Music-News recently had the chance to sit down with singer/songwriter Ashton Rey to discuss her heartfelt, mellow, infectious new single "Lost Myself". This is the second track by the 24-year old Florida-based artist that comes off her upcoming EP.

Tell us about Ashton. Where'd you grow up? When did you first get into playing and recording music?
Hi, I’m Ashton Rey. First and foremost I just want to thank you for taking the time to get to know me, secondly, thank you for supporting me on this journey. I grew up in a small town in Florida called Saint Cloud. I was born in the city of Orlando, lived in Kissimmee for a little while but for the majority of my life I spent it in our small town. Growing up, our town had about 20-25,000 people; whenever you were out the chances of you running into a friend, classmate, teacher, or pastor were highly likely. I loved that about my hometown, it kept it personal and safe. A lot of who I am today is because of the town I grew up in, it’s rich in loyalty and friendly neighbors who are always willing to lend a hand. Many of those people have been on this music journey with me from the very beginning, it all truly started for me when I was very young. I remember as a little girl watching Beauty and the Beast on our VHS in the living room telling my mom that I was going to be a star just like Belle. When I was finally old enough to start singing live, my dreams blossomed at our very first church Christmas recital, I was given the solo to sing “I Can Only Imagine.” I was a nervous wreck, but my mom tells me that’s when she saw it, she saw the light and passion that God blessed me with. Throughout my life I have gone through highs and lows with my drive for pursuing this career, battling with my mind whether or not I had what it takes to do this, being told that my voice wasn’t strong enough by professors, not getting a part I auditioned for… the list could go on. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Dean Cramer and my amazing team that my confidence truly grew, over the last year my life has completely changed, I’ve believed in my passion more than I ever have before.

Who and what are your musical influences?
There are so many artists that influence my drive, my sound, my image and my vibe. Such as Tori Kelly, Shania Twain, Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Tenille Arts, Celine Dion, The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks)… I mean truthfully there are more than I can keep track of. What I look for in my influences is how their music speaks to my soul, how do they carry themselves not just as an artist but as a person, does their music have a deeper story or is it surface level? Music is healing, it’s a universal language that everyone speaks. It has the ability to alter someone’s mood, way of thinking, emotional state, and it has a way of communicating that nothing else can.

How would you define your sound and music?
If I were to have my own genre I would say, Bohemian Country Western. When you listen to my music it doesn’t just fall into the country genre and it’s definitely not just pop or singer-songwriter. It is it’s own category, I receive messages from people who tell me that they “don’t even like country music, but I have your music on repeat.” That’s one of the highest compliments that I’ve received, because that means that my music (regardless of the genre) is speaking to their soul. The message is resonating within their heart and they can just enjoy it no matter what they usually like to listen to. I would define my sound as free, fluid and powerful; something you could listen to in a field of flowers, in your car with the windows down, at the bar singing karaoke, or in your headphones just lying on your bed.

Tell us about your latest single 'Lost Myself'.
‘Lost Myself,’ is my heart in lyrics, it’s the most personal song that I’ve ever written. I have unfortunately had my heart broken several times and have broken a few myself, mainly because of one underlying issue, I did not stay loyal to who I was. I would morph myself to the desires of whoever I had given my heart to at the time, I would listen to their opinions of me rather than knowing who I really was. We are always figuring out who we are, but we also have a sense of who we are throughout the process. Instead of trusting my heart, believing the voice of truth, listening to all that God says about who I am, I chose to listen to insecure boys opinions of me. Which resulted in me losing who I was completely in loving another person. I have met the love of life, about two years ago, he came into my life when I least expected it and he just loved me from the very beginning for who I was unconditionally. That didn’t make any sense to me, I thought that it wasn’t true, I fell into the toxic spiral that I had known for too long by losing myself in our relationship. Instead of it resulting in heart break, it resulted in us having a deep conversation of how he was in love with me for everything that I was before we started dating. He didn’t want me to lose or change who I was, he wanted me to grow with him as an individual and love myself enough to be his partner. That’s what drew this song out of me, the need to break that vicious cycle and really finding my true self.

What is the creative process like for you? What comes first, the melody or the lyrics?
The creative process for me always changes, there will be some nights where I wake up at 3:30 in the morning with lyrics that I just have to write down. Then when I wake up, I’ll just read the lyrics almost as a poem until I find a rhythm and melody that goes with them. Then sometimes I need a melody first to search for the right words to come out.

What's next for Ashton Rey?
You can definitely expect more music to be released within the coming months. Right now I am working on polishing my voice and playing guitar to start booking live performances. My first live performance post COVID will actually be June 3rd singing the ‘National Anthem’ at the 60th Miss Silver Spurs pageant here in Kissimmee, Florida. Rodeos are a very big part of our town's upbringing and culture, as well as this pageant. I’m very blessed and thankful to be given such a big opportunity to sing our Country’s anthem. I’m taking this time to soak in all of the emotions that have come with my first ever single release and sharing my heart with the world. I look forward to everything that God has in store for my future and my career in this industry.

How can our readers continue to keep up with your career?
You can keep up with me on my Instagram, tiktok, Facebook, and my personal website.