If catching Pharrell’s attention is any indication, Maxine Ashley has something special.
Gaining a massive following on YouTube [which is where Pharrell discovered her], the 20-year-old Bronx-native gained traction covering R&B hits like Rihanna’s “Man Down” and Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable” … from her bedroom.
If you check out any of her covers, it’s obvious why she has so many views – not only is her sultry voice addictive, her personality is that of someone you want to hang out with – she’s kind of a misfit, unconventional, and most importantly, talented. Her sound is so unique, she really can’t be put in any box.
Her multi-colored hair, tattoos and piercings are a contradiction to her soulful voice, and that’s a good thing. She gives us dynamic in every way possible. Follow her on instagram and you’ll learn she doesn’t take herself seriously [like, at all] which is extremely refreshing in an industry that can be weighed down by vanity and ego.
Maxine’s first glimpse at success came back in 2010 when she had a guest vocal appearance on Italian DJ Alex Gaudino’s “I’m in Love” for Ministry of Sound [which has over 3 million views on YouTube.] She was a teenager at the time but you’d never know. She has that ‘wise beyond her years’ thing going on, which makes her all-the-more likable.
Her debut EP Mood Swings, presented by Krucial Noise, was released earlier this fall and includes a cover of the Portishead classic “Glory Box” [see below] and is a good representation of not only her serious vocal abilities but her eclectic sound that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Maxine’s just getting started, but this girl’s gonna be around for awhile – we’re totally OK with that, and you should be too.
Song of choice: The Pharrell Williams-produced “Perpetual Nights”
Check out this interview she did with Page 31 to get to know her a little better:
And do yourself a favor and download her EP MOOD SWINGS here
PHOTO CREDIT: Page 31/Daniel J. Vasquez, Instagram