The only “Misery” there is in Ashland’s new single is the title. The rock duo just released the track’s accompanying music video last week, a lively performance video, featuring the dynamic, charismatic, and lively frontwoman Asia Marie. The song is about both the positive and negative experiences that Marie and her musical cohort Aaron Wood have endured as musicians, and being thankful for them because they contributed to making them into the individuals they are today.

Ashland’s commercial breakthrough came in 2019 when they released their sophomore album Over The Moon on Rise Records. After the album’s release, they took part of 2020 to really reflect on where they were going creatively, which precipitated some intense songwriting that helped them reconnect with their musical roots. Marie and Wood have taken all of the anger and frustration of the past year, weaponized it, and put it all towards their songwriting, which resulted in the recording of their new album I, due out in April.

With the release of I now only weeks away, Asia Marie has joined us today for our latest edition of Women of Rock in which she runs down her five, or in this case, many more, most influential female role models.

1. Mab Graves

“One of the most inspirational women I can think of. I won’t put her in a box and label her as a certain type of artist because she does so so much. I haven’t had the privilege of meeting her yet but her life and work has inspired me for years. She’s experienced a lot of pain and loss and has been pretty open about it on social media, things I relate too. I think her art speaks to me on a deeper level for that reason. She truly is a fairy queen and a bright light in a dark world. I encourage everyone to check her out.”

2. Lacey Sturm

“Lacey is another woman who has overcome a dark past and blossomed into a beautiful, inspiration for so many. Lacey uses her story and her voice to encourage others and is very outspoken about her faith. It takes tremendous passion and courage to do what she does, especially as a woman in an industry that has a history of praising an entirely false image of who women actually are. Lacey is the real deal. And she has such a sweet soul. I really hope to meet her someday. I got so excited when I saw she’s getting ready to put out new music!”

Artwork for ‘Ashland’ by Ashland

3. Jewel

“There’s definitely a pattern in the list of women I really look up to. Jewel has a wild testimony. She was homeless and struggled with severe, debilitating anxiety. She beat the odds stacked against her and went on to become the famous, singer/songwriter/actress/author/mother that she is today. She recently started a non-profit organization called Never Broken aimed at helping people beat anxiety. I have massive respect for her as an artist too. She’s gorgeous and insanely talented and instead of letting the music industry take advantage of that for their own selfish gain, she has remained true to her craft and written some of the most impressive songs of our time.”

4. Gwen Stefani

“I mean, do I really even need to explain this one? Gwen is one of my biggest fashion inspirations. She’s also a queen of rhythm and crazy melodies. I remember the first time I tried to cover a No Doubt song. I was like ‘wait…this shit is difficult (laughs).’”

5. Stevie Nicks

“If Stevie Nicks doesn’t give you all the feels, are you even human? I had the pleasure of seeing Fleetwood Mac a couple years ago and I remember just getting chills when Stevie walked out on stage. She’s a heavenly being. I remember when Ashland first started playing shows, I always wore a vintage black velvet top hat cause it made me feel like Stevie (laughs).”

6. Kelly Clarkson

“I don’t even know where to begin with this woman. She’s such a wonderful human first and foremost. Her voice, work ethic and modesty blows me away. And her humble beginnings gave me hope when I thought there’s no way for someone like me to ‘make it’ with my music. Did I mention her VOICE?!”

7. Honourable Mentions

“Those are all women who’ve inspired me personally with their lives in some way and not just their craft. But if it’s ok, I’d like to give a shout out to these artists who have most definitely been inspirations at some point in my life: Debbie Harry, Brody Dalle, Avril Lavigne, Sherri Bemis, Amy Lee, Pink, Hayley Williams, Rachael Lampa, Tori Kelly, Carrie Underwood, Lights, Lindsey Stirling, Meg Myers, Marina, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Natalie Grant, Nancy Ajram, Nina Abdel Malak, Edith Piaf, Judy Garland, Demi Lovato, and many many more!”

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