Songs I Grew Up On with Kassi Ashton

This past Tuesday, we talked to singer-songwriter Kassi Ashton during our latest segment of Songs I Grew Up On! Fresh off a successful CMA Fest performance, this Nashville native took us on a journey through her childhood, through the five songs that made her the artist she is today. “It didn’t matter in my house if it was a country song or not,” Ashton said. “I didn’t grow up with any sense of genre…The category in my house was power females. It wasn’t instrumentation.” So, get ready to listen to some powerhouse performances from five iconic women who made names for themselves blurring the lines of musical genre and as a result, inspired Ashton to do the same.

1. “Fancy” by Reba McEntire

Ashton’s musical roots run deep. “My mom was born and raised in Nashville,” she explained. “She grew up singing, my sister grew up singing…I didn’t have a choice. I was going to be a singer. I remember growing up, that song was always playing because it was about overcoming struggle and using what you’ve got in a power female anthem.” And according to Ashton, when her mother sings, she sounds exactly like Reba. “If mom passed you the hairbrush or the broom and you messed up one of those verses…grounded.”

2. “I Just Want to Make Love to You” by Etta James

This song is from Etta James’ At Last, record played on repeat in Ashton’s house: “My sister and I were raised to just sit in our power and be comfortable with ourselves, our sexuality, and the sultriness you could put into a song; that song had all of that.”

3. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

They are a few popular covers of this Fleetwood Mac song, but Ashton prefers the original. “That was the first version I learned,” she said. “That was the one I was raised on. My mom was obsessed with Stevie Nicks and so that got passed down, that sort of witchy, take-no-bullshit, write it into the words.” Listening to it was an emotional experience for Ashton. “I remember as a kid not understanding what it meant but feeling something nonetheless, and then as I got older and I grew with the song, I thought, ‘Oh, I get it now.’”

4. “Kerosene” by Miranda Lambert

Ashton recalls that hearing Miranda Lambert sing this song for the first time as well as watching the corresponding music video was a defining moment for her own artistic journey. In the video, Lambert pours gasoline everywhere, prepared to burn her past to the ground.

Ashton said It made her realize that’s what she wanted to do too: become a genuine badass of her industry.

5. “Someone Like You” by Adele