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Sippin’ and Spillin’ the Tea: Ashley Puckett Talks “Tequila” and More in Exclusive Interview



Since the release of her 2020 debut album, “Never Say Never,” Pittsburgh’s Ashley Puckett has enjoyed enormous success, spring-boarding her onto the international country music radar.  Her album has racked up an incredible 450K+ Spotify streams.  Her single, “Bulletproof” reached #1 on the New Music Weekly AM/FM radio chart, also reaching #1 on the international iTunes sales charts.  Two more singles also reached the Top 10 radio and sales charts, while ushering in a 2022 International Singer Songwriter Association (ISSA) Award for US Female Emerging Artist.  Ashley took time out to talk about her career and her latest single, “Tequila.”

What inspired you to pursue a career in music?

Music has always been a huge part of my life since I was little. It is my happiest of moments, my stress relief, my way of celebration.  I knew it was what I was meant to do. Even when I don’t think about it I am writing a song or getting an idea or just singing out loud.

What is your typical songwriting process?

It really depends. I have some songs that started with me sitting down with an idea, but most of my songs come randomly. I get inspired by real life. Something I’ve been through or something I’ve seen someone go through. I love writing by the ocean. A lot of ideas come when I’m just in a really happy and content state. I’ve written a song because of a pizza box once. A new one because of a beautiful mustang. It’s crazy the way the mind works sometimes. Haha.

Can you describe your performance style and how you engage with your audience during live shows?

I’m a very laid back performer. I’m very heart-felt in my performances. I do like to connect with the audience especially when I notice fans getting into certain songs more than others and things like that.

How do you stay current and innovative in the constantly evolving music industry?

The main thing right now is just to be yourself and stay in front of people as much as possible either live or on social media. Everyone is on their phone and online constantly.

Can you discuss a challenging moment in your career and how you overcame it?

It was a challenge for me when we released my debut album “Never Say Never” after all the time put in that things weren’t “up and moving” really quick. I’m not a patient person by any means. I was hoping a lot of things were going to rapid fire start happening and to be honest, it was the complete opposite.  Later I learned it was a small blessing that way. I learned to really take in each little accolade that came my way and celebrate the little things that will eventually get me to my end goal. After all, it’s the journey that you end up looking back on once you finally get what you want. A mention in Billboard Magazine, a #1 song on New Music Weekly AM/FM Country Charts to name a couple, would have probably been over looked rather quickly if life didn’t show me that some things are worth taking your time with.

What do you believe sets you apart from other artists in your genre?

One thing I will say, is that Country music has a lot of talent!  But for me, I write and sing from the heart. And it’s just me. Real life me. I’m not pop country which is trending right now, but I’m real country that has been trending forever.

Can you walk me through the creation and production of your single, “Tequila”?

Yes!  This one is my baby! Since it’s the first song I got to share with the world that I wrote, we wanted it to be perfect.  The song was just random thought that came to me awhile back.  My favorite drinks are captain and coke and tequila sunrises. (Doubles of course.) And it most people can’t relate this this song, I don’t believe you. Haha. Once the lyrics were done my team and I created some studio magic with different rhythms and ideas. It was so amazing to see it come to life from the idea in my head to a full song on the radio.

How do you balance your artistic vision with the business side of the music industry?

It’s tough sometimes. But what makes me happy is doing what I love, and the business just has to be dealt with.

How do you collaborate with others in the music industry, whether it be with other artists, producers, or managers?

I love working with other musicians and producers and engineers in the studio, sharing ideas, and putting our minds together. To me, these works of art come together a lot better with many people involved with the same goals and mindsets.

What do you hope listeners take away from your music and performance experiences?

I just want to share who I am and hope that people can enjoy my music and walk away making memories or maybe even bringing back a memory or two at a show or when you hear a song of mine. For me, as I mentioned, music is alot of things. Stress relief. Expression of happiness, fun. I want my listeners to take away the same thing.

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