Hailing from the worn streets of South Brooklyn as the daughter of salsa musicians, Maxine Ashley’s culture is her liberation. Her hair is pink, well half of it at least, and her spirit is alive to the ethos of life. Her fans adore her. She’s a YouTube sensation, capturing you in four-minute life cycles. Honestly, she doesn’t even have to be singing for you to love it. The flexibility of her sound from video to video is woven together with the autonomy of her charisma (which is showcased beautifully in the beginning of her videos with a playful gangsta, “Wassup YouTube!” shoutout.)
Ashley bolsters an impressive 60 videos on her YouTube page with an audience of more than 3 million lifetime views. Most videos are of her singing covers; or hanging out with Pharrell; or creating choreographed laser shows using neon finger gloves. No matter. Whatever the video, you get to hang out and live vicariously through her for a few minutes at a time each week.
Maxine is set to release her mixtape, “Mood Swings” and an album later this year. WTU spoke with the quite approachable and almost coy young starlet to answer our questions about how she’s preparing to take over the viral world while embracing the indulgence of her youth.
So obviously the tie to Pharrell is huge, and I’m sure it’s been amazing for you. How was being around Pharrell helped you creatively, and how was that sculpted you as an artist?
Well, just watching him work just influencing me so much. He helps me a lot with writing and melodies… he teaches me a lot of tricks.
When you’re writing, is he producing the beat while you create the lyrics and the melody; is it a combination of the two?
He really makes the beat from scratch. As he’s making it, I come up with melody ideas. Then, we both have ideas, we go into the booth and so… it’s kind of an equal thing. But then usually he leaves the room, I write, then he comes back in and checks it out.
Omarion is ready to leave his teen image behind. The singer, who announced his signing to Maybach Music Group last May, is currently in the studio prepping his fourth solo album Love & Other Drugs, which is currently without a release date. The project follows December’s Care Package EP, which showed Maybach O embracing adult themes in his music.
Omarion last released his third studio album Ollusion in 2010, entering the charts at No. 19 with 19,300 copies sold. For Love & Other Drugs, he’s already hit the studio with a handful of producers and songwriters including Pharrell Williams, Tank, James Fauntleroy and Eric Hudson, though he wants to keep features light.
“Tank, he was a writer and producer on my first album. He’s been a part of every project I’ve done as a solo artist. He’s done some awesome music for the album,” he said. “I cut some records with Pharrell. I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to keep him on the album, but he’s someone who’s worked with me and is an all-time favorite to me. When I look back on the records I’ve done, that’s something that sticks out to me. Pharrell, Tank… A lot of new producers. I’m working with Eric Hudson again. James Fauntleroy.”
Directed by ILLUSIVE MEDIA.
“This is with a great honor and pleasure that we unveil today the OFIVE MAG #3 cover… Pharrell Williams and Pedro Winter are our two guests and we have to say, it could have been worst! One is a world known producer and member of N*E*R*D, the other was the Daft Punk manager and founded the record label Ed Banger, which celebrating is 10 years anniversary. Two huge personalities of the music industry who let us ask questions during a cross-interview that we will never forget! Discover this beautiful cover and some images of the shooting.” Thanks to Reidkid.
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