’re young, and at a very impressionable age, it can make things a bit more complicated. And so instead of being angry and mad at the world, you know, because I was six, when he told me I can sing, but I was actually 12 when he passed away. So I was a little older. So I was at that, that breaking point and becoming a teenager, which is, you know, it can be a difficult, complicated time. And I’m just really thankful that I had music and I had that memory of him and that bond with him through music, even after his passing. And even still today, I think a large part of what I do is because that is how I feel connected to him. And I really do believe that’s why I have so much fight, and why I just keep going, keep going, keep going and constantly finding new ways to reinvent myself and to stay ahead of the game and to be a trendsetter, a trendsetter and a trailblazer. And whatever market it is I choose to embark in,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

is, and I know from my interactions with you, that sums you up really, really well You really are a trailblazer, and you’re a hustler. And I mean that in a very kind manner. But we have to be to survive in this industry. No matter which area of the entertainment industry you choose to make a career of. It’s all about that hustle. And if you’re not prepared to hustle, you’re not going to work. And you are so good at reinventing yourself and coming up with new ideas, new shows constantly, and you do it also well and so professionally also.

Ashlie Amber:

Thank you.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

What was your first gig? Do you remember that?

Ashlie Amber:

Oh, wow. Um,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

that’s taking you back.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, so my, I guess like my first paying paying gig.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yes.

Ashlie Amber:

You know I think I did some small stuff when I was, you know, recording, they used to call me the hook queen. Back in my hometown, the hook Queen, the whole I would, yeah, I would write the choruses for, like all the local rappers in town. And actually, even in my writing today, the choruses are always my strength. That’s, that’s definitely where I’m strongest at. And I know I got paid for a couple of those things. But I would say we’d have to like kind of fast forward and like 21 ish areas. And I got my first paid musical theatre job, which obviously is completely different than singing for rappers and doing

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

really how did you end up doing musical theatre.

Ashlie Amber:

I, I was signed to an independent label at 19 out of high school, and I was doing r&b and like hip hop. And it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. That’s not really genre music I grew up listening to I grew up listening to country, and I grew up listening to top 40. So if it wasn’t something that was extremely recognisable on the radio, I wasn’t about it. That’s that’s just not what I wanted. And I want it to be fun. I want it to be quirky. I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want to have to rely on certain things to only sell my music. Right, right. And I hated that just because of what I looked like, I automatically got put into a bracket. And nobody else wanted to see me outside of that. So I was really struggling with what I wanted to do. Because here I wanted to be a recording artist. And nobody wanted to take me seriously. They’re like, well, that’s great. Of course, you could be recording artists, but you’re gonna sing r&b and hip hop. And I was like, I don’t want to sing r&b and hip hop. I want to sing pop, I want to sing country like I want to sing this genre of music. Why can’t I do this? And so it took, I had to take a step back. And I stopped singing just for a little bit because I was readjusting. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. And then I met a really good friend of mine who I didn’t know at the time, she was a complete stranger. And she was a pianist, and she had just moved to Colorado, and was like, Hey, I hear that you sing. Why don’t you come over? Let’s do like a jam session. And I was like, Okay, I came over I sang for I sang. I am changing from dream from Dream Girls in sanity you I’m doing well, thank you. Um, and she was like, Oh my gosh, like, you can say she’s like, what are you doing? Why are you waiting tables. And I was like, I don’t, I don’t know what to do. And they won’t let me do this. So I don’t know what to do. I want to be a recording artist. But that doesn’t seem to be what my path is right now. And she told me about musical theatre. She signed me up for my first couple auditions, which I totally bombed. And then I finally landed my first gig, which was a community theatre gig. So I didn’t get paid. But I got a great experience. I landed, you know, the supporting leading role in that show. And then from there on out, I never stopped working from that one show, which led the next show led to my first paying gig, which was at I can’t remember the theatre right now. But it was in Aurora, Colorado, where I’m, I’m from thorton, Colorado, so about 30 minutes away from where I’m from. And it was an all black theatre. It was an all black Theatre Company. And the show we did was Smokey Joe’s cafe with an all black cast. And that was it. We got paid. And it was a pretty decent paycheck for that. I remember being like 21 being like, Oh, I can go get drinks. Like I can go out.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

That’s so cool.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, so that was that was my first like proper paying gig right there. Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So up until that time, had you had any voice training?

Ashlie Amber:

Oh, no, not really. I booked some lessons. When I was in elementary school. They did not last very long. Then I switched into like piano. I was taking piano lessons that I did for a little bit. But again, it didn’t last very long. I was always the kid that was like, well, can’t you just play so I could sing? Like, why do I got to learn to play and sing? I didn’t understand the importance of it back then. For any of you youngsters out there listening to this, go to piano practice. Definitely. Yeah. And then I was just in choir, I did choir in elementary school. I started in elementary school and did it all the way through high school. By the time I graduated my senior year I had I was in like three or four different choirs. Yeah, I was in an all women’s choir I was you know, the leader of the the jazz choir, which was like the elite choir like the best of the best. And then I was also in you know, like regular like chamber choir. And I even went to state. Wow, like one year? Yeah, yeah. And state is not easy to get in, I only got one year. And the one year I got in, which was my senior year of high school, well done. And well, thank you very much. And so that was really, you know, just a huge a huge part of my life. And that’s where I learned how to cite ri, that’s where I learned how to just kind of do my thing and be myself. And afterwards, I tried to get lessons. I did take maybe like, I would probably say, in my whole collective life, I probably have about like six months, maybe eight months of vocal lessons in my in the course of my 30/33 years of of being on this earth. So not, not very, not very much at all. Yes, you have shared with me, and it’s fine to share with the audience.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

You didn’t have a great experience in some of those lessons with some of the teachers and I think this is a really important thing that our boys community needs to hear.

