With Black History month in full-swing, Celeb Secrets Country would like to feature a rising star that has been elevating the country music scene with her matchless sound, but is also known for leaving a trace of glitz and glamour everywhere she goes – this powerful vocalist is Ashlie Amber.
The fierce country-pop artist is no stranger to the entertainment industry, as she quickly learned the importance of being true and honest with oneself in order to stand out above the rest. After receiving a few “no’s” in the world of music, Amber took it amongst herself to control her own destiny and make a career she always wanted. Therefore, with entrepreneurial spirit running through her veins and a creative mindset, the breakthrough artist quickly put her name on the map. In fact, she even placed a title on a nameless genre of music, known as now “Country Vogue,” in which Anna Wintour would even approve of.
“‘Country Vogue’ stemmed from people in the industry giving me a slight bit of pushback on my image. People are like, ‘well, you’re not like the typical, country artist’ and I’m like, ‘I know, I rock a giant frohawk,’” says Ashlie Amber during an exclusive Celeb Secrets Country interview.
“I didn’t start the genre. I just put a name to it because when you look at Shania Twain, she’s not traditional country. And I love Shania Twain. She started this genre back in the day and with her look with her image, and she’s not a typical country artist either. She doesn’t have the typical twang, you know, that is associated with country music,” she adds.
With a little help from icons who paved the way before her, Amber decided to embrace her authentic self and drop a new sexy single called “Those Nights.” The recently released track marks a milestone in Ambers career, as it is the first-ever self-penned piece she launched.
With that being said, Celeb Secrets Country sat down (virtually) with Amber to talk about her new track “Those Nights,” how she became a women empowerment trailblazer, and how she embodies the definition of #blackgirlmagic. Learn more about Ashlie Amber by reading our full Q&A below.
You can keep up with Ashlie by giving them a follow on
Celeb Secrets Country: Who is Ashlie Amber? Could you tell us about yourself?
Ashlie Amber: “I am from Thornton, Colorado, it’s a small town outside of Denver. So that’s where I grew up. I spent my whole life there. That’s where I fell in love with country music because everybody around me listened to country music. After high school, I was signed to an independent label. I was doing some stuff in that but wasn’t really the market I wanted to do. So I kind of had to discover new ways to perform. Which lead me to perform all over Colorado doing musical theater, which then led me to do regional theater all over the US which then led to cruise ships, which allowed me to eventually circle back right here to country, which is where we’re at right now. So I have quite a background.”
Celeb Secrets Country: Who are some of your music inspirations?
Ashlie Amber: “I think anybody who knows me automatically knows who my first one is, and that is Ms. Whitney Houston. She’s an icon. She’s beautiful. I mean, her voice is just, it’s one of a kind, it’s one in a generation, multiple generations. But on top of that, a black woman in pop music, she really broke barriers and she showed the world that we can be pop icon icons and we can be stars. That’s why we have the Beyonce, Rihanna, and all the other people that followed after is because of what she was able to do with her career.”
CSC: Your new single “Those Nights” just dropped on Friday, February 26 – could you tell us about this hot new track?
AA: “I think all performers say this about all of their songs, but I am so excited for this single. So, this is the first single that I actually wrote myself. I wrote the lyrics and the melody and my co-writer is Morgan Matthews who just landed a number one with Alicia Keys on the U S adult billboard charts. So, I’m just over the moon because I’m in such great company. Also, to be able to truly share my voice and to be able to share, you know, my voice and like my perspective of things and just a little bit about my life is, is great.”
CSC: Could you share the inspiration behind the lyrics?
AA: “There are lots of things going on in the world right now and I think music and entertainment have always been an escape for people. So, I like to, focus on the more positive aspects of things. So this is about a relationship, the fire, the passion, you know, when you meet somebody and you’re just like kind of engulfed into them and like, you just want to be with them all the time. And so that’s kind of what this song is. It’s very playful and, you know, and other genres of music, they would call this baby-making music.
This track was very inspired by Sam Hunt and Shania Twain. I don’t want to give too much away of a song, but when I say Sam Hunt and Shania Twain when you think about some of their ballads and stuff like that, and when you listen to “Those Nights,” then you will totally understand what I’m saying.”
