The Nigerian music industry recently honored Cameroonian-Nigerian singer and electrifying stage artiste, Ashley Stephanie by organising a grand premiere of her trendy music video, Tomber, at the IMAX Cinema, Lekki, Lagos. The beautiful Afrocentric singer, songwriter who also featured in a blockbuster Nigerian movie, Don’t Get Mad Get Even, shares her inspiration, musical career, future plans and more with Tosin Clegg
How year 2019 has been for me
It has been very interesting so far. This year, I have been more focused on my content development and rebranding generally. I would say almost 80% of my set-goals for this year have been met and I’m so sure to achieve all the rest before the year runs out, by the grace of God. We have a few more months to go and I’m very optimistic.
My plans for the rest of the year
Musically and career wise, my plans are to share another track from my forthcoming EP with the world, touch more lives with my private charity initiative and generally remain focused in achieving the rest of my set-goals for this year. Tomber, my latest song has an amazing video shoot and many people speculated I bought a private jet. But actually, a very close friend of mine owns the private jet. I played the audio version of the song to her and her husband over dinner at my home. They both loved it and as a creative person, she started suggesting ideas to me. I shared them with the director and we brought the vision into reality.
I’m always inspired by the things that happen around me
So far, this song wasn’t different. I see a lot of guys treat girls like trash just because they have it all, and feel they can afford to give her whatever she wants materially. I just wanted to encourage men through this song to love their ladies, and give them their hearts too, even if they can provide them with all the good things of life.
Also, ladies should care more about how well they are treated by their love interest; rather than the material things they can stand to gain. Yeah, so that’s the inspiration for this song.
It has been an amazing experience touring so far
I have performed on stages of big carnivals in 16 countries so far, and the reception has been overwhelming. You know, I was built for the stage, built to entertain, and people sometimes, are so surprised to see me in one of these huge carnivals without even knowing my song. But my management has been incredibly instrumental in making these happen for me. Because of the reception, I have decided to record more songs that people in Central, West, South, North Africa and the rest of the world can relate to and sing along, rather than just focusing on recording songs that give more vibe on stage like I did before. I’m currently working on releasing an EP and that would be first quarter of next year and then follow up with an album later the same year. So, that’s the plan after the ongoing promotions.
What inspires and motivates me
I get inspiration first from God Almighty and also, from the things that happen around me or to me. As for motivation, my greatest source of motivation is my undying desire to be able to contribute to the lives of those who can’t afford to pursue their dreams in what they truly aspire to be.
I have been featured in some movies
I have been in two other movies before Don’t Get Mad Get Even. I have been getting a lot of offers to feature in films over the years; but, time wasn’t really permissive so I didn’t take them. But this one came at the right time so I took it. Even in Hollywood, most musicians like Beyoncé, Kelly Roland, Jennifer Lopez, 50 cent, Jamie Fox, Tyrese and many more, make great appearances in movies. So, I see it as normal for any musician that has the talent, to play movie roles when given the opportunity.
Combining music with movies
Very true, they are really both time consuming but, as I said, most big musicians that are very busy still do it. So, I will leave that to my management to balance. For me, love is a beautiful thing you know. I am a natural lover girl; so given a role like that was like living my normal life. It was challenging but yea, from the compliments, I guess I played it really well.
I believe private matters should be kept private
But I like men that value their women and treat them with care, sincerity and with respect. Lies and fake people turn me off. I like honest people around me all the time. Love for me is being able to care about the welfare and feelings of others, like you care about yours. Everybody has been heartbroken at some point.
My future plans are limitless
But, I will just summarise by saying, I will just want to work and get my music to the four corners of the world. Also, I’d like to positively impact more lives across Africa and the world, through my charity initiative.