THIS summer sees the release of the debut single from Kendal-born songstress Ashleigh Woods, and the 21-year-old is hoping the song will propel her into the record charts.
Ashleigh was raised in Ingleton and now lives in Carnforth but has paid tribute to her birthplace with her newly adopted stage name – Kendall.
“I’ve always liked the sound of the name and as a place it made a big impression on me growing up,” she explained.
It was while visiting her country singing grandma Naina – who lived in the Auld Grey Town – that Ashleigh developed her love of music.
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She was given a karaoke machine for her seventh birthday and sang in front of her family for the first time on holiday at the age of ten.
Not surprisingly her early songs had a distinct country flavour but in more recent times Ashleigh created an act singing cover versions influenced by recording artists including Emeli Sande and Jessie J.
She developed those skills whilst studying for a BA Honours Degree in Musical Theatre at the University of Central Lancashire.
Ashleigh has already established an enviable reputation thanks to some powerful performances and clubs and pubs around the North West.
After a chance meeting with Heysham-based songwriter Mike Croft, Ashleigh started to work on completely original material, discovering and developing her own vocal identity.
These days she still acknowledges that country music influence, but describes herself as a pop singer with a ‘quirky flick’ in her voice.
That influence is very much apparent in her new single, ‘Tell Me It’s Over’, which is her first for Lancashire-based record label Steep Smithy which is run by Mike.
“Mike wrote the song for me after I told him a bit about my past,” Ashleigh said.
“It’s about being in a relationship where you know something is wrong – it’s something that will relate to a lot of people.”
The song was masterminded by award winning producer James McMillan and has received an enthusiastic reaction from some top level record companies.
Now Mike, Ashleigh and writer producer Kevin Malpass, are working on more songs for an EP which will be ready by the end of summer.