Coming up with the title of an article isn’t always the easiest job.
Certainly not for lack of character or content from the artist, but sometimes a theme doesn’t quite shout out from an interview as loudly as I would like.
For this article however, it screamed.
Country music artist, Kassi Ashton, is unlike any other artist in country music right now. And that’s saying something.
Thanks to TikTok, GarageBand, and your mom’s basement, the internet is saturated with music, with artists, with songs on just about any topic you could imagine. You can cast a net and come back with dozens of the same voices and sounds and truthfully, the same personalities. It’s human nature to live in the “grey area” but Kassi Ashton says she “hates it.”
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“One of my favorite quotes is an Abraham Lincoln quote that says, “Whatever you are, be a good one,”” Ashton says. “People think the grey area is for everyone and I think it’s for no one. I think humans want to relate and see themselves in you as an artist and that means you have to be somewhat specific.”
That is exactly how she approaches her music. Hell, that’s how she approaches her life.
A quick Google search of Kassi Ashton brings back countless articles describing her as “unapologetic,” “fearless,” and “defying convention.” Keith Urban even called her “a unique creature.” And honey, she lives up to every bit of it.
Signed to UMG Nashville in conjunction with Interscope records, Kassi is one of Nashville’s most compelling artists.
“I’m just me. This was not a package that I came up with beforehand,” Ashton says. It is that overwhelming authenticity that bleeds through her interviews, her music, and their accompanying music videos.
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Her latest single, “Dates in Pickup Trucks” is no exception. The California, Missouri native crafted the song, along with co-writers Luke Laird and David Garcia, to be sonically and visually unlike anything you would expect.
Ashton said of the song, “When we grew up, the mixtape in our vehicles had 90’s R&B and 90’s country. That’s what we rode around to.” It was on that foundation that they built the radio single, melding genres together into music we didn’t know we needed until now. Her smooth vocals together with an R&B-esque beat and the cinematic visuals she created in the music video make for a project unlike anything on radio today.
“I do all the mood boards for all of my music videos, all the artwork for all of my songs. If it’s visual, that’s my sweet spot,” Kassi explains, “I brought my idea for the video to the label and they laughed at me because they’re used to me now, and I remember writing “Outlaw, hot girl, Jesse James fight club on the board.””
Nothing describes that music video so well. Truthfully, it seems to describe Kassi herself.
Her mother was an 18-wheeler trucker that used to play “just as much Aretha as she did “Reba,” her father was a farming “hillbilly” and Kassi herself, is a motorcycle-riding rebel against the grey area. In the same way the title “Dates in Pickup Trucks” left us surprised as to what was inside, a conversation with Kassi will leave you the same way.
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In as many interviews as I’ve done over the years, I have not met someone quite so nitty, gritty, true-to-themselves as Kassi Ashton. She is the anti-role model in that she lives and breathes a life that bucks the system and music society of “mass marketability” and encourages others to just be themselves. “There are people in this industry who celebrate the uniqueness and there are those who are scared by it and want to categorize it for their own brand… and that’s just too bad. I know I’m a specific taste and I couldn’t change me if I tried.”
Thank God for that.
Check out “Dates In Pickup Trucks” available everywhere now.