(Welland, ON) – It’s late Saturday night at Trappers Sports Bar and the place is packed with people drinking, talking and laughing. It seems like a typical Saturday night. Performing on stage is Souled Out – a local band fronted by 17-year old singer/songwriter Ashlynne Vince along with band mates Nick Cooper on bass and guitarist/singer Bryce K. Moore.
In front of the stage a table is filled with family and friends who are here to see and support Ashlynne, including her parents Joe and Loralee Vince. On the most part, patrons in the bar are oblivious as to who is on stage. How many of them realize that the teenage singer on stage belting out covers and throwing in a few originals is currently on Billboard’s Top 40 indicator music charts along with the likes of Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift?
Earlier this year, Vince released her single Hold On To Love – a catchy pop song. By the end of March Hold On To Love made its debut on Billboard’s Top 40 indicator music charts at #37. The song continues to chart (in its fourth week) and is continuously being added to radio station playlists across Canada and U.S.
Currently signed to Plateau Music in Nashville and managed by Tony Mantor (Sam Austin, Chris Gantry, Bobby Brooks, Mila Mason), Vince is getting ready to head back to Nashville April 17 to record her next single and possibly start working on the follow-up to her debut album Tidal Wave, released in April 2014.
Music Life Magazine caught up with Ashlynne Vince this week to talk about her humble beginnings, her accomplishments and what’s in store for this future superstar before she heads back to Nashville this Friday.
JOEL – Thank you for doing this interview and congratulations on your single Hold On To Love. What runs through your mind knowing you’re on the music charts along with artists like Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran?
ASHLYNNE – At this moment, it’s still surreal. As you probably know, I’m a little removed from the situation as I am back in Welland and finishing up my final semester of high school. I admire so many of the musicians that are on the chart “with me” (Wow! It even feels weird putting myself in their company!)
JOEL – You started doing music at age 13 at a local steakhouse and you also did a Taylor Swift tribute show. What can you tell me about those?
ASHLYNNE – I started singing at Open Mic Night at the Urban Steakhouse (in Fonthill, Ontario) where Steve Fortin was hosting when I was 13 years old. My mom brought me out and it became a Thursday night event with my whole family. Steve Fortin introduced me to Steve Kostyk (who was the one behind the Taylor Swift Tribute). We did a few summer concerts and events with the TS Tribute when I was 15 years old. I was a guest actually, because the Steves had a separate country act that they were already doing. Although it wasn’t my start, and it didn’t last long, it was one more thing that helped me learn to sing in front of a large crowd and gave me some stage presence at a fairly young age.
JOEL – You got signed to Plateau Music in Nashville. How did that come about?
ASHLYNNE – The first time that I traveled to Nashville was for my 16th birthday. During that time my mom brought me to start recording some of my original work. While there, we met Rebekah Long, who was the recording engineer at the studio. Over the course of the year we traveled back and forth to Nashville 8 times. I got to know Rebekah really well and she became familiar with my vocals, writing style and musical style. This past August, my mom took a semester off from her teaching position at Brock (University) and me, my younger sister, my dog, and my mom moved into a trailer that my dad bought for us. I was offered an internship with Rebekah Long at The Tracking Room Studio (Nashville’s largest recording studio). It was Rebekah who made the phone call to Plateau Music and everything else, as they say, is history.
JOEL – You’re currently managed by Tony Mantor in Nashville. How did you hook up with him?
ASHLYNNE – Tony IS Plateau Music. So, after Rebekah introduced us, we had a meeting with Tony to get to know him and for him to determine if I was a good fit for his label. He is highly successful – all of his artists ( I think he has seven) are charting in various genres and on a variety of charts.
JOEL – You’ve already released an album called Tidal Wave. What can you tell me about that? When did it come out? Did you write any of the songs on the album?
ASHLYNNE – My album Tidal Wave is truly my first album. I wrote or co-wrote 8 of the 10 songs on it. Paul Gigliotti wrote one and my Nashville friend Anthony Orio (who is currently being played on Sirius Satellite Country Station) wrote the other song for me after I did a performance with him at Tootsies in Panama City Beach. The musicians on the album are all top notch. My steel player was Tammy Wynette’s steel player. My bass player was on tour with Reba (McEntire). My fiddle and mandolin player toured with Travis Tritt. My guitar player was recently out on tour with Hunter Hayes. The amazing thing about recording in Nashville is that the session players are really great – top notch players!!
JOEL – How much writing do you do?
