Ahead of her C2C debut, Ashley Cooke – named as Spotify’s Hot Country Artist to Watch in 2022 – took time out to talk to Six Shooter Country’s Liz Thomas about the stratospheric start to her career.
LT: Hi! How are you? Nice to speak to you. How’s things going?
AC: Hey! Yeah, I’m awesome thank you. Everything is so great! I feel like life is crazy right now, but in the best way!
LT: We can’t wait for you to come over! I can’t believe it’s less than two weeks away now.
AC: It’s gonna be so much fun. I cannot wait! I feel like it flew by, by the time we announced it or that I knew about it. Then now, like, holy crap I’m going over to the UK. Like what? I’m so excited!
LT: So, I’ll admit I follow you on TikTok. That’s gone absolutely crazy for you 1.2 million followers!
AC: It’s been nuts, absolutely nuts. I mean, I never expected social media to blow up the way it has. And it’s been such a cool journey to get to meet people via TikTok or from livestreams or Instagram, whatever It may be, and then to actually get to meet them in person. It’s been crazy just to kind of tap into the social media world, and I’m still to this day, posting videos and new people are still finding me. It’s crazy. It’s really awesome the platforms through social media that we get to use. I’m blessed that people care about what I’m doing, so I’m excited.
LT: I’ll bet you didn’t think at this point you’d be heading over here to play one of our biggest festivals.
AC: No, never expected that. The last year and a half of my life has just been the craziest thing ever. When I started posting on TikTok, like the 2020 timeframe, things were crazy and people were starting to notice and I would get like, random collaborations and cool things. But the last year and a half, two years my life has just been insane. I don’t know if it’s because I signed a record deal with Big Loud Records or it’s just because of my music. I don’t know. But it’s been exciting and so much fun. I just got to play Canada a couple of weeks ago and now I’m coming to the UK. So many things are happening and it’s really fun.
LT: It’s incredible, because you started posting on TikTok after you graduated?
AC: I did. It was after I graduated, but right around the pandemic. I was like, I’m going to try music full time and see what happens. I had a marketing degree, so nothing to do with music at all. I graduated, I was playing shows for a little while around town and just trying to figure out my sound and find my voice. Then the pandemic happened. I was like, well okay, I can’t really do shows so I went to Florida to quarantine with my parents and posted because I was bored one day, and here we are!
Watch the video of Ashley Cooke’s #1 debut at US country radio with Never Til Now with Brett Young.
LT: Looking at some of the things you’ve managed in the last eighteen months, it’s incredible. You’ve gone out on tour with Jordan Davis, Brett Young and Luke Bryan. Plus, a collaboration with Brett Young on Never Til Now. And headlining your own tour too!
AC: I have a really great team. You know it takes a village and my management team, label team and my publishing team are working 24/7 behind the scenes to make these incredible opportunities happen. Most things I don’t even know are happening until it’s all finally confirmed and we get in the management meetings! They’re like, hey, by the way, this has been in the works for the last month, and we just got it secured, so you have a deal with so and so. And I’m just like what?! It’s a really beautiful partnership between myself, creating and writing songs and content, doing the creative, artistic stuff and brainstorming what I want to happen. I’ll give them a list of things that I’d love to happen, my dream list, and they just go to work. It’s like I’ve give them a vision and they can make that happen. I’m blessed and it’s so much fun.
LT: For someone who has just burst on to the scene and you’re everywhere it’s absolutely incredible and well deserved. I’d say the biggest song you’ve released so far is It’s Been A Year.
AC: It’s funny you should say that because a lot of people would say Never Til Now and then It’s Been A Year came out of nowhere. It’s been such a weird journey because neither of those songs I never expected to do anything. That I think is the most beautiful part of it. Both of those songs connected with people on social media and these two songs were never pushed by any label. People always ask me ‘how did you write songs that connected with so many people?’ And my answer is, I write what would connect with me and hopefully with other people too. I don’t know if it’s a divinely influenced thing or what. I feel like people have really found themselves through my writing and that’s a huge compliment.
LT: I will 100% admit that when I first heard It’s Been A Year, I cried my eyes out. Honestly if you play it over here, I’ll be bawling into my beer!
LT: Have you got any plans for when you’re over here? You’re playing London on Friday and then Glasgow on the Saturday.
AC: Yeah. I think when we land, adjust to the time difference, maybe catch a nap and then hit the ground running. Big Loud Records, my label, have a huge international team so it’ll be meeting people and radio interviews and playing shows. It’ll be a huge amount of fun so I don’t think I’ll get to play tourist for the day. We get in on the 8th and my first show is on the 10th.
LT: You’ll just have to come back and do a tour on your own and just go and play tourist properly.
AC: Definitely planning on doing that. We don’t know when but hopefully soon. I hope people over there like my music and want me to come back. I guess we’ll find out soon!
LT: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me today, I really appreciate it. I know you’re going to be ridiculously busy with media and hopefully we’ll be able to catch up on the Friday.
Ashley Cooke plays C2C:
Fri., 10 March – O2 Arena, London
Sat., 11 March – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
For more information, visit https://www.ashleycooke.com/