Ashlie Amber:

Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Are you happy to share that with us.?

Ashlie Amber:

Oh, yeah, of course. So I’ve always felt every time I would take lessons, they would always train from a classical background, which I get, you know, they say it’s the foundation of everything. But I don’t get it personally, like I get, that’s what the school is based off of, I guess I get, that’s how those teachers were taught. But I don’t understand how singing classical helps me sing pop music, or how to it’s two completely different styles of music, the way you’re using your voice, the way you’re performing. Being a pop singer is. It’s different, you have to put on a show, like your show is sometimes more important than actually what comes out of your mouth. And also, being a studio singer, being able to record an on record is also completely different than singing live. They’re all completely different skills. And so why am I not learning those skills? Why am I not learning how to properly if I want to be a recording artist? Why? Why is it so difficult for me to find a teacher that can teach me how to record in the studio? If I want to be a pop singer? Why is it so difficult for me to find a teacher who can who can teach that style of voice? And so I kept running into people that kept wanting to change what I did naturally. And I was always like, well, if it doesn’t hurt, why do I have to change what I’m doing? Because that’s what makes me unique. And I think one of the big and you know, they didn’t really like that I didn’t like that I wasn’t willing to just be like, Okay, well what you’re saying must be right. And so the one teacher that I did have, who was really good. His name is Dr. Scott Martin, he went to Julliard and I studied with him, I think for about six months, right. But we didn’t we didn’t do anything on voice. Not a single thing on voice. Oh, really. We only worked on on body. So I was like having to do squats and like, push ups and certain things when I was really having issues, hitting certain notes. You would make me do physical things to incorporate my body while I was singing and try to take some of the tension off here. Yes, that was that was the biggest takeaway I ever had with with lessons. Yes. And he taught me that. He taught me that what I was feeling and what I was thinking was correct, that it’s not okay for teachers to come in and tell you that what you’re doing is wrong. Because what’s good for my voice isn’t necessarily good for your voice. And what’s good for your voice isn’t good for my voice. So it’s really about taking what you have, and making the most of it. Because we only get one voice. And again, what’s ours makes us unique. And so that’s what I learned with him and tried to change who I was naturally.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So essentially what he was teaching you was that your whole body was your instrument. And he wasn’t just focusing on the sound. But he was focusing on the instrument that was creating the sound.

Ashlie Amber:

Yes, yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

How to release tension, how to organise your body in a particular way so that you would make your instrument as efficient as possible.

Ashlie Amber:

Mm hmm. Yes. And he was incredible. And then I was doing great. Everything was good. And then I was just being overworked, overworked, overworked, overworked, overworked, overworked, and then all of a sudden some incredible woman named Marisa comes across my life on board a ship. And you and you get you took the time and you gave me some pointers, some of the some of which I still use right now. Like my favourite I love the you know, blow in the make bubbles and warm up.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I bet you don’t remember the full name for those exercises? Semi Occluded vocal tract exercises. Everyone is so impressed when I say that, It almost makes me feel impressed with the name. Yeah. So that takes us to you being on Celebrity cruise lines. You’re working. That’s where we met. And I think we met in the Mediterranean. Was that on Celebrity Reflection? Is that

Ashlie Amber:

We met on the equinox?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So Okay. I like that. I can say that. I’ve been to these places, so that was South America, we met in South America,

Ashlie Amber:

I think, I think I’m not sure. Um, the equinox? No, the equinox at that time was the Caribbean, it was the Caribbean.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So we met on the ship, my daughter was dancing on the ship at the time, and she was in the same production show as what you were. And you were the production show, singer. And, I mean, you had a gruelling, it was pretty gruelling what you were doing on that ship. So tell me tell the listeners about that experience. Because a lot of people are fascinated with that industry and don’t know a lot about it. So in terms of your schedule, your rehearsals, your tech runs the expectations.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, so working on a cruise ship was eye opening. And by far the hardest performing job I’ve ever had to do. And I have done a lot of jobs throughout my career. And I had no clue what I was getting myself into. When I did my first ship, just like I had no, I had no clue I, I didn’t know what the schedule was, I didn’t know what types of shows I would be doing. I had no clue the amount of shows I was going to be doing. It was kind of a shock. And I remember going, you know, the first week of rehearsal being like, I’m gonna get fired, like, I mean, I can sing the show, but you don’t. You’re not just singing, you’re dancing. The my worship contract, we were full on dancers, we were doing the same choreography that the dancers were doing on my very first contract. Wow, by the time you saw me, you saw me on my third contract. And by then they had changed the shows and updated them. So I just kind of really got stand. And just saying, which was great, because I was it was all that I learned no choreography, no more. You know, you rehearse for about eight weeks. And it’s you’re rehearsing for eight hours a day. And when you’re not rehearsing, you’re practising. And when you’re not practising, you’re sleeping. And it’s not like, it’s not that ideal situation where they teach you like, okay, like, train your voice for like an hour, and then rest for like this long and blah, blah, blah, you don’t get that luxury in the real world. Like, it’s Go, go, go, go, go, go go, because everything is so crunched in and you’re learning, you know, three massive production shows with all of your solos. Plus, when you’re not singing, you’re singing harmony for everybody else’s stuff. And then you also have staging of choreography. And then you have all these other theme nights, right? So you might have, you know, three or four theme nights, in addition to the big production shows. So you’re learning a tonne a tonne of material in a very short amount of time. And then you do all that, and the rehearsal studios, they fly you to wherever the ship is you you get onboard the ship. And now you have to instal all these shows on the stage. And while you’re installing the shows on the stage, you’re also having to perform the shows you do no. So like you get on you instal the show, you perform a show right away. And then you’re doing that while you’re in rehearsals for another show. And it’s just very, very gruelling. I mean, I’m on board, we’re doing what if we’re, if we do three production shows, you do two shows a night, that’s two, what, two for that six shows in a week. Plus, you have tech rehearsals, and in the tech rehearsal, you don’t have to go full out. But you still have to sing because that’s where they’re doing. They’re checking your mic, your reverb, you know, like we’re making sure it’s good, it’s also a good place for you to kind of be like, Where’s my voice sitting out today. So you’re really performing all those songs three times in a day. So now we’re at like nine shows six with six with an audience three without an audience. Plus, in addition to that, you’re going to add on to those theme nights. So let’s say we have to three theme nights at cruise, then all of a sudden, we’re at what 12 shows in, you know, six days, seven days, not to mention all of your extra duties on top of that, like every time you’re out and about, you know, the guests are going to want to talk to you, especially somebody like me, I stick out like a sore thumb. So they’ll be like, Oh, that’s the girl from the cast bah bah, bah. And I don’t have all these conversations and this and that. And then in addition to all of that, when you met me, I had my own show as well. So I’m doing In all of my cast duties, and addition to performing a seven, add to show that seven and nine for my own show, so now I’m doing, you know, 14 shows, plus a tech rehearsal, it was the amount of singing is, is crazy, and you really learn how to take care of your body and how to take care of your voice. Because you have no choice, you learn that, Oh, I can’t go out and party like I can’t go out and have drinks every night or hang out with people, I can’t go hang out at the beach today, because I need to be rested. I have a show tonight. And you really learn the importance of taking care of your body, because that’s where a lot of the strain comes from just lack of taking care of your entire instrument, which is your body. It’s not just here, it’s what you’re feeding your body, the amount of sleep all of those things. And shifts are amazing. Y’all out there listening, you know, listening to this Themis ships are an incredible job using so many genres of music, you make amazing friends from all over the world. You get paid to do it like this.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

