Ashley Stringer is a vibrant young singer and songwriter who hopes to change the world one song at a time. She started writing songs at twelve years of age and will be releasing her first album while she’s still fourteen. Her songs represent a journey woven into a musical tapestry of good news. News of healing and hope, identity and joy. She can be found in coffee shops, church venues, special events and sharing her unique sound on social media, including her own YouTube channel. I recently interviewed Ashley about her love of music and passion to express her thoughts and heart through songwriting.
Music & Song
Q: Ashley and music go hand and hand. Smile. Did you come from a musical background growing up, or was music just born inside of you when you came into the world? Or, maybe a little of both?
A: My mother’s side of the family is musically inclined but I have always had a love for music since I was very little. I was either eleven or twelve when I believe I realized music was my passion.
Q: You sing, but you also play the guitar. Do you play other instruments as well?
A: No, I would love to learn to play the piano soon.
Q: Music is a universal language. How does it feel to use your gift of music and then also to have a platform to share it with others?
A: I feel blessed that God has revealed to me the gift of writing and singing, and count it an honor to be able to sing His praises. It’s a privilege to write music and I pray that with every song there will be an audience that can relate to it and be ministered to by it.
Q: What is at the heart of your music… What propels you to want and need to express yourself in song?
A: Writing songs and expressing myself seems like a natural thing for me to do. When I have ideas or thoughts I journal them and that’s where a lot of my music comes from. I pray that others are blessed by the songs that were birthed from personal experiences of my own or ones that others have shared with me that I have put to songs.
Q: Have you identified a word or a couple of words that describe what you feel most near to through your expression of music… meaning, your “message”?
A: Honesty, Joy and Freedom.
Q: Not only do you sing, but you are also a songwriter. When you write songs, do you have an idea in your mind of the person, or a type of person, you are singing to/for?
A: First, I always write for the glory of God. Second, I write songs for people who are walking through challenges. I want my music to bring hope, encourage, and help others realize they’re not alone.
Q: When did you know it wasn’t enough for you to only sing, but you also felt compelled to write your own lyrics as well?
A: When I was being bullied, I taught myself how to play guitar and not too long after, I started writing songs. During that season of loneliness, writing music was my stress relief. Anytime I was hurting I would play my guitar and God would put lyrics on my heart and notes to strum on the guitar, He helped me author what I think is beautiful music.
Q: It must feel extremely freeing and gratifying to be able to sing words that are straight from your own heart and mind. With both gifts (voice and writing), you are able to truly express, in the way that you want, ideas and thoughts and challenges for others to hear. Would you comment?
A: Absolutely, every song is a story that allows the listener to pierce into the window of my soul. I pray that through my honesty others will be touched and experience healing through Jesus.
Listen to Ashley’s single about bullying and fitting in called “Simple Smile“on YouTube. (See the cover photo below).
Growth in the Journey
Q: Have you ever felt fear or comparison creeping in, and if so, how do you deal with that in order to push forward?
A: I have to remember when I feel this way that God only created one me and my story isn’t going to be like everyone else’s and that’s okay. I sing only for God’s glory and I don’t let comparison creep in.
Q: What types of things have you done to help yourself communicate your messages through music even more?
A: I have been actively a part of dance troops and taken vocal lessons since I was very young. I’ve ministered in worship and word at several churches and coffee shops. I’ve volunteered for several years leading worship in kids ministry at a church. I feel that all of these things have helped prepare me.
Following Your Dreams
Q: What have you found to be one of the most challenging parts of seeing your dream become a reality?
A: Patience and trusting God has perfect timing for all things. I was hoping to have this current album completed a long time ago, but studio production is time-consuming and costly. We have had to wait on producers, musicians laying tracks, and much more.
Q: How did you overcome that?
A: It’s a daily “die to self”. My parents remind me often to trust God and His timing for it all.
Q: If you could give one or two pieces of advice to others who want to follow their dream, what would it be?
A: Dream Big! Trust that God knows what’s best for you and know His timing is Perfect. God won’t put you in a situation you can’t handle.
Q: I know you have amazingly supportive parents. What’s one of your favorite things about how they’ve come alongside you in your musical journey?
A: I’m grateful to have parents who are willing to invest in my dream. They constantly encourage my gift. They have absolutely been a pillar of strength for me on this journey. I owe so much of this to my Dad for being our family’s covering, priest and encourager. My mom is co-producing everything with me and the other producers. She has a good ear and gives me advice and keeps me grounded. She takes me to vocal lessons, studio recording sessions, and makes all possible on the ground-level.
Ashley wrote a song for her father while he was undergoing treatment at MD Anderson for Stage 4 cancer. They later created a short video featuring her song, “Journey“.
A: I am available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I also have a YouTube channel where you can see covers I have done, and more. (My website is currently being updated.)
Q: How has Social Media made an impact or opened doors for you to share your talent?
A: It has allowed me to get exposure from people I would have never reached before.
Q: How have your fans played a role in building your momentum?
A: I really wouldn’t say I have much of a fan base, only time will tell. I have followers on both Facebook and Instagram, but haven’t intentionally sought to build a base yet. It has all been organic and we trust in time it will grow on its own.
Q: Do you use any hashtags specifically for your music on social media?
A: #SimpleSmile, #AshleyStringer and #ConsumedByYou which is the title of my album.
Q: Your faith is at the core of who you are as a young woman. How has your faith strengthened you, inspired you and/or made you more confident and free to be who you are?
A: The bottom line is, I couldn’t do this without God. He’s the one who has opened every door, made way for every relationship, and empowered me to do what I do.
Q: You travel a lot with your family. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?
A: I’ve traveled to seventeen countries many of them multiple times and so far I don’t have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed them all!
Q: What’s someplace you’ve never been that you’d love to visit one day?
A: Greece, although I will be traveling there in the next few weeks! (Ashley just returned from Greece and loved it! See her photo below.)
Q: Name a musician, past or present, that is one of your favorite inspirations.
A: Tori Kelly and Celine Dion are my two favorite artists. I admire their vocal ability and Tori’s consecrated walk.
Q: What is your favorite genre of music? Is there a genre you’ve not yet explored but would like to?
A: I really like Christian Pop and Christian Rap.
Q: Tell me something that your followers may not know about you yet.
A: Most people don’t know I’ve been homeschooled most of my life and really enjoy it.
About the Album
You’ve been busy preparing to release your new album…
Q: What is the name of your album and can you tell me a little about why you decided to do it?
A: My album will be entitled “Consumed By You”. I began to write music and thought releasing an E.P. would be cool but then God gave me enough material for an album.
Q: What is something significant that you’ve learned or discovered through the process of stepping out with your music and sharing it with the world?
A: Just how much healing can come from music.
Q: Okay, Takeaways… What do you hope people will come away with after listening to this album?
A: That whatever my listeners may be facing, they can make it through. God loves them, and with Him, all things are possible.
Q: It’s been a joy to watch your talent and journey unfold. I’m sure this is just the beginning. Can you share something you’d love to explore or do next?
A: It’s hard for me to see too far down the road. I’m just excited for every ministry opportunity I have today.
Q: Where can we hear and purchase/download your music?
A: I have a single out on iTunes and the album will release mid-February. You will be able to listen through Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.
Love this Girl! Stay tuned for more of Ashley Stringer, singer, songwriter and world changer.
Connect with Ashley Stringer!
The best way to connect with me is through my website or my social media accounts.
YouTube: Watch/Listen to Ashley on YouTube
(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”