by Brittany Rotondo
If you’ve never seen or heard of sixteen year old Ashley Leone, the next time you stumble across her music, it will be through FM airwaves nationwide. The suburban Philadelphia native has been performing since age thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. To say she’s a seasoned performer is sorely an understatement.
After signing with LiveNation to entertain before concerts for artists like The Fray, One Direction and Kelly Clarkson, Leone hit her creative stride with shows seemingly nonstop in the tristate circuit. Validation came when teenaged Leone opened for songwriter alum Jeffrey Gaines at Tin Angel in November of 2012.
With one click to her ReverbNation page you’ll quickly discover she has over 8400 song plays. Now, if that’s not dedication at it’s finest, I’m unsure what is. One of the tunes your earholes might recognize is Leone’s take on Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You”. Backed by musical veterans Butch Serianni on drums and Mitch Beer on bass, Leone’s live shows are invitingly diverse.
Alongside her plentiful cover songs are many originals, like “Unbreakable”, a rhythmic Latin-y number with lyrics such as, “We’re playing hide and seek, ain’t it hard to play the game when you’re not allowed to peek”. And there’s certainly no hiding this talent.
In Leone’s own words, “Writing “Dive” is the dream of becoming a singer/songwriter, along with being young and not having much freedom because of age. Once you dive there’s no turning back. You’re going head first into whatever you’re doing.” Spoken effortlessly, like a true heroine of harmony.
The soul behind Leone’s vocals is that of a young woman aged well beyond her years. This past weekend, she performed at the Cape May Singer Songwriter Showcase in Congress Hall. Next stop is Nashville, Tennessee, then back to the City of Brotherly Love at the Tin Angel April 6th, with local band Dry Reef.
Keep an eye out for the infinitely talented Ashley Leone and the splattered canvas of a popstar princess on the rise.