Featured Photo Credit: Clyde Monroe
Music has always been a passion for Baltimore singer/songwriter Ashley Kutcher. However, when it came time to choose a field of study, she followed another passion, nursing.
Between clinicals and classes, she began posting demos to TikTok. Songs like “Lust” and the tweet inspired “Love You From a Distance” caught the attention of thousands of viewers, as well as major record labels.
With a diploma in hand and a nursing job secured, she found herself at a crossroad to pursue nursing or music.
She ultimately chose music and signed to Darkroom/Interscope Records. Since inking the deal, she has released relatable tracks including “If I Could” and her latest single “Favorite What If.”
We chatted with Ashley Kutcher about her new single, writing, and what fans can look forward to next!
You just got signed to Darkroom/Interscope Records. What has it been like to experience the launch of your career during Quarantine?
This experience has been very surreal. It was hard to wrap my head around it since it happened online over quarantine. With things slowly opening back up, I’m finally able to work with other creators and it’s starting to feel much more real. The opportunity to work with Darkroom/Interscope and have a chance at this career means the world to me.
Was music something that you always wanted to pursue and what made you decide to pursue it?
Music was always a passion of mine, but never a career path. I grew up surrounded by music and learned how to play instruments and sing at a young age. When it came to choosing a career path in college, I went for nursing. I continued to practice music and perform live whenever I wasn’t studying, working, or in a hospital shift. Once I started gaining fans and receiving positive feedback on my music, I felt that people were actually listening. I was comfortable walking away from a nursing career once I could see I was really helping people with my music.
What inspired your label debut, “If I Could”?
“If I Could” was a song my friends and I wrote about wishing you could take the pain away from someone. It was the first song I released that wasn’t written based off of my personal experiences. However, I was able to find my own meaning in the song as it was being written. Most people have had an experience in their life where they have to watch someone they love go through a difficult time. This song encapsulates all of those emotions.
Why was the message of this song something that was important for you to share?
When I received the first draft of “If I Could”, I was in awe of how beautiful it came together. Although the song was written about someone else’s experience, I could relate to the lyrics, and when I posted it online, I found that other people were also relating. The song just needed to be out there for everyone to hear.
What inspired the music video? & what was it like shooting the music video?
The music video was so fun to shoot. It was the first video I made with my team at Darkroom/Interscope and the vision really came together. I wanted to involve the concept of time in the form of an hourglass, clock, or countdown. The director, Clyde Monroe, was able to take my concept and use projectors to make it come to life.
Where did the concept for your upcoming single, “Favorite What If” come from?
“Favorite What If” is a song about not ending up with someone you thought you might and just always wondering, “what if?” I feel that we have all asked ourselves “what if” a time or two in our lives, especially when it comes to relationships. The lyrics revolve around young love and just always wondering what could have been.
What was it like to write this song?
This song was written over a virtual zoom session. I wanted to focus on the theme of young love and summer. Right off the bat, I started by visualizing the ocean. Almost as if the person listening to the song is standing by the water, remembering all the times they had with someone. The writing process for this song was very short. I honestly think most of my best songs are written so quickly, like everything just flows out.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to your music, what do you imagine it looking like?
I think that it would be in a concert setting. I started out online by singing my songs with only my guitar for people to hear. A small, intimate setting with a small band and light set up would really fit the whole vibe.
What has it meant to you to see your music resonate with so many people?
It has meant everything to me. My entire life has changed because of my music resonating with people. I ended up completely walking away from nursing to sign to an amazing record label because of people that listen to my music. I can’t wait to keep writing and release more music.
What can fans look forward to next?
A lot more music. I have been writing music for months and I’m so excited because I have many songs that I love just waiting to be released. I plan on releasing more music shortly and then performing it all live for as many people as I can!
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
A high school teacher taught me this famous quote by Charles R. Swindoll and I live by it everyday. It says, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This quote has been even more helpful when transitioning into the music industry. Music is not a clear cut path and while things may not always go your way, you’re able to control how you move forward and that’s what really matters.