As if it’s not difficult enough being a teenager, singer-songwriter Christina Ashley’s room and possessions were completely destroyed by a house fire a few years ago. The eighteen-year-old San Diego native turned to music as her sanctuary to help find solace and regain stability in her life, a form of therapy that spawned Let It All Go, the debut album produced by Amber & Rob Whitlock that will be released February 1st on Sketchin’ Records. The collection features four original songs penned by Ashley with the Whitlock’s.
Striving to follow in the footsteps of iconic singer-songwriters who serve as her primary influences, Ashley recorded hits from the likes of Paul Simon, Elton John, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne, John Lennon & Paul McCartney, and Dan Fogelberg. However, the most revealing moments on the generous seventeen-track Let It All Go are the personal songs co-written by Ashley, including the intimate piano and vocal title track about letting go and moving past the fears from the fire. Her warm, angelic voice is poised yet sensitive, delicate yet powerful, graceful and self-assured. Opening the disc, “By Your Side” displays an extraordinary level of maturity and perception by the high school senior who wrote lyrics inspired by “the friends who stood by me while I was going crazy, even when it seemed like there was nothing left to stand for.” Don’t be fooled by the bouncy demeanor of “I Still Remember That Time.” It is directed at the guy who bullied her in sixth grade and middle school. A breezy sea of melody sophisticatedly presented in a swoon-inducing setting, “Away” is about the role music plays in Ashley’s life.
“Beyond family and friends, music is the only constant in my life. It helps me stabilize emotionally. I was going through a hard time and being in the studio was the one place I felt at home,” the soft-spoken Ashley shared. “I really enjoyed working with so many phenomenal musicians and it helped me grow so much - not only as a musician, but as a person in terms of strength and understanding. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity and it is my dream to have a long career in music.”
Singing since she was first enchanted by watching Disney musicals, Ashley started taking voice and piano lessons as a six-year-old. She’s been a featured performer in shows by the San Diego Opera and the San Diego Children’s Choir. After appearing in a number of theatre productions, Ashley decided to focus on singing and picked up the guitar. She studies voice with Amber Whitlock and sings in the vocal conservatory program at a high school geared towards the performing arts. Over the years, Ashley has sung at a San Diego Padres game, performed in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl and with the San Diego Master Chorale for the Holiday Pops with the San Diego Symphony, and participated in Disney’s Magic Music Days. She was fourteen when she began recording Let It All Go with the Whitlock’s, who run the Sketchin’ Records imprint. Christina will be attending UC Berkeley in the Spring of 2012 and pursuing a degree in music with an emphasis in performance. She can be seen as a part of numerous vocal ensembles and partaking in solo performance opportunities during her time there.