And the money’s not bad.

Ashlie Amber:

Especially money’s not bad.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Because it’s US dollars.

Ashlie Amber:

Exactly. And so it’s a really great experience. So I definitely say do it, but definitely no, but we didn’t do it that it’s a tonne of work. And you just, that’s what you signed up for.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yeah. And I know you were really self disciplined, because I’ve actually, we’ve crossed paths on two different ships. And I know how you take care of yourself so well. But it can be hard because for you, especially and I’ve been with you, when you’ve just casually wanted to go and grab a coffee, that as soon as you leave your cabin, and you’re in a guest area, people want to talk to you. And, and so your voice is not cutting a break. And then not only that, but what listeners may not know is that after a show, you have meet and greet with guests as well. So you’ve just done all this work. You may be this could be after your first show, you have a nine o’clock show to come, it’s eight o’clock, and you’re out there talking to guests after your first show. And then you have another show to follow. And then you’ve got to come out again, then you have to go to bed and kind of do the whole thing again.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, it’s um, it’s a lot of work. And you really learn what your limits are and what you can do, I think, probably 95% of the time, I would go out after every show. But every now and then if I was if I’m sick, because, you know, we don’t get sick days on ships, like if like you’re a headliner, or you’re an cast member, we don’t have understudies. So no, you know, I never, you know, called out of a mainstage show, and I’ve only I think, miss one or two, you know, theme nights off of three contracts and however many shows. So, you know, calling out just really isn’t an option. And for my own show by Whitney Houston show, and I’m headlining, I don’t get to call out. So sometimes I’m travelling for 36 hours, doing an eight hour, you know, time change, different climate change, and I land and I have to perform that night. And you’re like, I haven’t slept, I’m dehydrated. And I have to sing Whitney? Why did this Yes. And every now and then those moments, you just have to take a step back. And I would be like, okay, so I can’t do decrease after the first show I’ll do after the second show, because I don’t have to sing for three days after this. And you just you just kind of assess you assess the situation. And again, you learn your voice. And you say, Okay, I’m not gonna be able to do my a show, and I have to do my B show. And I’ll be show doesn’t mean I’m getting less energy, I’m still getting the same amount of energy. I’m emoting the same, but maybe instead of hitting that really high, see, I’m not I might just give a different and I’ll have an alternate backup that I can pull out of my pocket to save my voice because it’s not quite there that day.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yes. And I think when you and I first met, that was what you were wanting to learn from me was, what can I do to save my voice and to protect my voice and to give me longevity? And, and that’s the kind of things we talked a lot about strategies and went through your whole day. What did your day look like and, and checked in with a number of things that most singers Don’t think about that when they’re busy performing? They don’t think about lifestyle and, and hydration and warming up and cooling down was another thing. Yeah. And yeah, and so you made the transition then to guest entertainer. So you were then going from ship to ship doing your your Whitney show which was not a tribute show. It was a showing spired by Whitney Houston’s music, it covered her music. And you did that so beautifully. And so amazingly. Was there ever a time where you felt that you were running into problems?

