We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Keene and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Ultimately, I’m inspired by powerful people who feel so free in who they are. Getting specific, Prince and his IDGAF attitude, Oprah, my mom, and Kill Bill.
Rock and roll and soul music give me life and fuel my soul.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m most proud of just being where I am at today. I’m a person that if I say I’m going to do something, I will actually do it. So looking back, I can say I have manifested where I am at. Of course, I want to go so much further in this industry as well, but I trust the process and good things can take time. No, this has not been an easy ride. But I don’t think anything in life really is? Thats what makes it beautiful and even more so rewarding. I learn a lot from the hardships I’ve had in my life. I turn those times into empowerment and often into songs, to be completely honest. I like to turn the pain into beauty and art.
Along the way, I’ve learned you must truly love yourself and trust yourself. Don’t worry about anyone else or what anyone else says but you. It’s so important to listen to your intuition and I’ve learned to do that more on this journey as well. It all starts with you. You must take care of yourself and feel grounded in yourself to be able to do anything else well or help other people in any way. Once you have that, start to take people in. Your neighbor, your coworker, that clerk at the grocery store- a little kindness and understanding goes a long way and truly adds to your journey. Slow down and really open your eyes to the world around you. You might start to see things in a different way.
I’m also constantly learning to never give up. If your intuition is telling you something, listen to it and never give up. There is a reason for it. Trust and proceed. My dad always tells me “EOT” which means “Eye of the Tiger”. Yes, we love Rocky, but we love the message even more. Keep the focus. Sometimes your strength weakens or you lose yourself a little on the way, but you are capable of overcoming anything. Get back up, and get back to it.
I want the world to know that you’ve got this. Anything you want to do, you actually can do it. Don’t listen to anyone else but you. And that can be easier said that done, of course. But keep your head down and put the headphones on from the naysayers and go! Use that negative talk you are hearing as fuel to put a fire underneath you even more! I’m rooting for you!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, let’s pretend everything in Los Angeles was open and this was in a few months time where things were semi back to “normal”. Malibu would definitely be on the itinerary. A cute lunch with some lobster rolls might be in the cards or something a little more sceney like Soho House Malibu if that’s the vibe she wants. Maybe its just a little bring your own picnic on the beach with a bottle of wine cause the more chill and intimate thing is often the most fun.
For night time fun, we’d definitely hit up the live music scene. Depending on who was playing where, Hotel Cafe is my favorite home away from home venue. Its a magical spot. Harvard and Stone is another favorite. Might have to hit up Good Times at Davey Waynes or BreakRoom 86 as well because both are a good time.
If we wanted to escape from LA, I would say lets go to Palm Springs for a few days as long as we could get a house with a good pool and just be around the pool all day. Luckily, my best friend never cares about a “scene” and just wants to spend time with me and that’s how I feel as well.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have so many people who have helped me along this journey. My team who I’m slowly building means the world to me. This includes photographers I work with, the DP for my last music video, my director, my choreographer, the dancers who danced for me, and the list goes on.
As of late, I’ve been fine tuning my message as an artist which I give thanks to Father Bronques and fellow artist Morris The Friend. Go check both of them out on social media. if you’re an artist of any kind, go follow Father Bronques. He’s east coast real talk so only if you’re cut out for that kind of thing, but he will give you a good kick in your booty (in the best way). Morris The Friend is another music artist who really is something special.
Devon Keene, Gerrad Wilson, Ghazal Sheei, Tsarina Merrin, Anna Azarov