When she’s not performing, singer-songwriter Ashley Rauls, Furman, focuses on just being a regular college student—but with a dream. Taking her music career a day at a time, Ashley says it’s important to try to make school and music work at the same time.
While balancing school and a music career can be challenging, Ashley says support from her Kappa sisters helps. During an out-of-town gig, Ashley looked up to find her grand-big sitting in the audience. “It was the best feeling and surprise to have her there. Only a Kappa would do that.”
Trained in classical piano before picking up guitar, Ashley writes her own music. “I’d rather pursue it now than regret it twenty years down the road.”
Categorizing her music as indie-folk, she is influenced by Bob Dylan and her surroundings. “I find inspiration in problems and looking for ways to find answers, in traveling and meeting different people. I’m inspired by those who go after their dreams, even if they pursue something that doesn’t have a set path that’s proven to succeed. As for Bob Dylan, he seems to come up quite often, but it’s hard to not be influenced by him. He was all about the words, a true poet, and for me the words matter the most.”
As with all artists, Ashley has dealt with the stresses of image. “It’s hard enough to decide what or who you want to be as a person, but throw in the fact that you have to decide on an image to portray to an audience—it’s tough to be yourself.” Ashley responded to that challenge with her first EP, What You Want Me To Be. “People try to please others before they please themselves, but it should really be reversed.”
She focuses on writing songs that speak truth to her life and her experiences, instead of trying to please the masses. “It’s great to play a set and then have complete strangers come up to me and say they relate to the music. That’s the great thing about my songs. I write them from my own experience and the audience relates to it from their own experiences. There’s no right or wrong interpretation, but if a song can make someone feel something, then it’s a good song in my opinion.”
Ashley’s next EP is scheduled for release in the first half of 2014. “A U.S. tour is definitely in the works for the summer of 2014, so follow me on social media to keep up on release dates! I’d love to see Kappas meet up at my shows!”
Follow Ashley on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to hear her new music and keep up to date on her tour dates!