Ashley Gatta’s music blends the soulful sounds of blues and Motown with clever and poignant lyrics formerly found only in folk and indie rock. Her Texas roots run deep, inspiring the songs Big Enough State and Slower in Texas, and contribute to that slight southern lilt that presents itself in her unique vocal timbre that has been compared to the likes of Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse. Ashley’s love for music began long before she had a reason to write. Singing and creating has always been in her blood, and her prominent vocals found complimentary chords when she began playing the acoustic guitar at age 15.
After being denied admission to University of North Texas’s prestigious school of music, Ashley studied Sociology and Nonprofit Management, settling for a minor in music. It was through her coursework in Sociology, coupled with internships and mission trips in poverty stricken areas of Miami, Chicago, Denton, and Mexico that God began to stir in her a passion for social justice, racial reconciliation, and joining the poor as Christ himself did. This overflow of ideas left Ashley with a notebook full of hooks and a voice that finally had a story to tell. Knowing that the gift of song is meant to be shared, she started performing her original songs at local coffee shops, bars and gospel concerts. Ashley’s first EP, Forget Subtlety, was released her senior year of college, 2007. Its success encouraged her to continue plugging away in the local music scene, after graduation, while working a nine to five at the same time. After two years of balancing music and work, she has decided to pursue music as a full time career and ministry.
Ashley is currently in the studio working on her first full-length album entitled “Where the Humble Go” with producer, Branden Petersen. It’s expected to be released in early 2010. The title was inspired by many of Ashley’s songs that point to the theme of Christians being visitors, or temporary citizens of this world. “The meaning of ‘Where the Humble Go’ is twofold. The humble submit to the Lord and lay down their own plans that they had for life, and the humble go to heaven,” Ashley says.
“Where the Humble Go” is packed with songs about life, relationships, loving God and loving people. Ashley’s love for the “least of these” emanates through her music in songs like How Will They Love, where she addresses believers, saying “It’s not hard to sleep at night when he don’t have a name/you try resting easy when you call that man your friend/it’s up to you now, child of God, injustice needs to end.” Or in A New Song where she promotes stepping out of one’s comfort zone to get to know those that appear different, saying “Confident to call it like we know one another/but if we’re being honest are we really that aware/and you can secure safety while you drown in the familiar/but I’m coming up for air.” Ashley also doesn’t shy away from telling stories of her own struggles and personal relationship with the Lord in soulful ballads like No Sir which says, “If the fight were one on one I’d quickly forfeit and be done/but I ain’t goin’ at it alone/you can tempt me I’m not bending/I hope you’re comprehending/I’ve decided to move on” and in more funky tunes like Grace Face which says “When I think I’m headed nowhere/eye is the prize but I’m running on the treadmill/I look back and see the way that/even though I’m slow He helped me pick up the pace.”
Despite the sometimes-serious subject matter of her songs, Ashley’s live shows are always full of energy and audience interaction. Ashley’s sunny disposition and quick-witted lyrics have the crowd clapping along at the least and joining her on stage to dance on a really happening night. Ashley says, “I want every show to be a party, a memorable experience for the fans. I want them to walk away feeling like they know me better, know God better, and are inspired to do something good.” Ashley has been invited to play at numerous venues such as Prophet Bar, Hailey’s, Opening Bell, The Hydrant, Crooked Tree, Clementine’s, The Aardvark, Tobacco Road, and many more.
To hear Ashley’s music, read blogs, or connect with her and other fans, visit her Myspace or Facebook fan page. For booking please send an email to AshleyGatta@gmail.com. If you’d like to sign up for Ashley’s email list to receive updates on future shows and news, send an email to AshleyGatta@gmail.com with email list in the subject line.