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Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview with Country Chart-Topper Ashley Puckett

Ashley, it’s great to have you here. Let’s start from the beginning. Can you share a bit about your journey into music and how your upbringing in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, influenced your musical path?

Hi! Thank you for taking some time with me today!
My musical journey started when I was only about 5 years old when I sang my first song from the Dixie Chicks. Sometimes I like to say it even started before, because my mother would sing to me all the time When I was little, and there was always country music playing.  Growing up, I had a great childhood. I was a happy child, always had my parents support for anything I wanted to do.  I didn’t want for anything.  Still to this day, my parents are my biggest fan.  I remember growing up I was writing songs on my swing set outside in the summer. Music was just part of me growing up all the way to where I am now.

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You mentioned being inspired by artists like Lee Ann Womack, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert. How have these influential figures shaped your style and approach to songwriting and performing?

I love traditional county music. And gals like Miranda allow me to still do what I do because a lot of this genre is moving to pop country, and there’s listeners out there that still want to hear some good ol’ country tunes.  My influences are those who I can follow a path of success and motivation no matter the set backs, and those who have paved ways for others.  These women, among others showed me at an early age that you can be yourself and stick to your roots, and more success will come from that.

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At age sixteen, you picked up the guitar and began writing songs. What was it about songwriting that drew you in, and how did you hone your skills as a songwriter over the years?

Yes, learning to play guitar was a very big part of taking my songwriting to the next level.  For me, songwriting came early also.  It’s always been an outlet for me to express myself.  I’m a very good listener, but when it comes to talking,I usually say it better in song.  It’s a way to remember the good times and help me get through the bad. And the thing is, I’m not the only one who goes through those emotions, so it’s a way to share a way of healing for others, too.

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Your debut album, “Never Say Never,” was a lifelong dream come true. Can you tell us about the process of bringing this album to life and working with industry professionals like Bryan Cole and Doug Kasper?

It truly was nothing short of a dream come true!  I love being on stage, and writing songs, but the part where you get to work with like minded, talented individuals and see your work come to life and share a million creative moments together is by far my favorite part of making music. It’s been a while now since I’ve been in the studio, and I miss it very much!

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The first single from your album, “Medicine,” charted nationally and received widespread acclaim. What was the inspiration behind this song, and how did it feel to see it resonate with audiences?

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When I heard that song for the first time, it spoke to my heart because it was just so raw and beautiful.  There’s an innocence about that one that I felt could touch many different types of people just like it did me. I love acoustic love song, easy listening music, and this one was all of that wrapped in one.
I knew this song had to be part of my debut album because it was a perfect fit to my traditional style, my vocals, and love for beautiful melodies. I love how the audience has taken an immediate interest in me and this song and helped start my mainstream music career.

 “Bulletproof,” released on your birthday, became a #1 iTunes hit in South Africa, and a #1 Radio Hit in the US. What was your reaction to the song’s success, and did you expect it to have such a significant impact?

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Oh my gosh, it was such a surprise to me!  Honestly, when that happened, it gave me a whole new look on my accomplishments to that moment and made me realize that every little success until then had contributed to that very moment.  So I till this day appreciate the little things and the little successes a lot more because I know they will lead to much more.  I was also very surprised to learn about the culture in South Africa and how they outsource music and love country! That was very cool to learn!  I’d love to visit there sometime!

Your single, “What’s Her Name,” was also a radio hit. Can you give us a glimpse into the inspiration behind this track and what listeners should expect from it?

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This one was very fun to record!  It’s very “done me wrong, cheating song country” haha.  A lot of us have unfortunately been in that situation, and it was finally a moment to sing about it!  You put so much into something and give your all to someone who would just rather take it for granted and not show the decency to you that the relationship isn’t working out, they go out and cheat and then play at home like it’s all good and perfect. You’re blind sided. Naturally it makes you wonder who she is and what’s her name.

You mentioned that meeting Bryan and Doug reignited your passion for music and inspired you to pursue your dreams. What is it about your collaboration with them that makes it so special, and how has it influenced your creative process?

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In so many ways!  This opportunity when we all met and decided to move forward gave me my chance at country music.  So I knew my life was changing I just didn’t know how or what to expect.  Throughout the process of making the album, I leaned a lot about the industry and a lot about myself.  I think this project made me a better artist both creatively and professionally.  As I mentioned earlier, when I have the chance to be in the studio, it became my favorite part of my entire career. Just getting to create music from nothing and see it turn into a masterpiece with a bunch of talent in the room making it possible is just beyond amazing.  It also inspired me to keep writing – not that it was going away, but because I saw that the words I put on paper were not just words anymore with an A-cappella melody,  it was a radio hit. That people liked!

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With your new single, “Anchor,” on the horizon, what can fans anticipate from this latest release, and how does it fit into the larger narrative of your musical journey?

