TIDAL Rising Artist Of The Week, Maxine Ashley Braves The Independent Circuit
“My family, my hood, my travels, my real life experiences—and Beyoncé,” TIDAL Rising Artist of the Week, Maxine Ashley quips on her biggest musical influences. A Puerto Rican misfit and palatable sancocho of funk rock, urban pop, throwback R&B and contemporary hip-hop, Maxine and her rebel spirit beckoned fans from around the world and made champions out of music heavyweights like Pharrell Williams, who signed her to his i am OTHER venture back in 2014.
Flexing her songbird’s pipes and covering some of your favorite songs from the comfort of her own bed lead to Maxine toiling the music industry for some years, living and recording in places like London, Los Angeles, and her native New York. “It has its ups and downs,” she notes about her the trajectory of her career thus far, “just like life. It’s why I write music—it will survive far longer than I will.”
Born in the Bronx to salsero parents, and raised in a single household with 11 people, Maxine knows the struggle of having to fight for your voice to be heard while coming into your own—especially in a world obsessed with cookie-cutter chanteuses and mainstream narratives (Maxine is hardly America’s sweetheart or you typical girl next door, but her artistic flair for lusty crooning and cat-eyed, sultry steez will make you love her all the same). Now freed from any label, Maxine is busy running the independent circuit with total creative control of her visual and lyrical content, with the sum of all her cultural experiences at the forefront of what’s informing her latest work.
Her upcoming audiovisual “Santana,” for example, which will premiere exclusively on TIDAL this coming Friday (Oct. 26) is set in present-day Dominican Republic, but marries vintage-like aesthetics while sonically oozing old-school Spanish guitar.
“You can dance bachata to it with the amazing Latin guitar played by Bori who plays for Romeo Santos,” sh explains via email, noting that she grew up on “a lot of alternative and indie rock.” She adds that “traveling to London a lot introduced me to EDM and grime, so I’ve been surrounded by many different types of music. It’s been hard to just choose one and stick to it.” So why not do it all, right?
While Maxine toys artistically with a global sound and perspective, she knows too well the affect she has on others when her music translates from her personal narrative and vulnerability: “When I go perform I notice my audience are a bunch of strong women and men of all color that can relate to the words I am saying. I would have people coming up to me, saying that my song “Happy“ helped them through a break up or a fight. That’s ultimately what I want to achieve with my music. I want to help show people they aren’t alone in those intense emotions, no matter how crazy they may feel.”
Premiering exclusively on TIDAL, watch Maxine Ashley’s newest offering “Santana,” beautifully shot in the Dominican Republic (below). Also make sure to familiarize yourself with more of Maxine’s work by checking out her previously released EPs, Mood Swings and Paranoid.
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