Ashlie Amber:

Oh my gosh, like every day? No, I’m just getting out every day. You know, I, it’s very interesting because I kind of went through a vocal change because when I started doing Whitney, I was in my late 20s. And then all of a sudden, here comes my 30s. And I noticed my body is changing. Like, I’ve always been a curvy girl, but all of a sudden, I was like, hey, my hips are even bigger than what they used to be like, What’s going on here? And I wish I’m all about like, you go, firms are in Okay, then I’m wrong. Because if you’re curvy out there, construct them curves. And, yeah, I basically, I had to reteach myself how to sing. Now, again, I don’t have a lot of training, I don’t have a lot of things to fall back on. And so when you when you’re that type of artists, you’re that type of performer, you become really street smart. And I’m naturally street smart because of how I grew up. And so most singers, I wouldn’t call them street smart. You have to learn to adapt, you have to learn how to absorb information when you can. So if I met somebody, or if I came across somebody that could give me any, any sort of pointers or tips, even if I took one thing from them. That’s it. If I spent a couple hours with them and took one thing that helped me be better or feel more comfortable, that was worth my time. And that’s exactly what I did. And you know, I got to meet you. I’ve got to absorb information from you. I’m about to see other performers perform. And I got to be like, Oh, that’s interesting that they’re doing that and not that, Oh, that’s interesting how they’re doing, you know, the arrangements. And that’s interesting how they’re doing this, and you just learn all these things that you’re like, oh, if I can have the horns be my backing bulbils then that’s a little less work I got to do. So when I’m singing yet and so what if I asked the sound guy, you know the sound operator for a little bit of a brighter gain a little bit more reverb, and to make sure I’m boosted nicely in the house. That’s less work I have to do I can then rely more on my mix. Instead of having to rely on a belt. And because belt is where you get into trouble belt is where you get tired. belt is takes a lot out of you and I’m a belter, I grew up a belter when you’re young, those muscles just want to work, work, work, work, work. But the older you get, it’s harder and harder to produce that same sound. And so that’s what I learned. I learned how to be smart. And I learned how to be street smart. And I learned how to absorb absorb any information I could from anybody who I respected, and anybody who’s willing to give me information.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So then we make another transition with the Whitney show. And we’ve gone from Whitney to country music. And you find yourself speaking to some people who make you an offer of some kind. So when did that happen?

Ashlie Amber:

So I was on a ship and I was performing my Whitney show and my now manager Don Ellis Gatlin just happened to be in the audience. And Don is from a group back in the day a duo called Darrow and Don Ellis Gatlin with his brother, he was signed to Sony, and was nominated for you know, Country Music Award like that. I think they were nominated like seven times total for like, do over a year with multiple, you know, award shows and things like that. And, yeah, I mean, he’s got songs placed with Blake Shelton right now he’s very talented writer. Wow. And so he was in the audience, I had no clue who he was. I just remember seeing this really tall guy and the audience in the front row, who is just like smiling from ear to ear. And it was also like, kind of like crying like during my more serious moments, and right, it’s so sweet. And I was like, Who is this dude in the front row by himself being like, you know, delivering his life over there. And I was doing my degree after the show, and he waited until the very end. And he introduced himself to me, like I am. My name is Dawn Gatlin. And, you know, he’s like, this is the best Whitney Houston tribute that I’ve ever seen. Like, I love that you weren’t trying to be her. You were yourself just celebrating her. And he’s like, it’s beautiful. Like he’s like, it shows true artistry. And I would love to work with an artist like you and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, okay, like, I’m like, dude, who are you? Like, you’d love to work with an artist like me? And so he got he kept talking and I was listening. But, you know, when people come up to you, and they’re like, Hey, I know so and so or I did this or blah, blah, blah, and you’re just like, No, you don’t need to do that. Why are you lying to me?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I’ve heard it all. Yeah. Yeah.

Ashlie Amber:

So that’s exactly how I felt with him. And so I was engaged in the conversation, but I was also like, okay, am I going to order pizza tonight and room service? Like, do I have enough water in my room? Oh, my God, I can’t wait to get these heels off. Like I have all these other things going through my head, of course. And then he then he starts talking about country. And I’ve kind of perked up a little bit. And, you know, he’s talking about all these other things. And he tells me where he’s from, like about him and his brother and how it’s related to the Gatlin brothers, very famous country group. They’re their cousins. And I was just like, oh, hmm. You know, whatever. Still not. And then he said something else. And I was like, Oh, yeah, I’ve always wanted to be the Beyonce of country. And he’s like, that’s a great idea. And I was like, I know. And, and then we can just kind of kept talking and blah, blah, blah, blah. And then he gives me his card. and was like, keep in touch with me, would love to talk more. And I was like, you know, I’m just embarking on this journey of being a headliner. So I really want to do this, because of this is this. And I said, well, we’ll keep in touch. And I’ll let you know. At that time, I had zero intention of keeping in touch with him. Yeah. But then I went back to my cabin. I googled him. And he was, in fact, exactly who he said he was. And so

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Oh really?

Ashlie Amber:

Really. And so I sent him a message. And we had taken a photo on my phone. And I said, thank you so much for your time, it was really nice to meet you. Here’s our photo. And I definitely love to keep in touch with you, you know, over social media. And we can chat when the time is right about, you know what we talked about? And that was it. We kept in touch on social media every now and then he would like like a post or something like that. And then fast forward two years, I shot him a message out of the blue and I was like, Don, I need to talk to you ASAP. He said, Okay. And I called him we talked on the phone. And I was like, Remember when I said I wanted to be the Beyonce of country? He’s like, Yeah, I was like, I’m dead serious. And here’s why. And he was on board. And from that moment on, my life has just embarked on this incredible journey, which is why I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I believe everything happens for a reason, I believe the universe provides you exactly what you need when you need it, especially if that’s what you’re putting into the universe. And that’s just exactly what happened. And, man, it’s been one hell of a ride already. And I’m loving it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Okay. Now, you said that you gave him your reasons why? Yes. Are you happy to share those reasons?

