The Nash New Artist Interview – Ashlie Amber

Country singer Ashlie Amber doesn’t have a typical country music background. She grew up playing sports, and when she decided music was the career path for her, she got her start in larger-than-life theatre productions. “I got to experience more than the average artist in Nashville,” she tells us. “I got to play these characters where not only do you have to be vocally talented, but you also have to be adaptable. And you also have to be extremely consistent.”

Amber grew up in a suburb 25 minutes outside of Denver, Colorado, and shocked herself with her powerful vocals while singing in the backseat of the car at six years old. “I think that’s how a lot of girls discover they can sing,” she says. “It was my dad who told me I could sing.” For Amber, music started out as a simple hobby; her siblings and herself were extremely sporty and Amber recalls playing volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball. “Every weekend, if I wasn’t playing in my own game, I was watching my brothers and sisters play. Our whole life revolved around sports.”

When she was only 12, her father got sick and passed away. “When that happened, I just latched onto music,” she states. In high school, she had an epiphany and realized college wouldn’t be for her; the only plan she had in mind going forward was pursuing music. “I don’t have a backup plan, I never had a backup plan, and I never will have a backup plan because music has been my life,” she explains with poise and assertiveness.

She was introduced to country music in high school when the football team danced to Tim McGraw’s iconic ‘90s hit, “I Like It, I Love It.” “Everybody knew the song except for me,” she explains through a soft laugh. “And that’s kind of when my country journey started.” After discovering the genre, she did a deep dive and found that she gravitated towards female acts from the ‘90s like Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, and Reba. She later fell in love with Dolly Parton after discovering she wrote “I Will Always Love You” made famous by Whitney Houston.

Ever since she was 19, she knew she wanted to embark on a country music career. She signed to an independent label that tried to push her in an R&B direction due to her image so she shelved it. She turned to the theatre world where she performed in huge productions such as The Color Purple and Rent. “Musical theatre’s where I learned that performance is sometimes more important than what you actually sound like,” she tells us. “You’re there to entertain. You’re there to allow an escape for your audience from whatever troubles they may be going through that day.”

Through her theatre experience, she discovered opportunities on cruise ships. Each year, she found herself performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people. Amber eventually took it upon herself to put together a Whitney Houston celebration show; Houston was a role model for Amber and her music was a source of utmost comfort after her father had passed. The show was a huge success and took Amber to over 72 countries and helped jumpstart and fund her country music career.

Ashlie Amber

With her extensive knowledge in music, Amber wasn’t new to the industry itself but she sure was new to Nashville. Her debut single, “Almost Love” was released in 2019 on Christmas Day while she was still headlining the Whitney Houston show. “I remember uploading it to TuneCore and just being stressed because I couldn’t figure out how to set up my Artist Spotify profile,” she says. “I was super, super nervous.” Despite her nervousness, Amber continues by saying, “The response has just been incredible. We have so much in the fire right now.”

At the very beginning of the year, she was named as part of Rissi Palmer’s Color Me Country class of 2021. Palmer was one of the few people Amber had seen in the country music community who inspired her. Once she discovered Palmer, she told herself she could make it. “When she reached out to me, I was like, ‘Is this real?,’” she exclaims. “I was over the moon. Just thankful to be seen and be heard and to have a platform to share my voice with somebody who truly understands what it’s like to be somebody that looks like me in this side of the industry.”

So far this year, she’s released three singles. Her most recent track, “Runnin,’” was inspired by a long-term relationship with a boy who lived in her hometown. In the chorus, she sings joyfully about her “Denver boy” who’s also described as her “hometown joy.” “I like to write from a positive point of view,” she says. “I would be on the opposite side of the world, and as soon as I would land, he’d be the first person I’d see. That’s what the song celebrates.”

Later this year, she plans on releasing a quirky music video for “Runnin.’” “I don’t want to give too much away but I’m definitely a superhero in it,” she exclaims. She credits the idea to her affinity for the Marvel franchise explaining that she has seen every movie in chronological order multiple times. She’s also plotting to release a Christmas single when the holiday season rolls around.

To keep up with Amber, follow her on Instagram, TwitterFacebook, and TikTok.

To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok, and don’t miss our brand new newsletter!

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