Music in Santa Monica: Natchezian accepted right into a music program within the Golden State
Posted 2:37 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2022
NATCHEZ — Ashleigh Johnson, after receiving her acceptance letter to attend her dream faculty at Belmont College in Nashville, traded her dream for a brand new one.
This fall, Johnson begins lessons at a prestigious new music program referred to as the Los Angeles Academy for Artists and Music Manufacturing, or LAAMP for brief. This system launched in Santa Monica, California in October 2021 with simply 45 in-person college students. This yr, Johnson was certainly one of 48 college students accepted into this system internationally, with others taking on-line lessons, she mentioned.
The college is meant solely to show college students how you can make music and to develop a community to assist them construct a music profession. It’s led by two Norwegian producers from the Grammy-winning manufacturing duo referred to as Stargate, Tor E. Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen.
Collectively they wrote or produced songs for the largest names within the trade, resembling Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez , Katy Perry, Coldplay, Pink, Whitney Houston and others.
These taking in-person classes will spend the vast majority of their time making and recording music in collaboration with different folks and below the steerage of skilled mentors. By the top of the nine-month program, every scholar may have created between 50 and 100 songs.
“I really feel blessed, actually,” Johnson mentioned of enrolling in this system. “It isn’t on daily basis that somewhat woman from Mississippi goes to LA and information music. I am blessed and a bit shocked.
After finding out at Delta State as a freshman, Johnson mentioned his first try to use to Belmont failed. She sang a music in Italian and was advised that she mispronounced numerous the lyrics. Johnson discovered a brand new vocal coach and was later accepted into the 2 music packages she utilized to for the second time, however it wasn’t meant to be.
“After I utilized to Belmont and obtained in, I had a number of folks I adopted on-line round my age who have been additionally making music and posting on LAAMP. I requested my mum about it and determined to use and went in,” she mentioned. “I used to be uncertain at first about dropping out of faculty and shifting to LA, however I can all the time return to Belmont later if I select to.”
Johnson mentioned the primary a part of the LAAMP software course of concerned sending hyperlinks to her social media platform and music and giving a written rationalization of why she needed to take part in this system. LAAMP doesn’t require a level or expertise, solely expertise.
The second half was an interview and audition by way of Zoom with employees members and one of many two Stargate companions.
“I used to be fortunate sufficient to fulfill certainly one of them,” Johnson mentioned. “The interview solely lasted 5 minutes as a result of they’ve so many individuals to undergo.”
On Spotify, Apple Music and on social media, Johnson presently goes by the pseudonym “Ashleigh Vale”, a reputation that honors his mom, Valerie Meng. Johnson mentioned she has liked singing for so long as she will keep in mind and began taking singing classes at age 13. She additionally wrote songs with Ethan Stroud, a Natchez guitarist and “a musical genius,” Johnson mentioned.
She has many musical inspirations, certainly one of them being Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of OneRepublic who additionally occurs to be certainly one of LAAMP’s mentors.
“After I discovered he was a mentor, I freaked out,” Johnson mentioned.
She goals of being a performing artist, however she would not thoughts writing songs for different folks to sing both, she mentioned.
“I all the time dreamed of being a pop star on stage, however rising up I used to be too shy,” she mentioned. “My mom has all the time been very supportive of me.”
She has launched two singles, ‘Remind Me of You’ and ‘Puppet’ and is presently engaged on a 3rd music referred to as ‘Contradiction’.
Her second music, “Puppet,” which Johnson carried out whereas auditioning for LAAMP, has been streamed greater than 42,000 occasions, Meng mentioned.
“I am excited however somewhat nervous simply because I’ve lived in Natchez all my life. I am excited to see and do extra issues, however I’ll miss Natchez somewhat bit,” Johnson mentioned.