INTERVIEW: Ashley Puckett

How would you classify your music?

I classify my music as modern country with a very classic tone; very heart-felt, passionate, and soulful.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

My top five musical influences are Leann Rimes, Miranda Lambert, Carol King, Jo Dee Messina, and Carrie Underwood.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

I want my fans to take away a memory from my music and more importantly, feel a connection with me.  Music is used in so many ways today, and to me, if I can sing a song and someone can be touched by it, or remember something or someone or some life event, or maybe even make a new memory with it, I feel that is what I set out to do and I’ve accomplished a goal.

How’s the music scene in your locale?

I’ve been blessed with the large amount of music in this Pittsburgh area.  There’s all kinds of genres, all types of people who share one thing in common; the love for making music.  It’s a very diverse scene.  You can find yourself somewhere to go and listen to just about any style depending on your mood.  It’s actually really cool. I also think it had something to do with shaping my style of music personally, just because I’ve been exposed to a lot of different music.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

I’ve had some pretty interesting concert experiences… a few that stick out is my first CMA fest, just concerts everywhere!  I really enjoyed seeing Leann Rimes at a smaller venue near my hometown.  It was an acoustic show and very intimate.  Most recently I’ve seen Aaron Lewis and It was probably one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen.  He has a very “unique” show and just shows his personality for what it is and I absolutely loved that!

As far as my favorite part of playing a live show, it is seeing the audience’s reactions!  I love when someone comes up to me after a show and says that I’ve brought tears to their eyes on a slow song, or I really felt the way you sang this particular song and so on.  If I made a difference or a connection with just one person, I’m fulfilled for the night.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

I can honestly say choosing the songs on this Album was one of my favorite parts!  I have some type of connection and meaning to each and every one of them.  There’s actually two I would have to say stole my heart equally for different reasons.  One is “Never Say Never”.  This one is actually the Title of the Album so I think that itself says a lot.  It’s one of the most romantic songs on the album and I’m a very romantic person and love songs are and always will be my favorite.  This one reminded me of my favorite cover to sing from Jo Dee Messina, “Because You Love Me”. Because of this, I knew I had to record this song the moment I heard it.  Second, is “Weightless” – When I first heard this song, we were actually, so we thought, finished with the song selections and pretty close to being finished with the whole album.  It was an interesting situation that kind of unraveled and at the end of our studio session when this song was played and I heard it for the first time.  There were no intentions other than to listen at this point until I heard the melody.  From there I had this crazy scene play out in my head like a fairytale.  It’s as if this song was written for me and there was a reason I heard it – at the right place at the right time.  After a little convincing, my produce (Bryan Cole) decided we could move forward with making that our song number thirteen.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

I’ve been singing and writing music all my life.  I sang my first song at age Five, which was “You Were Mine” from the Dixie Chicks.  I still sing that song here and there to this day.  I think this past year has been the most I’ve ever evolved as an artist.  Working in the studio has given me so many different opportunities to see different sides of making music.  I know singing, I know writing, and a tiny bit of guitar, but to have a bunch of talented people in the industry working with you and shaping you, it’s made a huge impact on everything from finding “my” style, experimenting with different ways of doing things, vocally and musically, and getting the opportunity to work with those who all share the same goals and just having fun collaborating ideas together has really opened up a lot of ideas for the future and who I am as an artist and who I want to be.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

I’d go back and forth on this question because I’ve gotten it a few times, but I always seem to go back to the same person.  Miranda Lambert.  She is who she is.  She stays that way, too.  She’s been through a lot in music and in life and she’s still stunning!  I feel like we could be friends!  I feel I could learn some things and her and I would enjoy each others company.  She would also be perfect to write with; she has an “ edgy” side and also a very romantic side I think too, much like myself.

What’s next for you?

I’m just getting started!  I see a lot of new things ahead!  First I’m excited that I have an amazing debut country album that we have all worked very hard on for over a year.  I want to finally share my music, as I’ve longed to do for years.  I’ll eventually be playing shows and I want to do some writing sessions in Nashville with some of the great writers I’ve had the pleasure of singing a couple of their songs on this upcoming album.  From there, Where I am meant to be, I know I’ll get there.  I have to just keep going.  One day at a time, one opportunity at a time, always with one goal in mind.  I want to meet as many new people, make many new fans and friends, touch many different people, and accomplish as much as possible.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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