As heard on Clear Country Night’s, Samantha’s “Artist of the Week” is Kassi Ashton!
Kassi Ashton grew up right here in Mid-Missouri in the small town of California. She’s Kassi, with a “K”, ’cause her daddy named her that way … and says she can’t even get a key chain with her name on it.
I think that is going to change very soon.
She’s from the “Show-Me State” and she is showing Music City what she’s made of. Kassi is in pursuit of the artist life and she is making leaps and bounds. Ashton was signed to Luke Laird’s Creative Nation publishing before she even graduated college at Belmont University. Before long, she was a regular performer for Song Suffragettes (a weekly all female singer/songwriter round that takes place at the Listening Room Cafe in Nashville). She’s gone on to sign with UMG Nashville in conjunction with Interscope Records (Dec. 2017) and was also named one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country”.
Her first major single release was the namesake of her hometown, “California, Missouri” – a song Kassi says is the only one she ever knew she wanted to write.
As told to CMT:
“In Country music, a lot of songs heavily romanticize hometowns, and I think that’s beautiful. But mine was a little different. It’s a double-edged sword in that I love it, but I love to leave it. I was as honest and as real to my phrasing and my opinions as possible. I want kids who had the same experience as I did in a small town to have a song for them and to have someone they can connect with. I want the people there to know I love them, but I also want them to know it was not the easiest thing growing up there and being different.”
Maybe she doesn’t paint the most idyllic picture of small town life, but it’s a real picture for her and for so many that can relate to the emotions she evokes in her music.
Kassi Ashton’s individuality comes through in her music and personality and has caught the attention of many, including superstar Keith Urban. He describes her as “such a unique, original creature”. Maybe that’s why he’s included her on his latest album, Graffiti U, in a collaboration on a song called “Drop Top”.
There hasn’t been an official release date for any LP for Kassi as of yet. However, I predict there to be some sort of project out this year as she just released another single, “Taxidermy” (written by former featured Artist of the Week, Puxico, MO native, songwriting dynamo and Kassi’s self-proclaimed “sister from another mister”, Natalie Hemby) this past Friday.
After playing the music festival circuit this year (SXSW, Stagecoach), Kassi is set to perform again this year at CMA Fest in Nashville (June 7-10).
This year on the Breakout Stage – next year, Nissan Stadium???
As heard on Clear Country Night’s:
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