From Salsa To Soul: Maxine Ashley started posting YouTube videos of herself doing covers of R&B hits and then one day Pharrell Williams called. Now she’s making her mark on the music scene as she releases her first EP, MOOD SWINGs.“I was born and raised in the BX [the Bronx] and I still live here – LOL. I started early. When I was 13, I moved all the way to London for around three years. This was because I got signed to a record company out there.”
“When I returned home at 17, my current producer and co-writer Pharrell Williams hit me up. So I’ve literally been doing music all my life. I’ve never had a real job, and I’ve never done anything else besides music. Maybe this is because I was born into it. My parents did music as well. I grew up around live music – my mother was a salsa singer, and my father and uncles also played and sang salsa. It’s hard to say what the most rewarding experience in my work has been so far – I’m still experiencing it all. Every day, every new project I engage in and every new talented person I meet, all of it is so rewarding.
I don’t just enjoy music – it is literally everything to me. It is who I am. It’s how I express myself. It helps me when I’m down and it makes me even happier when I’m already happy. When it comes to inspiration and making music, it’s always based on how I feel that day. For example, it can be about how the track makes me feel, or what I’m going through at that moment, or something I’ve gone through recently. It can also be a complete fantasy, but that also depends on how I’m feeling.” Maxine Ashley is currently working on visuals for her EP MOOD SWINGs, but she is already working on music for her next project. Photo by Naomi Shon.