Ashley J – Dare ya”
Ashley J brings a fascinatingly diverse background, artistically, musically and otherwise, to her emergence into the pop-world.Growing up in Orlando, the multi-talented singer/songwriter held her own with her four brothers and friends by achieving a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 5, and First and Second Degree Black Belts not long after. When she wasn’t training with her brothers and father, she was off with her mom to ballet classes. In her spare time, she was found writing song lyrics on her bathroom wall that her parents had to continuously repaint. Later attending the Dr. Phillips High School of Performing Arts in Orlando, she scored leading roles in theatre, dance and musical productions. T
his one is entitled “Dare Ya,” and it’s a good mix of dance pop and other styles. It’s not hard to get into an artist right away when you hear something like this. You think there’s going be so much more, but in this case that is a disappointment. But Ashley J doesn’t have a huge catalog to draw from. But having said that, she’s definitely going places. This track sets the bar pretty high because it’s an inspiring work. You can’t knock her for pulling out all of the stops and telling it like it is. She just wants to share the zest for life she obviously has. The lyrics say it all in a big way, speaking volumes for what she’s trying to say. It’s about relationships but also individual strength and its behavior patterns. Almost like advice but also comparing one outlook to another. The brighter side wins between the two, but there really is no actual contest. This is a positive message to get out and go for it. Moving from Orlando, FL. to Dallas, TX has seen Ashley through a transition from country to pop, and more of that can be heard on “Cali,” which is another good single but a lot more formulaic that “Dare Ya.” The main reason being less electronica backed. And it even has more of a southern quality to it. She could be taking another turn because of that, but it’s yet to be seen. Daring to do anything is the mentality, so who knows what will come from it. But while it is fresh, it’s easy to describe her enthusiasm. Sometimes that is written in the music and words, sometimes it isn’t. This is anyone’s song that way, and hers all the same. While some are exploring candy pop, this has more moxie to it. But it’s not overly flashy in the process. It’s just that rock and soul music mold together for a good pop sound on this particular Ashley J track. This could draw major interest around the world, as it does hold up a high standard that comes out world class. If you’re into taking chances, this is right up your alley. You’ll be hearing that and more, with a message that delivers with flying colors. The hooks are all in there too, with everything packed into the few minutes a pop tune should. But I can’t rave about everything, as I’d like to hear more sooner than later. I’m definitely on board, because I listen to my share of this style of female pop singers. I really like how she blends a dance groove into a normal pop song, as if she’s been doing it for 30 years. This isn’t something you learn, it’s something you’re born with. And she seems to be a songwriting machine from the sound of “Dare Ya.” I would also stack it right up to some of her peers and influences, such as Christina Agulara. That’s just a taste thing really, because they’re both so different but just as good. It’s kind of hard to focus on just the wrong and not the artist, it’s like reviewing both. But the song itself deals a lot with getting your act together and keeping it that way. Daring to make changes, or whatever it might be that makes life better. But if she didn’t have such a good voice and be such a good writer on this song, I’d just as easily not be inspired. There are so many formulized to dance to artists it’s staggering.
But you get something unique as well as good with Ashley, and it’s honest and accessible without being risqué. These are the qualities I’m pointing out behind what is a great single that anyone can like, and anyone can understand.