Ashlie Amber:

Of course, absolutely. So I when I, I called Don at the beginning of 2019. And that’s when this whole project started. So we’re already, you know, to well over a little over two years in, and no, I guess. Yeah, we’re entering into our third year, this is our third year. So I basically was like, hey, Don, you remember when I said I wanted to be the Beyonce of country? He’s like, Yeah, of course. And I was like, here’s why I was like, women in general and country music, only makeup 10% of the radio 90% of the radio was male dominated. Out of that 10% of women, zero women of colour, make up the radio, there’s only one black female artists signed to a major label still, right now, even with all of the current things going on in the world, the current spotlight, the amount of uh, you know, country music is kind of under the microscope right now for the lack of diversity with with gender equality. And then you know, race as well. So they have so many things, and they also country’s known for age discrimination as well against women. So I, I take off three boxes. Yeah, only. So I’m a woman. I’m a black woman, and I’m over the age of 30. Like, I’m like check check, check, check, check, everything they discriminate against me. So it’s it’s hasn’t been easy. But it also hasn’t been difficult at the same time, if that makes any sense. Yes. In the sense. The world and the country community has been waiting to open its doors and renew be more inclusive. It just took this long and it took the spotlight for them to realise it. So now. I mean, be what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time, isn’t it? Absolutely incredible I’m I have accomplished things that it’s taking people years to accomplish in Nashville. And a lot of that’s being strategic, a lot of that is simply working my tail off behind the scenes. And really learning a business. One of the things I can say to anybody who’s out there listening to this, that is a performer. Your job, as a performer honestly has nothing to do with singing. Singing is important. It is important, I’m not saying it’s not. But if you don’t know how to market yourself, if you don’t know what branding is, if you don’t know how to do your social media, if you don’t know, the importance of what’s trending, what’s trending music, what’s trending fashion, what’s trending post, like, these are all things you have to be aware about. And then in addition to that, you have better have read some sort of articles on what not defined, like, because yes, anything that involves your likeness, anything that involves your money, you do do not sign that unless you have a manager looking over, you also, you know, as a recording artist, I wanted to hold on to as much of my own as much as much money as I can, because as an artist, everybody wants to take your money, they all want to make money off of you. And that’s the way the industry is, but you have to be smart. So I started my own publishing company, so I can retain all of my rights to my my music that I’m writing. And my Thank you. And so things you really have to learn the importance of the behind the scenes, because those are more important. A label doesn’t even really care what you’re doing unless you have a certain amount of followers, how many followers you have on Instagram. She has 2000 Why am I going to pay attention to her when this girl’s got 60 you know what I mean? Like this, the importance of social media, the importance of streaming numbers and streaming, when I say streaming guys like Spotify, Apple Music, like these things are running, they’re running the world people it doesn’t matter if you’re on the radio anymore, nobody cares. Because you know, your song could be trending on tik tok. Yeah, and you can get signed off of that. So it’s, it’s a very interesting world we live in, and you have to be up on those trends in order to stay in the game, and not just up on them, you almost kind of have to be ahead of them. Because if you’re just up on them, the person next to you is ahead of you already, so you really have to be on your game. And that’s what I’ve learned the most. And I will be honest, this beside of the industry is not for everybody.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

not for the faint hearted.

Ashlie Amber:

Yes, you gotta have some really thick skin, and some just undeniable work ethic in order to get it and you have to have a really good team. And again, that streetsmart and being strategic, because it costs a lot of money to that’s that’s one of the biggest things that people don’t realise it costs money to market to run Spotify campaigns to, you know, just run any sort of campaigns or record your music to get photoshoots to do music videos. I mean, all of these things are very expensive. So you you again, have to be very strategic and figure out okay, where is my money going to be the most going to be the best spent? Yeah, and go from there.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yeah, so your journey in Nashville, you’ve recorded some country music songs, which I’ve heard quite a few of them. And they’re just stunning, beautiful songs. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful music. How many songs have you released now? And are you signed to a music label at present?

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, so um, I just released my fourth single, which is the first single of 2021 and also my first self penned single, where I wrote all all of the lyrics and melody myself. And so I’m very excited about it. And Greg dreamily Well, thank you. And all of you guys can check it out on every major streaming platform. And I’m just really excited because this is also the first one that I released that has gotten playlisted. And playlisting is extremely important for an artist because Spotify and Apple Music, hold the power to put you on these incredible playlists that people actively listen to. I mean, Hot Country on Spotify has something like 7 million listeners almost actively so that can you can go from a song that’s maybe only get a couple 1000 streams to millions of streams by getting put on one of these playlists. And so I’m really excited because I was able to make four editorial playlist with this release, which is really, really huge. And as far as I have a tonne of music, you know, coming up, and what was the second half of your question? Sorry.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Oh, just are you singed at the moment, and by the way, you haven’t given us the name of your song that you’ve just given.

Ashlie Amber:

Oh, right. Yeah, my bad. Ya’ll, yeah, the song I just released is called Those Nights. And it was inspired by somebody in the industry in Nashville said that I wasn’t. I wasn’t authentic enough. And I knew exactly what he meant by that. And so instead of being offended by it, or sort of being upset or hurt, because again, you have to have thick skin in this industry, people love to tell you why you’re not good enough. I inspire me and I went on a 14 day writing binge where I wrote 14 songs in 14 days. And those nights was the first of those 14 songs. And so it’s the first of the 14, the first song I wrote top to bottom 100% by myself, which is why I decided for it to be the first single of 2021. I like a lot of parallels. And yeah, so I’m just really excited about that, you guys, check it out, please leave Spotify, Apple Music, amazon music, all that all the things, check it out. And I am not currently signed, I am independent, but I do have distribution through Sony orchard. And that just started with those nights, which is really exciting. And yes, thank you! I, I do have a manage. I have a management team. I have a production team for videography, as well as you know, in the studio. And I also have an entire PR team and a business management team. And I just brought on in entertainment lawyer, you know, to the team. So the team is very much growing.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

You have a whole village. Yes. Not just, just not, not just a team, you have the whole village around you and you need a good village.

