As a former radio personality and current music consultant, I get asked all the time, “what’s on your playlist”? On any given day the answer could range from vintage Michael Jackson, 80’s soft rock, 90’s new jack swing and classic Hip-hop with a bit of Neo-soul to modern indie favorites like Yuna, Ibeyi and Alina Baraz. In other words, my playlists are very eclectic and all over the place. I love GOOD music and that’s the one thing they all have in common. Recently, I’ve added a new addition to the library… an artist by the name of Ashley Dubose.
Your first introduction to Ashley was more than likely the same as mine, on the world stage of NBC’s The Voice . It was season five when her soul-stirring cover of Rihanna’s song “Diamonds,” moved all 4 judges to turn their chairs around to battle for her talent on their team. Her involvement on the popular reality TV show catapulted her already blossoming music career into the mainstream. As a local Minneapolis favorite, prior to her appearance on The Voice, she had already released her first full-length independent project Something More, an acoustic set of feel good songs, which was well received. After her stint on Adam Levine’s team she absorbed his mentorship and channeled her new-found inspiration into creating her latest album titled Be You.
On Be You Ashley remains consistent with the positive vibes that set the tone on her previous project, offering more tracks that take the listener on an uplifting journey of self-acceptance and empowerment. Musical influences of India Arie could be detected on the albums title track and the song “Intoxicated,” while glimpses of Hip-hop and even contemporary folk are peppered throughout. It’s apparent that her playlists growing up were just as vast when you hear the impact that artists such as Lauryn Hill, Musiq Soulchild and Bruno Mars have on her writing and delivery. Although the album offers up an endless supply of encouragement and affirmations, the project is not sugary sweet and it’s definitely ‘grown folks’ music. There’s a vulnerability that she freely sits in the pocket of and does not hide behind overly polished productions when belting, “When did I get so emotional” on the single “Emotional.” This tenderness continues on the single “Only,” featuring Lexii Alijai, but this sensitivity transforms into heat as she showcases a sultry element to her game on the confidence-laced track “Pride.”
If you’re a true music head, there’s no way you can create a playlist that does not include at least a few songs by Ashley Dubose. Her 13 track album Be You is currently available digitally everywhere.
Diamonds – The Voice Blind Audition