CSC: “Those Nights” is a career milestone for you because this is the first track you penned, how and why did you go down this path?
AA: “COVID has been very difficult and I was booked all the way through until this year with dates, but I lost all of them due to COVID. So, I had no choice, but to focus my energy elsewhere. I finally had the time to put the pen down to paper and write. It was a combination of having the freedom, having, you know, the mental freedom to be able to do it.”
It was also a combination of somebody who had commented, somebody in the industry that I won’t say who they are, but they said that I wasn’t authentic enough. I was like, “what does that even mean?” “What are you trying to say?” Because, you know, country music is so heavily influenced and it has always been influenced by R&B and soul they are cut from the same cloth, but then also now you have this huge hip hop art influence within country music. I mean, you have Morgan Wallen doing songs with Diplo. You have Sam Hunt and teaming up with Breland. I mean, you have all these like crazy things. So I was like, “what does that even mean?” And I was like, fine. You don’t think I’m authentic, I’ll show you authentic. And I decided to write, and I wrote 14 songs in 14 days and we cut.”
CSC: What is it like to be a black artist in today’s climate?
AA: “Being an artist, this is not easy. being in the entertainment industry, just in general, whether you’re a singer, whether you’re an actress, a model, it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter what it is. The entertainment is just, it’s just a hard world to be in. I’ve always been a person that has kind of been an outsider, you know, growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, you know, we were the only black family. So, I was always different, I always just naturally marched to my own drum and matched naturally like found my own way with things.
CSC: You have your own genre of music called “Country Vogue,” could you teach us about this new genre?
AA: “ ‘Country Vogue’ stemmed from people in the industry giving me a slight bit of pushback on my image, people are like ‘well, you’re not like the typical, country artists. And I’m like, I know I rock a giant frohawk.’ I kept getting pushed back, but I’m a very stubborn and I, I believe in being true to who you are, my hair is naturally curly and I’ve been rocking the frohawk for almost a decade. This is just who I am. This is who I’ve always been.
I didn’t start the genre. I just put a name to it because when you look at Shania Twain, she’s not traditional country. And I love Shania Twain. She started this genre back in the day and with her look with her image, and she’s not a typical country artist either. She doesn’t have the typical twang, you know, that is associated with country music. She just sang really great music that people could relate to and she’s gorgeous. I’m taking my lead from the greats that have already come before me, like Shania Twain, like Dolly Parton and, and, you know, like Maren Morris, like all those girls, that I would consider Country Vogue.”
CSC: Your main goals and dreams, are to become one of the first black females to dominate the country’s top 40. Could you tell Celeb Secrets about this dream?
AA: “If anybody doesn’t really know some of the history behind that statement – This is 2021 and there has yet to be a black female artist in the top 40. And one thing I want to make clear is I don’t want to ride on the coattails of the fact that I’m a black woman. I am who I am. I can’t change it. It’s just what it is. And I am, I’m very proud, but I want people to love my music and my work ethic and my content and the things that I’m creating, but I can’t, I can’t hide the fact that I’m a black woman. When you look at the facts, there just hasn’t been one to dominate and who knows why?
I started this journey long before these recent conversations started, which tells me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and when I’m supposed to be there. I think with any artists, we all have dreams of being a trailblazer, being the first, being a pioneer and this is one of those opportunities.”
CSC: We are seeing some more representation in the country music scene. On the CMT “Next Women of Country,” there are a few black vocalists on the list! We would love to know your thoughts on that?
AA: “It’s so awesome to see because, you know, just a few years ago, it was almost like there was nobody there. Like we were non-existent, but now it’s like, we are here, and we are not going anywhere.”
CSC: Since we are Celebs Secrets, do you have any secret projects in the pipeline? It can be associated with your career. It can be a passion project.
AA: “I do have a couple of things going on right now, but I can’t quite talk about them just yet because I have to wait for announcements and official things to come out. But, I am really, really excited for this upcoming opportunity, it’s definitely going to be a game-changer.”