Ashley J is a singer and songwriter in the pop/EDM genre, originally from Texas. As a child, she grew up listening to singers like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and Michael Jackson, as well as country stars like Johnny Cash. Her burgeoning love of music and songwriting eventually led to recording a couple of dance tracks in L.A., with Cali reaching the top 10 of the Billboard dance chart.
After a single, Unbreakable, reached no. 2 on the European Independent Music Charts, she released Trapped last year, which spent five weeks at no. 1. That song features on this 5-track EP, Satisfied, with the main track being Like You Used To. The EP has been written with her producers Lucas and Adrian Rezza, with a contemporary pop/EDM sound.
Trapped, which opens the EP, is a classy track which showcases Ashley J’s fine voice and excellent range. It’s an incredibly catchy piece of pop with a hook that latches into the memory immediately and you can see why it spent so long at no.1 in the EIMC charts last year.
The title track, Satisfied, has more of a foot in the EDM world, more specifically the dancehall genre popularized by artists like Major Lazer , blended with aspects of house music. It builds like any good dance track should, with another earworm title hook. Unbreakable is another track that finds the perfect midway point between EDM and well crafted pop songwriting, this one with an upbeat, summery feel that fits the timing of this release.
The lead track off the EP comes next, Like You Used To. It’s a slightly slower track than the rest with an R&B feel that broadens her commercial appeal still further. A superbly crafted and performed track, it starts out with the irresistible chorus and maintains its addictive quality throughout. It’s a song that Rihanna and Beyonce would both be proud to put out, and that bodes well for its commercial success.
The final song, When I Come Home To You, shows a more sensitive side to her songwriting, singing about a romance where they are “sending letters like we’re young schoolkids“. It’s a song that could have easily worked as a ballad, but it’s been produced in a similar vein to the rest of the EP. This combination of traditional songwriting with an EDM vibe has proved hugely popular in the last couple of years, and it should work for Ashley J too.
Overall, this is a very strong five-track EP, headed by the excellent Like You Used To. With production that makes it both perfect for radio and the dancefloor the commercial potential is enormous, and Ashley J has a voice that’s distinctive enough to stand out from the crowd. With a suitably glamorous image to go with the songs, she undoubtedly has what it takes to become a globe-conquering pop star.
VERDICT: 8.4 out of 10