Ashley Riley, Singer Songwriter

Could you give us a brief bio?

AR: I picked up a guitar about nine years ago, and started taking lessons and I instantly started writing my own songs instead of other peoples songs from the get go. Where I’m from in Decatur, IL  the city does a lot of open mics a lot of times, so I started out going here and there to a bunch of open mics and eventually became the Host of an open mic and then a few other different places. Then I put out a CD in 2008, which is a really acoustic CD and its just me, this was before I met the band that I have now. And in 2010 we put out the last CD that was the full band’s debut. Now were working on the new EP, just finishing up on that. We just have one more recording session and one more mixing session.

When did you first notice your talent in songwriting and singing?

AR: I had just always wanted to play the guitar and write songs, from when I was 16 but I just never had a guitar. And so finally I got one.

Can you tell us more about the New Album?

AR: Well I’m really excited about the new album because it’s probably the most upbeat music of anything I’ve ever written. Now we have a lead player which before we were just a three piece band and then when we added the lead player to the mix, it added a lot. I just feel like this time with the recording, I think because it’s the third time around, its like “third times a charm”, I don’t know. I feel a lot more comfortable with it, so we’ve been experimenting a little bit more and adding more parts. But I just really like, well I think its very difficult for a lot of people to write happy music. It’s so easy to write a love song or a sad song and so its been a goal of mine that “I’m going to write a happy album”.


What inspires you and keeps you motivated?

AR: Well I don’t know, I think inspiration can come from anywhere so there’s never really any one particular thing, but a lot of times just life experiences of my own or just my friends or anyone that I know are going thru. Sometime just watching a TV show, you know it can come from anywhere. You can also inspire yourself by just playing and inspiration can come from that.

How would you describe your style?

AR: I like to call it Alternative Folk, because I feel its not like, so folk, or bluegrass type of folk that some people think when they hear that word, and I guess it would also be adult contemporary type of range, a lot of my fans are between 25 and up.

Any influences or inspiration in music?

AR: Jewel, she was the first mainstream girl with the guitar to me. Also by playing more I learned about more people like Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and now I’m starting to hear a lot of Americana people like Jill Andrews and right now I’m into The Head and the Heart. And Neil Young he’s a big one to me.

Could you describe yourself in 5 words?

AR: Creative, Purposeful, Shy, Hardworking, Funny

Any words of advice for other artists?

AR: My advice is to just go for it, really. It’s really easy to be unsure of yourself and insecure about a lot of things but I think you should just get out there and do it. I think performing live is the most valuable experiences that you can have whether or not its open mics or actually shows, that can really build your confidence and people hear you.

You can reach Ashley in many ways!
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