Orlando Florida’s Ashley J springs back with “Trapped” and that is not all. After a chance meeting with legendary songwriter/producer and multi-platinum Grammy and Emmy winning Narada Michael Walden, she convinced him to produce this single. And no place better than to do it at his famed Tarpen studio complex. Released independently in May 2017 on Ashley’s own production company imprint, Bombshell Music, inc. This is a track penned by Ashley J herself and goes well in her collection as it also takes her career up a notch, as she continues to work with the best in the business.
One thing Ashley J is great at besides spot on songwriting, is selecting who to work with. Because when you get with the likes of legends before your first full-length album, it can be that turning point in the long road of success. Ashley has been doing it herself for a long time but that’s also something not everyone sees as they get the product but not the development. This is an excellent release and she deserves the distance it will take her. It has a great build-up to a burst of breaking beats, as she starts to fight her way of the trap she’s found herself in. It has a slight retro-vibe but is clearly modern and cutting-edge pop.
She’s been writing songs and telling her stories but this is a fresh new start if you listen to her work. The track begins with beat and ends with beat that won’t quit. And that’s one of Narada Michael Walden’s many specialties. He’s a boom lover and this is full of it, without being too obvious and repetitive. It relates to something anyone can identify with in being in a tight spot with someone, and discovering you’re in too deep to just walk away. And she covers it from start to finish with the steps that lead to the love vortex, before she fights her way out of her own maze. But being stranded doesn’t sound so bad either.
Such an extraordinary producer isn’t always going to make the mark for someone, but Ashley’s songwriting is match-fit here, as it sounds like they’ve been doing this together a while. It’s a great combo and hopefully not the last collaboration together. But the rest is all Ashely here, and that’s the overall point as she blazes her own trails which have taken her through pop and electronica to this even more soulful cut. I’m sure that she never dreamed she’d be doing this when she was studying at the University of Oklahoma, but life as an artist is full of big surprises you can never see coming.
A few surprises go a long way, and after her last single this one comes as nothing but. And that is not only because of who she collaborated with, it can be noticed between that and her first single in 2015, too. So, as far as her progress goes she has climbed high with each release. And she even recorded in Nashville prior to going full blown pop artist. This is not her first time around the block, but it could make big noise this time out and reach the masses, and if it doesn’t, it very well should. Being “Trapped” is never fun, unless you can find a way to make it so, and Ashley J has done that and much more. Hopefully she gets a big of a break as this song contains breaks.