The Meet & Greet: 18-Year-Old Singer Jessica Ashley

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Welcome back to Celebuzz’s The Meet & Greet, where we sit down and chat with rising young stars of film, television and music before they hit the big time. Watch out for these future A-listers!

Jessica Ashley is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter who is ready to make her big break. Her soulful voice has already made her a favorite on YouTube, earning her rave reviews and fans the world over. While she’s on the right track, Jessica reveals she’s missed out on some childhood milestones while chasing her dream.

Do you have to make some sacrifices to pursue this career?
Definitely. When I was in high school, I never got into the party scene or anything like that. I really want to make a big impact as much as I can, so it takes a lot of dedication. People put in a lot of time to get to where they want. In high school, I spent much of my time in my studio. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

When did you know that this was your dream?
I always tried to be the center of attention as a kid. [laughs] I wanted the attention. I realized that if I could make a career out of performing, I would be happy.

How do you deal with rejection?
For me, it’s always about overcoming those experiences. It happens to everyone. You have to know that you’re ok because one day the person that told you “no” might see how far you’ve gone and wish they would have said “yes.” You work harder. Sometimes it’s all about timing.

Rejection equals the sads. What are some of your favorite comfort foods when you’re having an off day?
I love french fries. I order them wherever I go. I do try to eat healthy otherwise, but I use Sundays as my ice cream day.

Who are your musical idols?
I got inspired by the great ones – Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys. I love bringing the piano world together with the pop world. I started performing and writing songs.

What do you think of Auto-Tune?
It depends on how it’s used. I’ve been in sessions where I actually ask for a little bit to hear what’s going on. It’s common now to use it whether you can sing or not. Artists like Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce can use a bit of it for an effect.

Jessica has a new single, “If You’re Out There,” and is currently collaborating with producer Sean Garrett on her first album.