by Liaudwin Seaberry Jr. —
Throughout her career, Memphis singer and producer Ashley Foster, who goes by Ashley Ave., has experienced the highs and lows of an ascending artist.
Despite a substantial amount of adversity, she has managed to establish herself in both the music and production industries. Her burgeoning success included times in which she received criticism for paving her own way.
After Ashley Ave. completed her college studies and basketball career at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, she concluded that she needed to take music, which long had been a part of her life, more seriously to manifest her musical aspirations.
“I was pregnant when I recorded and wrote my first serious song, ‘Red Wine,’ in 2016,” Ashley Ave. said. “People really liked it and that’s when I realized I really had a sound that was big and my soulful sound was definitely commercial.”
Armed with that realization, she wanted to be acknowledged as a creator and someone who could materialize something out of nothing.
Throughout her musical career, she has crossed paths with many producers and songwriters.
Ashley Bella, the CEO of ArtzyBella, noticed her talents at an event Bella hosted in August 2017. ArtzyBella empowers people with the ability to express themselves through art.
“Ashley Ave.’s music tells a story you feel you can at least relate to,” Bella said. “In addition, she’s one of the hardest workers in the music industry.
“I’ve watched her create an album, write the songs, help produce the songs, create the album artwork and music videos, and also utilize her marketing to promote her music simultaneously.”
Singer and songwriter Felly the Voice recognized Ashley Ave.’s creativity in 2018 when she was asked to work as a creative producer for a project the songwriter and his group were taking on. Amazed and intrigued by the message of her music, he views Ashley Ave. as an uplifter and someone who motivates people through her words.
“She’s all about healing and helping to identify the broken and give them a voice,” he said. “Broken hearted, broken family, it doesn’t matter. … She always made it a point to make sure that whatever song she creates/sings, she’s singing to those that have been there, and who may still be going through it.”
Ashley Ave. also has standout production skills, although she is relatively new to the industry. She has honed her directing and producing skills for the last three years, starting in Memphis-based productions such as “The Union,” which earned her the first opportunity to work on a major set with the BET production “The Pull Up” with mega producer “Blackelvis.”
Recently, she directed a music video for the song “Make It,” which features local hip-hop prodigy Yung Hunnid, who first caught major attention when he appeared on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” several years ago.
As a plus, Ashley Ave. reached out to Celia Newman, the founder of the She Got Game League, a semi-professional basketball league for women in the Memphis area. Having a basketball background herself, Ashley Ave. wanted to help promote the league.
“She pitched the Locker Room productions to T-Mobile and they loved the idea and decided to sponsor it,” Newman said, referring to Ashley Ave’s push to include the new idea. “I love her addition to our league as our T-Mobile host and I plan for us to grow even more in the years to come with our partnership.”
Proud to have discovered her purpose in life, Ashley Ave. is grateful for the opportunities and doors that have been opened for her to succeed.
“Music is my raw talent, but production and directing brings me a different level of fulfillment also,” she said.
“It’s helped me not to be afraid to walk through big doors to get what you want. It also showed me how a team is needed … to create something bigger than all of us.”