Swag Spotlight: Ashla Taylor
McCalla, Alabama native, Ashla Taylor has always dreamt of having a career like Shania Twain. Growing up in a very strict Pentecostal Evangelist family, with rules and religious regulations, sneaking secular music such as Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child became a way of life for the young dreamer. Taking after her two grandmothers, who she calls feisty, she fell in love with music and performing. “My Nana Ellen was a honky tonk singer in the 70’s in a group called ‘The Blue Velvets’. My other Nana, Becky was a writer. She taught me how to write and she also took me to see my first concert when I was eight,” she tells us. That first concert just happened to be Shania Twain, and after seeing her perform everything changed for her.
From that moment on she tried her best to emulate stars like Twain, Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks and Etta James all while living a secret life and listening to these incredible females in private, so her family wouldn’t know. Sneaking around playing original songs at local music venues, she gained her confidence and started meeting people in the industry who told her she should definitely head to Nashville. After winning a local showdown, she made the decision to change her life, quit her boring job and move to Nashville to pursue her dreams. She explained how hard this was for her, all but destroying her relationship with her parents. “They thought that I moved and totally turned against everything that they raised me to believe, but in reality when I left home and came to Nashville and got away from that religious stronghold, I think that’s when I really found my faith,” she tells us.
Five years later, she has spent her time writing and released her debut EP last September, Truth Is…, five tracks that she is so proud of. “Nothing About Love” is set to hit radio stations all over the country this week. While she was working on her EP her agent called to tell her that there are open auditions for a Shania Twain docu-drama and urged her to send in an audition tape. “I was shocked, nothing in the world has ever made me feel so happy, just to get the chance to audition, I really didn’t think I would get it,” she tells us. Getting the call just days later that she had gotten the part, she told us that she was all alone when she found out, she couldn’t stop running around and shaking, she was so excited. “I have a lot of parallels with Shania, growing up I relate to her personal life story so not only was she a musical influence to me she was also a personal influence. Experiencing some of the family trials, I’ve gone through a lot of those things, I’ve had to work really hard and struggle to get where I am at and it’s never been easy,” Taylor explains.
The irony is not lost on Taylor who credits Twain for giving her the chance to follow her path, pursue a music career and make it through the difficult times. Fans can check out www.reelz.com to check out which channel they can catch The Price of Fame, which shows past the glitz and glamour of making it and delves into the deeper more serious stories each artist has.
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