Ashlie Amber:

Yes, you do. Because you know, you get to a certain point. And there’s only so much you can do on your own. And it’s up, it’s now up to all of us because we’re all here for this one common goal. My team is, I mean, I know I’m biassed, because they’re my team. Yeah, but I’m an extremely hard worker and you I will work you know, our, you know, 20 hours in a day just on my career on branding on, you know, laying out planning out all of my posts, you know, a month in advance on six or seven different platforms, like if it’s a lot of work, and I post the same content on every platform, I try to keep it slightly different, you know, Instagram is more information based. So you’re gonna get a lot of my articles, and you’re gonna get a lot of information on that my Pinterest is, you’re just gonna get a lot of pretty photos and a lot of stuff on that my Instagram, you’re going to get a combination of everything, you’re going to get great photos, you’re going to get stuff, but some things are only going to be in my story. And then certain things are gonna be saved on my page on Facebook. Obviously, I have my personal Facebook page, which now I save for only personal things. And then but my fan page, your you’re going to get more of the family oriented photos, you know, cuz not all of my photos are. They’re not not family friendly. But they’re also you know, not

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I know the photos you’re talking about.

Ashlie Amber:

Facebook and Instagram are very different.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So lets call them, glamorous photos.

Ashlie Amber:

Yes, they’re not as… Facebook doesn’t get the quite glam ones. And so I try to keep it different. And then of course, you know, I’m on tik tok as well. And that’s all just about having fun, and you know, kind of taking the piss out of things. And, again, it takes a lot of work to do all of these things. So this is where my team comes in, because now they can set up, you know, meetings for me and podcasts and interviews. And, you know, they handle my endorsements. And you know, I just landed my, you know, first endorsement with given water. And I’m so, so excited about partnering up with them and everything that they stand for, which is, you know, equality and, you know, clean, providing clean drinking water to everybody, you know, everybody deserves to have clean drinking water. And so just some really cool things that they’re doing and a lot of really cool things in the pipeline. And so I’m really excited. We are, you know, talking to a couple of labels, but there’s nothing set in stone. And right now we’re sitting in a really good place of having some really great options. And we’re just going to make the most and take our time and make sure we make the right decision because it’s a really big decision.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Yeah. So as a, as you stated before, a black woman in her 30s in Nashville, recording country music. Have you felt that discrimination or have you ever felt isolated in that culture?

Ashlie Amber:

Oh, yeah, um, people, people comments and very interesting things on social media. And it’s, it’s one of those things where, I, I grew up in a predominantly white neighbourhood. So it’s the same thing. You know, I’ve gone through this my whole life, so it just doesn’t faze me. And I don’t engage in those conversations anymore. If somebody has something negative to say, if it’s really bad, I’ll probably just delete the comment. Or if it’s not that bad, I might even just respond with like, that’s the spirit or like a thumbs up, you know, like, or like a bunch of hearts and be like, Oh, thank you. Like, recently, somebody said something. I was, like, all thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for streaming my music, I hope you have a good day, regardless or not, whether you like my music, if you take the time to stream it, I still get counted. It counts towards my streams. So thank you. Thankyou. Thank you. I appreciate it. Yeah, so that’s just kind of how I am, but I would say is, the community as a whole, overall has been very welcoming. Of course, you have some of the older, you know, the people that have been in the industry for a long time, maybe are set on their ways, who are a bit, you know, sexist, and who, you know, I wouldn’t say maybe to your face are, you know, biassed towards a specific race, but behind closed doors or subconsciously, you know, they definitely are. So you definitely have those people but it’s, it’s changing so fast, because the world has no choice, what this pandemic has showed us is that the world is hurting, and so many different ways. And because people were at home, and our, our emotions were, you know, heightened, you know, due to that, this, you know, the re spark of the, in your face side of the Black Lives Matters, movement show has really brought a lot of attention on to a lot of different things in the industry. So at this point, they, whether they want to or not, they have no choice but to change. And it’s going to take a lot of us to be successful, it takes more than just me to create change, there’s quite a few black women out in Nashville that are crushing it. And it’s going to take all of us winning, in order for them to see us as valuable commodities. And as business makers as as people who bring in money, they need to see all of us doing that for them to stop seeing colour. And so it starts with me, it starts with you, especially as a woman do it starts with us, you know, lifting each other up giving each other that platform and just following through and making sure you’re doing it for the right way. Right, right reasons.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Do you feel the burden of that? Do you feel that your success can possibly make so much change? Or such a great change for others, to follow in your footsteps that other black women can then you’ve opened the door for them to then enter that that country music or any music?

Ashlie Amber:

I would say I wouldn’t call it a burden. But I know that I have this huge amount of responsibility, yeah, and duty to do it for me and to do it for you know, my nieces and my nephews. All of my little, you know, tiny cousins. Yes, like, and if I do decide to have, you know, kids one day, I need to do it for them. And to me, it’s not a burden, I I see it as a as a as an honour like that I get to be that person that actually creates change. I’m sitting on the right side of history right now. And if things keep progressing, which they will, the way they are, I’d have the opportunity to not only be a part of history, but to create history. Yeah. And to be one of those people that created a movement and create a change, and equality and diversity and you know, being all inclusive. And I mean, the pretty awesome side of history to sit on if you ask me. Yes. So I’m just honoured and I’m excited. And I’m thankful that I feel like I’ve been chosen to to be a part of this incredible movement that’s happening right now within country music and all around the all over the world, really.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

You are such an inspiration and you are a hard worker, and you totally deserve everything and all the great things that are coming your way. Was there ever a time though, where it became too much and you thought I can’t do this any longer. And you may not have you know, it could have been that sliding door moment where you could have shut the door and just walked away and not be where you are now.

Ashlie Amber:

Honestly, no,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I’m not surprised you…. Why am I not surprised?

Ashlie Amber:

I’ve never once doubted myself everything that I said. And everything that I say, I’m going to do, like if i if i 100% be like, Yo, I’m doing this. Yeah, I’m gonna do it. And a lot of the times, I’ll actually tell people that because then it holds me responsible. Yes, it makes me accountable. Except I’m like, yeah, I’m like, oh, man, I told so and so that this is going to happen. So like, I better figure out how to make it happen. And that’s just kind of how my personality has always been. And I don’t know why it’s been that way. I think it’s because, you know, when my dad passed away, I had my mom still and my mom had to finish raising, you know, four kids. And she worked incredibly hard. She still worked her full time job, she still came to my choir concert, she still came to my, you know, volleyball games. If I wanted to sing like, she would figure out how to pay for it. I have no clue how she did it. Like, yeah, I think about it now. And I’m only just a couple years away from how old she was when my dad passed away. And she had kids, you know, like, I’m sitting here being like, I have a dog that I’m trying to figure out, like, just keep responsible for.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

by the way, we had to organise this interview around the dog’s schedule as well. Because you’re in Las Vegas, you’re now living in Las Vegas. And we had to schedule it late at night when the dog would be asleep.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, he’s asleep. And then I’m going to join him here in a little bit.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Well I’m not going to keep you too much longer. But I am very interested to know with COVID, we just touched on that, how have you remained engaged with your fans, because obviously, you weren’t able to perform live, how have you managed to remain connected to those people that have supported you, and a wanting to listen to your music.

Ashlie Amber:

Um, honestly, it’s been amazing, I was able to unify my all of my branding, I was able to really start growing platforms that I had never spent any time on, like my Twitter account, I think, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, I had like, 800 or 900 followers. And now, I think I’m at like 5500. So like five thousand five hundred, which is it’s not easy growing, you know, your social media platforms on platforms that you don’t normally use and that aren’t overly used anymore, like Twitter. It’s not the same as Instagram. And obviously Instagrams no longer the same as Tick Tock. So it’s, it’s very interesting, because what works on one platform doesn’t work on the other platform. And I’ve actually really enjoyed responding to comments. And I would say that depending on the platform, you will always hear back from me, like, if you send me a message on my Instagram, or on my Facebook, you’ll hear back from me, sometimes it might take me a little bit, but you’ll always hear back from me, Twitter, I’m a bit bad at that one. Because I’m still getting used to that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Because your name is not Donald Trump.

Ashlie Amber:

Exactly. Like I just, you know, Twitter’s a hard one for me, and, you know, tick tock, as well. But I do my best to respond to everything. And that’s basically how I’ve kept connected is just making it a point and going out of my way to responding to everybody’s comments, to saying, like, I hope you’re having a good day, I’m sending you lots of love. And I know, it’s so simple, but both things really create a bond between you and your fans to where, you know, I can post a photo and the same people not the same, but you know, maybe like 200 or 300, people, core people will always comment, you know, they’ll always comment on your stuff. And they’ll always show love, they’ll always show support, they’ll always watch your stories, those are the types of fans that will buy your merchandise, those are the types of bands that will, you know, camp out all night to get like front row at your show, because it’s general seating or something like that. Those are the types of fans that will you know, sign up for your fan club, which, you know, they have to, you know, pay a monthly fee for which then is what’s giving you an income, right. So I think it’s really, really important to get back to your fans. And it’s very time consuming. And it’s it is difficult, sometimes, but I try not to be too hard on myself when I have the time. And I’m super focused, I give them all of my attention. And if I’m having a week where I’m like, I just need a break from social media right now. Then I take that break, I listen to my body, and I kind of plan it around my schedule. If I have a single coming out. I’m gonna be on my social media every single day. You know, now that the single drops, I’ve kind of taken like a week off like a week and a half, two weeks off, but now I got to go right back on it because we’re gearing up for my music video release, then we’re going to be gearing up for an acoustic version and then we’re going to be gearing up for an all women’s collaboration that I have coming out. So now I have a lot of things coming out where I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna be on my social media every single day. Share In all of these things, and so, for me, it’s it’s honestly, it’s been a blessing, it’s, it’s allowed me to do things that I wouldn’t normally have the time to do and I’m thankful for that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Have you had to take care of yourself in a different manner during COVID? Like, for example, you obviously wouldn’t be doing as much singing or performing as what you would have before? How have you kept your chops going, you know, like, how’s the voice been going?

Ashlie Amber:

The voice has been good. And actually, again, it’s been for the better because I was performing so much Whitney, and I was performing so much on stage, my voice is actually sitting in a different place. But now it’s been 100% been able to sit in my music and in the genre of music that I love doing. And I’m not having to stretch it, the places that maybe it doesn’t naturally want to go, I can go there yet, but it’s not my natural, you know, comfort zone. And honestly, I i’ve never, I haven’t, I’ve probably never felt more confident and more comfortable. Like I was just in Nashville and had a tonne of performances and kind of things. And it’s probably some of the best thing I’ve ever done. It was free. It was effortless. It was fun. It was my music. And because it’s my music, I get to do whatever I want, like nobody’s comparing me to Whitney, they’re like, was she going to hit the note because they don’t even know what the note is. So..

