Novice Talk: Ashlee White
I have been impressed by the artistry of Virginia native, Ashlee White, since I heard her record ‘Gelato’ earlier this year. The song is an ode for the lovers and contains many quotables that will have your crush blushing. It’s a pleasurable song that’s been on repeat. When I say artistry however, I’m really referring to White’s debut project Chameleon. Her ability to cook up elite verses on a song like ‘Twist’ while hitting us with steady-moving tracks like ‘Temptations Tongue’ & ‘3AM’ where you’re bound to get caught up in the beat makes this an all-around performance for the novice. The perfect combination of hearty lyricism, intriguing interludes & sonically pleasing production made way for White to have listeners beyond fulfilled with her tape.
I recently had a chance to sit down and converse with Ashlee. We had an amazing conversation discussing her beginnings, Chameleon, the movement happening within Virginia and so much more. Her charisma and humility are undeniable and she spews authenticity. It also became very apparent that she’s passionate about her music. This will ultimately drive her to keep being more successful than she already has up to this point. You can check out highlights from our conversation below and/or listen to the full length dialogue in a new episode of Novice Talk available now via Spotify.
Cherry: Can you start by introducing yourself?
Ash: My name is Ashlee White. I am a creative from Woodbridge, VA and just dropped my debut album Chameleon. I’ve just been working through things with my team and trying to build up.
Cherry: So, how’d you get started?
Ash: It’s a bit of a journey. I was a D1 basketball player and it didn’t feel like what I wanted to do anymore. In my personal time, I would just write poetry because it’s what I did growing up. In 2016, a friend of mine Guess, told me I should try rapping because I was only doing poetry at the time and people were latching onto that. After I left my scholarship, I felt like I was good enough to rap and started releasing music. My manager, Spady found me and we’ve been pushing each other ever since; Getting into the groove of the process. Really just enjoying it all while trying new stuff.
“It’s all about building security and learning how to do this for other people”
Cherry: What separates you from other artists ?
Ash: Not too sound cocky at all but I’ve never heard anyone like me. Naturally, I approach music differently than most women. In the industry, most have a certain sound. You have the ones that rap or give something sexy. I can give both. Im inspired more by singers because I don’t listen to rap a lot.
Cherry: What was the process like putting Chameleon together?
Ash: It was the most sporadic thing I’ve ever done. We booked studio time just to do it and that’s how I got into the groove of working with my producer and recording in the studio. We have 10-15 songs that haven’t been heard yet that could’ve made the project. I wanted it to be appealing and tell the same story so that’s how I separated a lot of the songs. We wanted to experiment for the most part. My father is my biggest critic but he helped a lot in my process. Even with Spady and the rest of the team, it was all trial & error.
Cherry: How do you feel about Chameleon now that it’s out?
Ash: Honestly, I don’t listen to it that much but I do love the feedback that I’ve been getting. That’s all I wanted. Im trying to find the next niche for me. There are some things for the project I’m excited to do in the future like breaking it down and showing people what I really meant so they can understand it in a new way. I’ve really been studying myself since the release.
Cherry: You have 12K followers on Spotify. Being a novice, what has it been like knowing that people from all around the world are listening to your music?
Ash: I feel really blessed. The team has personal goals and we weren’t selling ourselves short but we wanted to start small and accomplish those smaller goals. Things are moving at a faster pace than we expected. That means everything we’re doing is working and I’ve just been excited about learning what does and doesn’t work.
Cherry: You hit it on the nail. What have you found doesn’t work for you?
Ash: What doesn’t work is when we rush or try things that aren’t us. We’re surrounded by a lot of good artists that are incredible and have good numbers. We feel like we should be there too but when we start to rush and go over budget, it’s something we’re still learning. In our creative space it can definitely throw us off. We just have to learn what our pace is and everything will come together even more.
Cherry: What do you think about the movement happening within the Virginia music scene?
Ash: I love what’s going on. I was never apart of the scene and it feels like a whole different world because I grew up around people that hooped. There are so many talented people in Virginia and Im excited about that because you see the recognition happening by the day.
Cherry: What’s next for you?
Ash: I want us to own buildings and for N’Tune to be the team’s outright source of income. I honestly just want the music to continue to be a way of me expressing myself. It helps me as well as other around me with clarity. More music of course & working with people that I admire because it’s all about relationships in my eyes. That’s all I’m interested in.
Cherry: One piece of advice you’d give to someone wanting to get started?
Ash: Take what you have and use it. Nobody else can do what you do and that’s what separates yourself from others. You won’t know how good you are until you try. So, just do it.
There is so much more to this very open and honest conversation. NP wants to thank Ashlee & the N’tune team for allowing this to happen. We look forward to her continued success. If you would like to hear the full-lengthened interview, it is available now via Novice Talk on Spotify !