Ashland Craft made it in the Top 10 on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice, and despite dreaming of a career in country music, Craft secured herself a spot on another honest, outspoken, female’s team when Miley Cyrus convinced Craft to mentor her on her journey.
Craft has called Nashville her home for under a year but already has secured herself a publishing deal with 50 Egg Music and a record deal with Big Loud Records, and says that her life has been “hit the ground running” since becoming a Nashvillian.
Craft spoke with us to tell us about connecting with her current single, “Trainwreck,” what she learned from Miley on The Voice, and what fans can expect from her in the future.
Celeb Secrets Country: Tell us about your single “Trainwreck” and how you got a hold of it.
Ashland Craft: “‘Trainwreck’ was a song that I had been playing around town before I even knew about it, but then I had someone put me on a show with Channing Wilson (one of the writers) and he played the song and I fell in love with it. I think he was going to release it himself, but I begged him for like, the next year after that to let me release it. Randy [Montana, cowriter of ‘Trainwreck’] already had a version out as well but I wanted to really take Channing’s version, which was a more slow-sad-break your heart-rip your heart out-type version. I wanted to make a good combination of that version with a little bit of a tempo as well and I’m so excited to cut the song and have the opportunity to be vulnerable to people. I like the fact that it’s from a girl’s perspective of talking to a guy and telling him like, ‘I do not have my s–t together. I’m not in any way on the track, I’ll probably break your heart and wreck your life a little bit, but it’s probably worth it, also’. I’ve been single for a couple years now; I’ve really started to focus on my career. I felt like it was the perfect branding song for me and I felt like it could not have been written more perfectly for my life. I was very honored to have the opportunity to put my own spin on it and release it to people, and so far I’ve gotten a great response from men and women. That’s my biggest goal: to appeal to both sides of the spectrum.”
CSC: Do you have any plans to release a music video for the song? If so, what can you tell us about that.
AC: “We’ve definitely been in talks about releasing music videos; we’re trying to decide which song to actually attack first because I have so many I think have a cool storyline to a music video. I want to start with ‘Good Ol’ Girls‘, preferably. We don’t have any dates set yet, but we have definitely been talking about it.”
CSC: In regards to appealing to both sides of the spectrum, you’ve toured with Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen who do have that wide fan base. What has being out on the road and playing live shows taught you?
AC: “I think to multi-task a lot more; I am not a multi-tasker for sure. Just knowing that every little bit of time you have, you need to be doing something; rest is very important. It’s so funny, we thought we were going to have a lot of time to alternate driving and sleep, but honestly there’s not much time to do anything between all that’s going on. So I think my [lesson] has been how to manage my time a little bit better, how to be a little bit more prepared, and just going on the whim if that makes sense. Also, how to take care of yourself, and take care of your voice, and your health. On a positive side it’s been such a great thing to be able to meet people outside of your own bubble. We forget that we’re in one place and we see the same people all of the time, but it’s been so cool to meet other people and see that your music has impacted them just as much as it has your own life. Ultimately it’s been a driving force more than anything. We were going full throttle to nothing, so it has been a weird time for all of us, but I’m ready to get back out there.”
CSC: You were on The Voice Season 13 and had 3 judges turn their chairs for you: Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine. What was it about Miley that made you choose her as your coach and what did you learn from her?
AC: “Initially, the whole time I had it in my head that I would choose Blake and that was still supposed to be the decision when I was standing on stage, I didn’t really think that I was going to have a change of heart. Then Miley and Adam [said their peace], nothing against Blake. I have loved Blake Shelton from the day that I first heard his music and even today he continues to put out hit, after hit, after hit. So that was a weird thing for me. Adam was really adamant to me about going outside the box a little bit, which was kind of eye opening for me because I never saw it like that; I just saw it as Blake’s country so he is going to help me be in the country industry. Then Miley kind of said the same things as well during the blind audition and mentioned she’s close to my age. I think knowing she was close to my age was the one thing that made me want to work with her more and seeing how she chooses to deal with all of the stuff that is being thrown at her. She really pushed me during that time, which I was super grateful for. ‘When I Think About Cheatin’,’ one of the songs that I did on the show, was a very, very, very challenging song for me but she just kept telling me, ‘no, I know you can do this.’ Ultimately it turned out to be one of my favorite performances ever. That’s a lot of what I took away from it. Another thing was how to put my own stamp on cover songs and songs that I didn’t write but still make it seem like I could have written it. When people do cover songs typically they try to sound like the artist or try to replicate it as much as possible, but for me my biggest goal was to be as unique and on brand as possible, and really take the opportunity to show people what I was made of. Overall it was a really beneficial experience.”
CSC: You moved to Nashville after your time on The Voice. How has your life changed since moving?
AC: “My life is completely different, it was just hit the ground running as soon as I started visiting Nashville. After The Voice I took a little bit of a break to decide what I wanted to do and at that time my only logical conclusion at that point was to take the next step and start really diving into Nashville life and songwriting life. So me and two of my band members started visiting one week out of every month leading up to us moving there and that was my opportunity to get to the songwriting world and that introduced me to everybody at 50 Egg Music, so before I even moved they had already offered me a publishing deal. Once I moved, like I said, it was hit the ground running; it was work, work, work. I wrote every single day until quarantine hit, Monday through Friday. It was a whole new world for me and it’s opened my eyes to so much and I was like, ‘oh, there is more to this than just singing’. There’s a whole other world of songwriting and networking and social media stuff, and its all been a huge learning experience but nothing but beneficial because I never saw myself actually being here and actually working. Then I got to meet Big Loud and it felt like a perfect fit for me, as far as a record label goes. I did not even think that I was going to get a record deal offer so soon into being here. I made it clear that I have a very clear vision of who I want to be as an artist and I wanted as much creative control as possible, and they have done nothing but trust me and trust my vision for things. It has been all that I could ask for in terms of getting into this industry, I feel very blessed and very lucky that this is how it went for me.”
CSC: One last question — since we are Celeb Secrets Country. What is one secret fans may not know about you?
AC: “Oh man, I’m always awful with this question. My goal is to get all of my secrets out there through my music. I don’t know if this counts, but I have a very cool collaboration coming out over the next couple of months that I think people are going to be really excited about. It’s allowed me to get into the music that I really love to do. I’m not going to say too much, because I’m really bad at keeping secrets, but I’m really excited about this collaboration and I think it’s going to be very awesome. So that’s my secret, that’s about all I’ve got!”