I’m very excited to share this one!  I wrote this song on a birthday vacation in Florida. I love the sea and I get most my inspiration lately it seems from the ocean.  This song is a pretty melody, vocal and simple yet story telling song.  My favorite instrument you don’t hear much anymore is steel guitar, so we brought that back here for sure!  After my debut album, I wanted to start sharing my original work, and “Anchor” is going to be a follow up to my first written debut back in 2022, “Tequila”

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That song was accepted very well and made it into the top 80 on the Music Row charts, so I’m hoping this one can set a huge stage for me and my writing and overall career showing that I didn’t just write and sing one song, I’m a songwriter, too, and I have a lot to say and share!

Finally, where can listeners find your music and stay updated on your upcoming releases and performances?

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All major platforms, wherever you listen. Amazon music, Apple Music, pandora, Spotify, or if you’re out and about on the town having a drink, play a song on any AMI Jukebox!  I’m also really big on Facebook and instagram for all things Ashley including upcoming events and performances. You can also check out my website at www.AshleyPuckett.com

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Artist Spotlight

Adelide Takes a Bite Out of Temptation in New Disco-Inspired Track “Witness”

Adelide

In an innovative new release, Adelide, a prominent soul-pop artist from NYC, presents “Witness,” a song that artfully combines the rhythmic essence of 80s disco with a contemporary twist. This soulful track explores the theme of forbidden love and is characterized by lush synths, captivating rhythms, and Adelide’s compelling vocals.

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“Witness” reinterprets the timeless tale of temptation within the context of a modern, queer romance. Adelide’s emotive and resonant vocals complement vibrant synths and bass lines inspired by funk, resulting in a nostalgic yet refreshingly unique soundscape. The song’s narrative draws parallels to the Garden of Eden, inviting listeners into a realm where passion and surrender intersect, establishing “Witness” as a poignant anthem for those who embrace love boldly.

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The music video, directed by Margot Bennett, serves as a visual complement to the song’s themes. Set in a contemporary Garden of Eden, the video features stunning cinematography and choreography that immerse viewers in a dreamlike world of desire and temptation. Notably, the video includes a memorable scene of Adelide biting into a pear—an ironic twist on the forbidden apple—only to humorously spit it out at the crew’s insistence, injecting a touch of humor into the otherwise sensual visual narrative.

Adelide’s “Witness” offers more than just music; it provides an immersive experience for both the auditory and visual senses. With its infectious rhythm and captivating storyline, this track is positioned to make a significant impact in the soul-pop and disco revival genres.

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Adelide continues to push artistic boundaries and redefine musical genres, making “Witness” essential listening and its accompanying video a must-see. Immerse yourself in this modern-day Eden and allow Adelide to guide you through the complexities of love in “Witness.”

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Artist Spotlight

Azu Yeché stirs a soulful serenity with his new single, “Leave Me Now”

AZU YECHÉ

BritishNigerian artist AZU YECHÉ demonstrates exceptional songwriting and musical talent in his latest single, “Leave Me Now.” This profoundly introspective song masterfully delivers a soul-stirring anthem for anyone who has encountered the heartache of a strained romantic relationship. It was entirely self-written and performed on the guitar, encapsulating the perspective of an individual grappling with a partner’s uncertain commitment.

Yeché’s decision to record his vocals in just one or two takes adds an authentic layer of vulnerability while amplifying the raw emotion of the moment. His collaboration with Jim Lawton in the studio has resulted in a subtle and warm production, allowing the song’s soulful core to shine through. Yeché’s musical style represents a captivating blend of soul, gospel, and African influences reminiscent of artists like Michael Kiwanuka, Lianne La Havas, Jordan Mackampa, and Leon Bridges. The slow-paced percussion and serene acoustic strings establish a contemplative ambiance, harmonizing flawlessly with Yeché’s commanding yet relaxed vocal performance. 

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Lyrically, “Leave Me Now” lays bare a heartfelt plea for genuine love, underscored by Yeché’s emotive delivery. The repeated lines, “If your lovin’ is ruled by someone else, leave me now, oh leave me now, if your lovin’ ain’t as strong as mine, leave me now, oh leave me now,” poignantly express the desperation and resignation of someone choosing to ultimately embrace the painful decision of separation rather than endure a half-hearted affection. His intimate and unguarded approach will enable the audience to deeply sense every pang of honesty expressed through the song.

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Leave Me Now” represents a significant addition to any music collection and is a must-listen for enthusiasts of captivating soul music. Yeché, known for his two-part EP, Soul Afrikanah (part one and part two), which delved into his dual identity using folk and soul genres, showcases yet another dimension of his diverse artistry with this single. This further cements his prominent status in the realm of contemporary soul music.

 

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For more information about AZU YECHÉ, please visit [website]. 
CLICK HERE TO STREAM AZU YECHÉ’s Leave Me Now on Spotify.
CONNECT WITH AZU YECHÉ | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook |

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