With her pending 2012 debut album, GMV Nashville artist Ashley Forrest is set to make a strong impression on Country music fans everywhere.
Earlier this year, the 23-year-old singer finished recording her first full-length album in Nashville, an experience that paired Forrest with Grammy-nominated Country music producer Mark Moffatt. Under Moffatt's expert direction, and armed with a collection of songs from some of Music City's finest songwriters, the resulting album turned out much like Ashley herself: polished, poised, and with just the right amount of attitude and mischief for good measure!
"It was such a pleasure and an honor to work with producer Mark Moffatt," says Forrest. "Not only is he amazing at what he does, but we had such a fun time in the studio making this record! I couldn't be more excited about the way this album came together, and I can't wait for people to hear it!"
Songs from the upcoming release include the fiery "What I Did Last Night" and "Try and Stop Me," the bluegrass-inspired "Pouring Over Me" and the edgy "Eyes Wide Open," while tracks like "Just Fall" and "If That's Alright With You" showcase a softer, more emotional side from Ashley. The material may be rooted in traditional Country instrumentation, with dobro, banjo and mandolin throughout, but the production puts a glossy, Pop spin on the finished product.
Forrest attributes that Pop-Country sound to the success of many of today's modern female Country artists, including superstars Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, but also iconic trailblazers like Shania Twain. On the male side, Ashley cites artists Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts as important influences. And although she may take artistic cues from all of these acts in some form or fashion, Ashley believes her own appeal comes from the genuine, down-home sensibilities that were instilled in her as a young girl.
"I want to be perceived by my fans as I really am," says Forrest. "I'm a down-to-earth girl who goes through heartache, love, happiness and sorrow just like everyone else. I want to be an artist everyone can relate to, but I want to be a positive role model for kids and young adults, too. I write from personal experience, and that's what I love most about Country music - that it's real."
The striking young artist from Crofton, Maryland, originally had her sights set on a career as a college chorus teacher, but just couldn't shake the allure of performing. A brief stint working at a local Baltimore area radio station changed her mind and her career direction once and for all.
"When I worked at the radio station, I got a real look at what a DJ actually does," Forrest recalls. "And the longer that I was there, the more I realized that I didn't want to be the person pushing the buttons and playing other people's music, I wanted to be the person making the music!"
Unquestionably, Ashley Forrest made the right decision.