Q&A: Pop music prodigy Ashley Go embarks on musical journey to record album of original songs
WHAT were you doing when you were 12 years old? Probably worrying about pimples and grades and if having crushes was a natural thing for girls your age. But for 12-year-old Ashley Go, it is how to get that right melody, that perfect rhyme so she could finish recording an entire album of original compositions before summer ends.
Ashley’s talent in writing songs surprised everyone in the family of businessmen and entrepreneurs. Parents Oliver and Charlotte couldn’t remember encouraging their daughter to give music a serious thought. They’d rather have her in the family’s businesses.
Yes, they bought her a guitar and got her a music teacher, just like any parent who wants arts included in their child’s education. But Ashley writing an album’s worth of original materials and seriously considering a career in music was not part of the plan. They were left with no choice but to throw all the support they could give to their daughter.
Here’s Ashley showing us how a girl doesn’t waste time to make her dreams come true.
When did you start writing songs and how many have you composed now? Your musical influences?
I started writing songs when I was 11 years old. So far, I have composed nine songs. My musical influences are my grandpa and my teacher Ken.
When did you realize that you can write songs?
Well, one day my teacher Ken came over at the house. And she taught me the steps on making a song. So we made one song together. Then one night my parents were fighting. Like it was a really big fight! So I went to my room, I cried. Then I said to myself, “Hey, I should write a song!” So I did. That started it.
Do your parents support your decision to go into music? How do they show their support?
Yes they do. They always encourage me to do my best and to make my dreams a reality.
What musical instruments do you play? At what age did you start playing instruments and who taught you to play them?
I play the ukulele and the guitar. I learned both when I was 11 years old. I learned how to play guitar at School of Rock with my best friend, and teacher Ken taught me how to play the ukulele.
Some of your songs have mature themes, like love and pain. How do you come up with those themes considering you’re still very young?
I get it from the people around me and what they’re going through.
You are now recording an album. What’s the name of the album, how many songs are in it and when do you plan to release it?
I haven’t really thought of the name yet. And I plan on putting around 11 songs. If possible I plan to release it on summer.
You also read a lot. Does your reading help you in writing songs?
Yes it does help. Every time I read it helps me understand what other people are going through. It gives me another journey to explore.
You auditioned in different talent searches. What are these and how do they help you as an artist?
Last year I auditioned for IMTA Talent Agency. These competitions and auditions help me in conquering my fears — the fear of huge crowds and stage fright. Most of all, it provides me with experience. In the future, I could look back and say, “Wow, I actually did that.” And that’s the best part, knowing you’ve done it.
How does it feel to be one of the youngest songwriters now?
I am very grateful.
You are also into sports. What are these sports?
My first sport was basketball which my dad taught me when I was around seven years old. When I was in Grade 5 and 6, I decided to try volleyball and now it is my second favorite sport. Now I’m back to basketball.
What message do you have for girls your age?
If you want to be a dancer, singer, actress, businesswoman or anything else, don’t think it’s impossible. Nothing is impossible if you work hard for it.