ASHLYNNE – I still write quite a bit. Song writing is something that I do to express my feelings. It’s something I will always do. My music teacher here, John Navarolli, continues to encourage me with my writing.
JOEL – Your parents have been very supportive of you. Were they supportive right from the beginning or did it take some time for them to realize this is really serious for you? Do you have any siblings as well?
ASHLYNNE – My mom was a music teacher and has always been supportive – even pushy at times! When I was younger she really had to be beside me every step of the way. Sometimes I was a little lazy! But I’ve learned from my mom that there is always room from improvement and that people who work hard have a better chance at getting “lucky”. My dad is amazing. He has always been an example of someone who is very hard working. I can’t fool my dad about anything. If I don’t sound good, he is always honest with me. They are both very supportive and always have been – they just show it in different ways.
I actually have a pretty big family. I have two older brothers, Samuel is 20 (he is also musical, plays piano and sings but he will be mad that I told you that). My other brother, Jordan is 19 and is a good drummer. Then I have a younger sister, Eden, she’s 12. Sometimes Eden and I sing together, but although she likes to sing, we don’t really have the same taste in music.
JOEL – How many times have you been to Nashville? Do you go strictly to record? Do you play anywhere while you’re there?
ASHLYNNE – When we go to Nashville we always have a very full agenda. Usually I have a recording project going on (even if it’s one or two songs). We also have a lot of friends downtown and like to sit in on their shows. I’ve performed at just about every Honky Tonk down on Broadway: Tootsies, Legends, Rippys, Second Fiddle, Stage West, Nashville Street Taco, and my favorite – Honky Tonk Central.
JOEL – Have there been any big highlights while in Nashville at any time like meeting any famous musicians? If so, who? What was it like? Did they hear you sing?
ASHLYNNE – When I was doing my internship, I met most of the famous country artists because our studio was where the radio interviews took place during the CMAs. To name a few, I met Garth (Brooks), Trisha (Yearwood), Jodi Messina, The Swon Brothers, Kip Moore, Joe Nichols, Hunter Hayes, the Nashville Cast. But honestly, everyone was in the studio during that week. It was an amazing whirlwind and something that I was so honored to be a part of!
In addition to meeting artists during that week we often had country acts recording at the studio so I was fortunate to meet many people during my times in Nashville. And I want to mention, that there are brilliant musicians down on Broadway who aren’t “famous” because the whole world wouldn’t recognize their names but they are out there singing sometimes 4, 8, or 12 hour shifts (if they do a triple) and they are honestly heroes in the world of music.
JOEL – You’re still in school. How do you manage and balance your schooling with music? Is it tough?
ASHLYNNE – Sometimes it’s pretty difficult but Centennial High (School)has been so accommodating. I’ve done online courses and various things to make sure that I graduate with my class this year. I will be glad when June comes around.
JOEL – You’re heading back to Nashville on April 17th. How long are you going for and do you have a set number of songs you’re going to record that are already written? You said you are releasing another album this summer. Is this what you’re going to go record?
ASHLYNNE – I plan to be there to record four songs. Recording is actually a lengthy process so we are hoping that we will be able to complete it. Choosing the songs also takes quite a bit of consideration – we have been in the selection mode for several months. Although we are working towards an album release, what will happen first is another single being released to radio. I think we can anticipate that happening sometime in May or June.
JOEL – With one album already out and another on the way at some point, are there plans to go on the road to tour anytime soon? Where would you like to go?
ASHLYNNE – There is a tour in the works. It will include a radio tour, I’m sure. I don’t want to get ahead of myself though. I think that Tony and I will be discussing those upcoming plans while I am in Nashville. He is really a master at putting those details together so I’m going to leave it all up to him!
JOEL – Thank you for your time! Is there is anything else you want to add or plug?
ASHLYNNE – I just want to thank everyone around the Niagara Area for your support. My mom always says that “it takes a village to raise a child”, I’m thankful that Niagara is my village! I’m looking forward to the future – and trying to remember that the joy is in the journey. I feel very blessed to have these opportunities!
JOEL – Thank you Ashlynne! It was great meeting you and talking with you. All the best to you!
If Ashlynne Vince continues down the path she is on, I’m sure it won’t be long before we see a lot more of this future star – and it won’t be at a local bar!
For updates and more connect with Ashlynne Vince at http://ashlynnevince.com/.
Ashlynne Vince’s debut CD Tidal Wave is available at the Seaway Mall in Welland, Ontario at the customer service desk.SHARE THIS POST: