When she talks about her education, the artist Ashe gets different responses from different places.
“It’s nice when I’m on the East Coast because everyone knows the Berklee College of Music is such a good school but when I am in California people say, ‘You went to Berkeley; are you a hippie?’ Well, I am a hippie but I did not go to (UC) Berkeley.”
Ashe initially can be misunderstood onstage and in videos, too. She’s a pretty, 24-year-old blonde who sings like Billie Holliday over bright pop beats. But listen to the lyrics to hear the serious content and messages: This world is enduring troubled times.
On her breakout song, Ashe sings, “The world’s on fire and It’s more than I can handle. … I watch the heavens and I find a calling; Something I can do to change what’s coming; Stay close to me while the sky is falling; Don’t wanna be left alone, don’t wanna be alone.”
She sings with Louis The Child on “World on Fire,” which has been streamed on Spotify more than 3 million times. Ashe recently has collaborated on another single – “Right To It” – with the electro-pop duo from Chicago. Ashe has a 13-date tour throughout the Northeast with Louis The Child (Robby Hauldren and Freddy Kennett) from Nov. 28-Dec. 16. The musicians perform Thursday, Dec. 7, in Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall.
“(Louis The Child) was the first band to give me a voice in the music industry,” Ashe said. “I worked with them in Chicago about the same time of their single ‘It’s Strange,’ their first big song. They’ve really made a massive difference in my life. This tour’s going to be really incredible.”
From San Jose, Ashe’s piano playing, singing and songwriting earned her a scholarship to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.
“As far back as I can remember how I’ve been doing music and I never thought I would have a career at it,” she said. “That didn’t really occur to me until after high school. My family is full of engineers and my dad owns a construction business.”
“Music is the only thing right in my life,” she told Tahoe Onstage. “I went to Berklee to study country and pop songwriting but I realized it wasn’t very satisfying to my soul.”
Ashe will follow up the shows with Louis The Child in early 2018 on a nationwide tour supporting Lauv.
“That will be a different fan base,” she said. “Lauv is pretty damn pop.”
Ashe said a family tradition is to visit Lake Tahoe every Christmastime. Last year, she performed at Snowglobe.
“It was surreal to sing in the snow,” she said. “It was a winter wonderland.”
She plans to return this year, but is not sure if she will be in the audience or onstage.
Headliner: Louis the Child
When: 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7
Where: Cargo Concert Hall in the Whitney Peak Hotel
Tickets: $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the show
For: Concertgoers 18 and older