2013 was a year of ups and downs for me in my personal life and music career. Relationships ended, new relationships started – but most of all I was inspired to move on because I learned to believe in myself and believe in my music.
I’ve worked hard and now I am working even harder for the exciting things I have headed my way in 2014. The EP “Stability” is in the works, getting a band together (possibly), I’m setting up gigs in and out of New York and have several meetings with some very powerful people lined up. I have been lucky, I have been blessed but most of all I’ve never doubted myself.
I did however start to overthink the business side of things, and I think that might be a common issue among up and coming artists. We try so hard to make it, to get noticed, to sell our songs and our image that we forget about enjoying our art – which is so sad when you think about it.
This past year I’ve been dying to get in the studio to record my songs, release the EP and just start sending it out to every music blogger and publisher in my contact list. What I never thought about is the actually songs I was about to show to the world, if they really represented the kind of artist I want to be or if they were even ready composition-wise to be released.
One of the best things to happen to me this year is the amount of support I have received from the people I have opened up to about my songwriting career. It was one of those special people that said “This is the best time in your artistic career. You can put out a record without anyone expecting something of you and truly make it the way you want it to be. You can just do you, and do you your music.The other stuff is just a nice bonus.” Throughout all of my artist crises I had forgotten about this and that piece of advice totally changed my mood about what I was doing, where I was going, etc.
I have stopped worrying about progressing quickly and instead am focusing on progressing efficiently. There is always room to grow and evolve as a musician and to do that I’ve started taking piano lessons, voice lessons, collaborating with other writers and musicians to develop skills in order to really hone my craft. This is what I will continue to do as 2014 begins and encourage other new artists to do the same.
Happy New Year Everyone! See you all in 2014!
– Ashley Xtina
“The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”- Muhammad Ali