The 2017 Nash Next challenge is down to 10 finalists, and in the lead-up to the announcement of the champion on Nov. 1, NCD will be profiling each of the 10 finalists.
Today, we are getting to know Ashley Jordan.
In May, Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group invited aspiring country artists and bands to participate in Nash Next 2017, a grassroots talent search and artist development program for country music. Sponsored nationally by Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, the winner of the competition will receive a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group and garner substantial exposure, commensurate with a major-label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.
The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of country radio professionals and will be judged in the finale by a group that includes Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks and Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group. The 10 finalists will perform at the 2017 Nash Next finale event at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public.
How did you get started in music?
I started when I was around 12 years old by learning to play the guitar, singing and writing music. I started doing a few open mics, but I really started performing in public when I met my mentor, John Gerard, who was a street performer in Boston and was also a featured artist at some of the open mics I went to. He was so passionate and just an incredible musician. I asked him to teach me guitar. I decided at the age of 13 that I wanted to street perform and try out my new music. I got a battery-powered PA and hit the streets of Boston and Cambridge, and I made a lot of money and people started asking me to come inside and play at their venues.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
I think I knew when I was 13. I was pretty certain at that time that music was the only thing I wanted to do. I was in school, but eventually I had to pull away from the typical school events and stay focused on my music career. Eventually I signed up for “dual enrollment” in school so I could take college classes for credit and not have to be in high school full time. That allowed me to stay out late at shows and do other things than the typical high school kid.
What three words describe you?
Passionate, emotional, dedicated.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Lori McKenna, Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Sturgill Simpson and Garth Brooks.
What is unique about your sound?
My sound is raw and authentic. I write all of my own music and it’s very personal and easy to relate to.
What three albums would you take with you to a deserted island?
James Taylor’s Greatest Hits, Lori McKenna’s Lorraine and The Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow.
What’s a song you wish you had written?
“Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert.
What was the first concert you attended?
Rascal Flatts. It was amazing!
What’s the last song you heard that blew you away?
“Yours” by Russell Dickerson.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Baggage Claim” by Miranda Lambert.
Where is the craziest place you’ve performed?
I performed a show on the top of Mount Snow in Vermont. I got to the venue with all my gear and learned that I had to ride up on a ski lift with my guitars and sound equipment. It was crazy.