Mason Ashley is one of our favorite up-and-coming artists. Her voice is so angelic but it's her emotional honesty that really shines through. We talked to her about new music, being vulnerable, and staying true to yourself.
Tell me about your song “Show and Tell” what’s the story behind it?
Mason: “Show and Tell” is a very personal song that I think so many people, and especially young women, can relate to. It’s about getting through heartbreak and coming out the other side stronger. “Show and Tell” is a song inspired by one of the first times in my life that I really felt heartbreak. I wrote the song when I was sixteen and I still connect with it. It’s about the in between stage of trying make everyone believe you’re okay, and finally being okay.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
Mason: I’ve been inspired by growth. I’m at such an exciting, terrifying, and transitional point in my life and I’m trying to use that in my writing. I’m 20 years old and I have so much going on but all my friends are changing too...moving, finishing college, getting engaged or married, having kids. There’s a lot of complex emotions that come with growing up and change. It always helps me to sort out my fears and thoughts on paper even if I never record the song or send it out into the world.
Your song “Lie to Me” was nominated for Best Pop Song of the Year, how does it feel to get the recognition?
Mason: It was such an incredible honor to be nominated for Best Pop Song. It’s so rewarding to work for years on something you’re passionate about and have other people recognize it as talent. I never imagined that I would be nominated for anything anytime soon, and the fact that I got to end this year on such a high note is so encouraging for my future.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Mason: One of the biggest challenges has probably been putting myself out there. I used to be kinda shy when I was younger, and being a singer/songwriter means really having to put yourself out there. This career involves taking a lot of risk and being told “no”. You have to be vulnerable enough to be honest but tough enough to know that not everyone will like you...and that’s ok.
Do you feel like it’s hard to be so vulnerable?
Mason: I’m a very private person and I honestly don’t love people to know much about me, so it’s kind of crazy to think that I can pour myself into my music so easily. I have no issues writing open and honestly. Sometimes before I release a song, I will get a little nervous thinking about people I know and strangers hearing my deepest and most private stories and emotions. But songwriting is such a part of me that while I’m writing lyrics, I don’t even think about what I’m saying or who will hear it..I’m just using it as a form of therapy to help myself and then hopefully in turn help others.
How do you make sure that you’re staying true to yourself?
Mason: I never force myself to write and I only write songs that mean something to me and have inspiration behind them. Songwriting keeps me grounded and reminds me of who I am. Anytime I’m confused or going through something tough, putting it into music really helps me figure out what I’m feeling. I feel like I can’t lose myself if I’m always discovering new parts of myself.