Growing Up in her hometown of Bakersfield, Country singer-songwriter Ash Taylor dreamed of showcasing her musical gift to the world & made a difficult/life-changing decision to move across the country to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue her musical dreams.
In 2019, Ash unveiled the personally inspired “Bakersfield” EP, which received high praise from fans & critics alike, even reaching number 60 on the iTunes top 100 Country albums chart.
Following the success of her debut EP, Ash faced challenging times in 2020 with the cancellation of shows & someone taking down her music & social media accounts.
Following these challenging times, Ash has managed to re-upload her EP & looks to share some anticipated new releases in the next few months.
Ash has kindly taken the time to talk with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding the “Bakersfield” EP, her emotional journey returning to music, & what’s in store for 2023. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Ash, thank you for this interview. Can you start by introducing yourself to readers who might be unfamiliar with your music?
Ash: Hey Jess, of course! For starters, thank you so much for taking the time to interview me today. Well for people who do not know me my name is Ash Taylor and I am a country music recording artist and songwriter based out of Nashville, Tennessee.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Ash: Well, I grew up in a very musical farm town in California called, Bakersfield. It is the hometown of a lot of country music greats, including Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and back in the 70s was considered the original Nashville. So growing up, I was surrounded by all of that country music history. My grandmother also played a huge part in my love for country music.
I remember one day though I was sitting in my grandparent’s living room, and we were watching CMT (Country Music Television). When all of a sudden this world premiere came on the screen, and this girl came flying off of a four-wheeler singing about being a “Redneck Woman”. Her name was Gretchen Wilson. At that moment, I turned to my grandma and I said that’s what I wanted to be when I grow up. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to write songs and tell stories. If I had to pick a moment in time, I really think that is the moment that put me on the path that I am on now. So thank you, Jesus and Gretchen Wilson! Haha
Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Ash: No not always. I have always been a huge fan though of music, especially country music. That day that I saw Gretchen Wilson on my TV screen was a huge moment looking back now. Then when I was 17, I picked up a guitar and started to teach myself how to play. I knew three chords and was writing terrible songs in my bedroom haha from the moment that I had that guitar in my hand though I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Ash: I would say my musical style is definitely very fun, upbeat, guitar-driven country music. I definitely do my own, modern version of the Bakersfield Sound. So to try and explain to people in words what I do. I usually tell them I play honky tonk jams like Dwight Yoakam would sing. Then play fun, upbeat songs like Buck Owens. Then I love to tell you a story written, straight from the pages of my own life, like Mr Merle Haggard would do.
In 2019, you released the ‘Bakersfield’ EP, which received a great response. How did it feel to release this EP & to experience the hugely positive response it received?
Ash: Honestly, it was so huge and humbling. I spent 3 years of my life writing, recording and working on that project. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into that record. So when it was released and I saw the response from not only the industry but especially fans. It just blew me away. I’m so grateful for everyone that has listened to that record, and that still shows up to shows and requests songs from it. It really means the world to me!
Unfortunately, there was a time that followed when someone took over your accounts & took down your music. Thankfully, you have managed to re-upload the EP, but what does going through an experience like that do to you?
Ash: Yeah, honestly that was probably the hardest time I’ve ever had in my whole life. Basically, 2020 hit and clearly all of our shows, and everything went away because of the pandemic. During that time I was going by a different artist name and had been for quite some time. I literally woke up one day to find that someone had hacked my verified artist Facebook account and that I was no longer the admin. So basically to make a very long story short, I had no way to get that account back and they also went and took down my music and a bunch of other things because it was all tied to that hacked account.
It was definitely a super hard and dark time not knowing what to do. I basically did not pick up a guitar or sing a note for over a year. After lots of work trying to figure out if I could get my accounts and everything back, it was becoming very, very clear that that was not an option. So I’ve been focused & ended up doing an artist name change & a whole rebranding, and I honestly think that that was the best decision that I have ever made. I was able to restart everything from the ground up, re-upload my music, and I’m now continuing to grow. Definitely very dark time, but so grateful that it happened.
You stated on Instagram that during this time, you took a break & considered quitting music. What inspired you to start performing again?
Ash: To be honest, I think it’s when I realized that there’s nothing else I’d rather do than music. I just love music, especially country music so much and I really can’t live without it in my life. That was mixed with the overwhelming support of my husband and lead guitar player, Christopher DeLisle. It really pushed me to get up and try again. It took a lot of strength and an awful lot of prayer.
I feel like now, though we are doing better than we’ve ever done, and I am so excited for all that we have accomplished and are still working towards. We’ve definitely made a lot of beautiful things out of the ashes. So I just continue to work hard, pray & So I just continue to work hard, pray and stay focused.
How are you feeling in yourself now following this incident?
Ash: You are so sweet for asking this question. I’ve been really open and honest that it definitely was the hardest time I’ve ever had. When you work so hard and you’re just trying to do the thing you love and to have someone come along and take that from you. It’s absolutely devastating. I really had to work past a lot of things and honestly spent a lot of time in prayer. I gave my life to Christ when I was 17 and I know that Jesus makes all things good for those that love him and are called according to his purpose. So I basically had to trust God even if I didn’t understand things in the moment and just continue to stay focused and keep working hard. He definitely delivered us from a lot of things and even though it’s so sad that we had to go through all of that. I love what we are doing now more than ever before and I’m so excited for all that we have and all the opportunities we are now being given. The best is definitely yet to come!
What advice would you offer to someone who might be facing a similar experience?
Ash: I would say, just try not to lose faith and stay positive. I would try your hardest to get in touch with people, whether it be social media platforms & their fraud teams, police, FBI, etc.. try to get back what is yours and if you can’t which I know was the case with a lot of people.
The day my page was hacked, so was 100,000 other independent artists. Then just know that you can start new and fresh and everything will work out for good in the end.
You have started running a feature called “Ash Wednesdays”. Can you tell readers a little bit about what they can expect if they tune in?
Ash: Yes, of course! So, Ash Wednesdays is a live stream that happens on the first Wednesday of every single month at 7 PM central standard time on my Instagram. We play live music, and have a Q&A time where viewers can literally ask me anything. We also do a giveaway every single show.
We talk about different things that are coming up so people can be in the loop and just kind of hang out with viewers. We just started it a couple months ago and have gotten a great response. It’s a total blast and I can’t wait to see what happens with that feature in the future! My Instagram handle is @AshTaylorCountry in case anyone would like to go ahead and follow and be sure to turn into the next Ash Wednesdays.
You recently posted a photo of yourself finishing some final touches to a “project”. Could this possibly be new music?
Ash: Oh yes! This spring I will be releasing a project that I have been working on with my husband & guitar player, Christopher DeLisle. We are calling it The Acoustic Sessions. It will be a 3 part video series where I share an acoustic performance of one of my original songs. So stay tuned!
What are some of the things we can anticipate seeing from Ash Taylor during 2023?
Ash: We have so many new and exciting things in the works right now. On top of the acoustic sessions being released this spring we are also working on booking shows for this year and next, putting together a new live show, writing lots of new songs, new merchandise, and also continuing to work in the studio to bring even more new music. 2023 is shaping up to be a really great and busy year for us and I am so grateful.
What advice would you offer to someone who was looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Ash: I would just encourage anyone who wants to have a career in the music industry to make sure you’re doing it because you love music. Money comes & money goes and fame is there and then it’s not. If you love to make music though and there’s nothing else you can do then just keep doing your thing, stay focused and be yourself and eventually it all works out. Don’t be afraid to show up early, stay late, and most importantly find your own voice.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Ash: I would really just like to thank all of your readers today for taking the time to listen to me tell my story. Also, thank you so much to you, Jess for taking the time to interview me. I love Fierce & Fabulous Revelation and all that you do. I hope your readers will not be strangers and that they will feel free to follow me on social media and reach out. I love to make new friends and hope to see everyone either online or at a show sometime soon. The best way to find links to all of my music in different ways to connect with me is at my website www.AshTaylor.com. Thanks again!
You can check out the “Bakersfield” EP on Spotify below or via Apple Music here.