Sometimes, all it takes for the world to pay attention is an amazing voice, raw talent and good Wi-Fi! With over 25 million streams, 22-year-old singer-songwriter Ashley Kutcher has captivated us with her powerful voice and relatable lyrics. Her breakout single, “Love You From A Distance,” has connected with Canadian music fans so much, Canada is now the home of Ashley’s second-largest fan base!
From pursuing a nursing degree at Towson University in her home state of Maryland, to singing in local bars across Baltimore, Ashley is now one of the latest artists to sign with The Darkroom, home to multi-GRAMMY Award winner Billie Eilish. During these uncertain and isolated times, Ashley Kutcher has made her mark on the world with authenticity and undeniable talent.
Watch the acoustic version of her single “Love You From A Distance”
1. What albums and artists affected you most growing up?
I grew up listening to all kinds of music. My dad was big into reggae, so I always remember listening to Bob Marley. When I got a little older, I started going to every live music event I could get my hands on. My dad took us to see artists such as Ziggy Marley, Billy Joel, and Lennon Stella. I also attended a ton of music festivals such as Firefly, Made in America, and Breakaway to discover new music. I would say my biggest influences are Billy Joel, Hozier, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, The 1975, The Band Camino, James Bay, and Lennon Stella.
I started going to every live music event I could get my hands on.
2. How did where you grew up shape your sound?
I grew up in Bel Air, Maryland which was definitely not like a Nashville or LA. I went to school in Baltimore, Maryland and started to find more opportunities for music. I think growing up in a smaller music scene was very helpful in being able to book a whole bunch of live gigs. Aside from where I grew up, my family definitely had an influence in introducing me to music. Over the years, my dad built an entire music studio room in our basement and that’s where my sister and I began to sing and play guitar. Our most fun memories when we were younger always included us singing karaoke all night in the basement.
3. What’s your writing and recording process like?
I’ve always preferred to just sit down and sing with an acoustic guitar, and that’s how I still write most of my songs today. I usually come up with lyrics while I’m driving or sitting on my bathroom floor. Then, I’ll record really awful voice memos of the songs and send them to a producer I’m working with at the time. For beats, sometimes I’ll basically beatbox the sounds I want and where I want them to go. One time, we actually just recorded me beatboxing and edited it to sound like the instruments we wanted. I have always wanted to learn music production but the technology really frustrates me. Maybe one day, I’ll learn!
4. What instruments and/or technical equipment do you most often use to make your music?
The majority of my songs start with just me and my guitar. After a year of me fighting with Logic and different equipment, I finally have a simple vocal recording set up at home. Especially with COVID, it was important for me to record vocals from where I live and then send them to the producer I’m working with.
5. Are there key themes to the songs you write? Tell us about them.
I draw inspiration from a number of different places, whether they be experiences others share with me or things I have experienced on my own. A lot of songs that I’ve released have been about relationships, but the songs I have coming are all different themes.
6. What other music have you been listening to recently? Who is one of your favourite new discoveries (current or past artists)?
I love this question because there are thousands of artists out there that I listen to and I could never possibly include them all in one sentence. To name a couple, I’ve recently discovered The Band Camino, Tate McRae, and bülow.
7. Who do you stan the hardest online? What campaigns have you liked recently?
I have a few people I’ve been obsessed with online recently. I spend a lot of time on YouTube or listening to podcasts throughout the day. My favorite YouTubers currently are Olivia Neill, Lauren Giraldo, and Mia Pham, and my favorite podcast is Crime Junkie.
8. Can you provide a description of your music for music fans who are just discovering you?
I revolve most of my music around storytelling. I believe music should always make you feel something and it comes from two parts; the lyrics and the cadence. Lyrics are what people listen to and can relate to, but it’s all about how you sing them. You want people to feel what you’re saying and I try to do that by keeping in a vocal crack or holding out a note a second too long. I’ve often re-recorded lines solely because I just wasn’t in the right mindset to actually feel what I was saying. It’s so important.
Lyrics are what people listen to and can relate to, but it’s all about how you sing them.
9. What are the most important topics to you in modern society right now? How do they relate to your music?
Pursuing a nursing career in college exposed me to a lot. I’ve always had a fascination with mental health. We’re all so different and every person you walk past on the street is going through something you don’t know about. I want to help people, especially kids, understand that there are resources available. I could go on about this topic all day but in general, I think it’s important to teach self-care and how to cope with the challenges that life throws at you. Turning those feelings, good or bad, into songs is how I’ve helped cope and express myself. To me, it’s like therapy; turning emotions into music. It’s funny, I always wanted to be a nurse because I wanted to help people and now, people reach out to me all the time to tell me how I’ve helped them with my music. That means the world to me.
To me, it’s like therapy; turning emotions into music.
10. What’s one thing you want the world to know about you?
My life has taken a complete turn. I was about to be a full-time registered nurse three months ago and now I’ve been given the opportunity to pursue music full-time. I have no clue where I’ll be three months or three years from now, but I hope it involves sharing my music with as many people as I can.