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

You’ve probably received everything in your keys, where it’s comfortable, with a couple little money notes thrown in.

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah, throw a couple money notes. And honestly, like, I might do like a more of a bell on the record. But then when I perform it live, I will like do like a head voice thing,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

or one because my audience knows the song, they can sing it for you. Your turn?

Ashlie Amber:

Yeah!

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

So we’re gonna wrap this up. But there are a couple of questions that I’d like to finish up on throughout the pandemic. And throughout your experiences over the last however many years that you’ve been performing? Do you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming before but just one thing that they need to know about? Or that would help them in their careers? What would that be?

Ashlie Amber:

It can only be one?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

That’s so funny, everyone asks me, is there only one because I asked these last few questions, different questions to different people. I say one thing, okay, you’re allowed to as well. Two things…

Ashlie Amber:

I would say, which I kind of already touched on is, as an artist, never sign anything involving your likeness and or your money without having a lawyer look over it first. Because the reality is, is that whoever handed you that contract, it is written for their best interests, not yours. So you want your own lawyer that is not affiliated with anybody who gave you that contract, the look over it, that make sure that, because that lawyer is going to have your best interest, that is probably the most important thing I can say. And in addition to that, this industry is going to tell you that you’re not good enough, every single day, and it is up to you to tell them it’s up to you to tell yourself, I don’t care what you have to say I am good enough. And I’m gonna keep fighting, and I’m gonna keep climbing. And I’m gonna keep doing these so good, that you have no choice but to listen to me. If you do those two things. There’s no way that you cannot not succeed. There’s just no way.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Very good advice. Very good. Now, this may be a little controversial me asking you this. You are an artist and a singer who has a successful career. What could we be doing better as a singing voice community to look off the singers, the very people that we are teaching? What’s one thing that we could do better do you think and to ensure that people do have training that they don’t leave the studios?

Ashlie Amber:

That is a tough question. Um, I would say in order to properly teach you have to do so. If It’s something that you don’t do if you’re not if you’ve never recorded in the studio. You can’t teach somebody how to record in the studio, you should focus on what you can teach. So I think I think a lot of times people are like, Oh yeah, you can do this. You can do this. You can do this. I think if we are more focused and specialise and and be can be totally cool, like, Well, hey, like, I’ve never done that before. So I’m not going to do that. I’m actually going to refer you to her who has done this or him who has done this, because now that way us as singers are actually getting what we need, because I don’t want to train with a teacher who doesn’t know what it’s like to slide on their knees and do a full backbend while holding out A massive note for 45 seconds, you know, in front of an entire crowd with a band. I know that’s very specific that but if, if that’s because I do it on my show. But at the same time, if you if you’re a teacher and you’ve never performed in front of a large audience, or you’ve never worked with a live band, or you’ve never done these things, how are you going to teach that singer? How to get through that? You know what I mean? I think we should always lead by example. And so I think that if you should walk the walk, not not just talk the talk, I think, I don’t know if that’s the right way to answer that question.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

I think that that answer is very clear. And I tend to agree and I’m probably going to get haters for saying that but, i think, i think you know, you have to have a certain amount of lived experience. Also that is definitely beneficial. But there are some amazing teachers too who haven’t had performance careers but just have that great intuition and they’re great knowledge that they can impart or so and okay, well in wrapping up Ashlie Amber, or my friend, AA where people find your music again?

Ashlie Amber:

Yes y’all, so y’all can find me. Ashlie Amber, just make sure you spell it correctly. It’s A-s-h-l-i-e Amber. Yes. And that’s going to be Ashlie Amber, on Apple Music on Spotify, amazon music, Pandora I Heart Radio, title, all the things as well as you can find me at Ashlieamber.com. Again, that’s a A-s-h-l-i-e, Amber.com. And you can find all kinds of fun stuff there. All of my streaming stuff is on that as well as well as tonnes of fun merchandise, great photos. Just a lot more information if you guys just want to learn more about me. And of course, definitely check me out on social media. If you like fun photos, if you’d like things sassy, a little bit edgy. Follow me on my Instagram. That’s @ashlieamberofficial, as well as Facebook and tik tok, which is all Ashlie Amber official. And then you can find me on Twitter and YouTube with just Ashlie Amber.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Well, thank you. And I encourage everyone to go and check out your music and they will not be disappointed. AA it’s been such a pleasure catching up with you. And I’m very grateful to have you on the show. And I wish you all the very best because if anyone deserves it, it’s you. You are one of the hardest working performers that I know. And you you deserve all the good that’s coming to you and I know you’re going to smash it.

Ashlie Amber:

Aww thank you so much.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

We’ll see you soon. You take care. Thank you so much.

Ashlie Amber:

Thank you.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith:

Bye. Hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode have a voice and beyond. Now is an important time for all of us to spread positivity and empowerment in our singing voice community. It’s time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow. So you can show up for your students feeling energised, empowered, and ready to deliver your best. Be the best role model and mentor you can possibly be and watch your students thrive, as you do. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it with a friend or a colleague who you think will be inspired by this. Copy and paste the link and share it with the people you think will enjoy listening to this show. Please share it on social media and use the hashtag #avoiceandbeyond. If you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcasts right now. I would love to know what it is you enjoyed the most about this episode. And what was the biggest takeaway for you? I promise you there are many episodes to follow, as I’m committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one. I’d like to finish up with my final thoughts. Remember that to sing is more than just learning how to use the voice. as singers. Our whole body is the instrument and our bodies echo what we feel physically mentally and emotionally. So singing is not just about the voice. It’s about A Voice and Beyond. Please take care of yourself and I look forward to your company next time.

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