If you listen to music to feel something, you can't go past the melodies of Ashli.Describing herself and her music as a Pop and alt-RnB singer-songwriter, the young artist's debut 2022 EP, Only One, brings a new sincerity and openness to themes of lovesickness and reminiscence. It's honest, relatable, and in my earnest opinion, refreshing.While others in the Australian R&B arena tap into the same thing – R&B being a mainstay genre for emotional release and storytelling – the soul and sincerity of Ashli’s voice adds a new layer to her polished production and elemental songs. In other words, she makes you believe what she is saying.
And that’s really no surprise when you see her list of influences: Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Common, The 1975, Robert Glasper, Frank Ocean and Norah Jones. Each is a master of storytelling through music, and the reason why Ashli’s close inspection of each artist has probably contributed to her aptitude towards storytelling as well. “I felt a compulsion to write,” she tells VICE.“I wanted to tell stories and I wanted to tell my story. I have so many influences and I’ve never felt truly at home in a genre. I wanted to make music for those who grew up feeling a similar way. I hope people can relate, feel less alone and inspired to be themselves.”With a performance last year at Austin's famous SXSW under her belt, her next big show is set for June 2nd as part of VIVID LIVE in Sydney.“Expect a lot of new music,” she says. “I have so many new songs that I can’t wait to share. While I love songwriting I think that, in performing, I find my fire. This show is an opportunity to bring those two sides of myself together and share it with an audience.”For now – and looking into the future – Ashli says she wants to become “the artist I can be, master my craft and share my songs with the world.”Follow Julie Fenwick on Twitter and Instagram.Read more from VICE Australia and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, This Week Online.