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Q&A: Ashleigh Bo Chats New Music and More

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

NSW singer-songwriter Ashleigh Bo has released her second single ‘Nana Joy’ and we were lucky enough to chat with her about it. Ashleigh Bo takes inspiration from Amy Winehouse, Angel Olsen and Cat Power to create an intimate and melancholic sound. She reflects on all aspects of the human experience with deeply personal storytelling coupled perfectly with lo-fi instrumentals.

‘Nana Joy’ is the follow up to Bo’s well-received debut single ‘Broken Head Hill’. ‘Nana Joy’, written after the passing of Bo’s grandmother, explores the grieving process and complexities of family dynamics. The track features mellow yet bright guitars to accompany Bo’s warm hazy vocals and unique twang.

You were all the things that my mama told me that she'd never be/

You took all of her sweetness/

You took all that you needed/

You stole all of the love that she had to give, & you stole it from me

About your latest release you muse on topics of love loss and regret, what else inspires your song writing?

"I’m usually inspired by what’s pulling me emotionally at the time. I’m forever dissecting relationship dynamics and trying to understand myself and others better. I like to share a piece of something when I’m writing, a moment, a story, a person…"

What does your creative process look like?

"I’m in my cabin, usually on the couch, strumming until I find a chord progression I like and then I wait for the words to fall out. Most of my songs have come out this way, but sometimes they come out as poems or stream of consciousness first and then I put them to music. My songs usually arrive in one go, I’ve never really strung together bits and pieces of things… I feel lucky to have figured out that I write in this way, if it’s not flowing in the moment, I usually let it be instead of incessantly trying to make something work."

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate or tour with?

"I’d love to collaborate and tour with Angel Olsen. Her music has been a huge catalyst to my own. Her voice can go to so many places and I love the fragility of her songs, at their core, just a lullaby sung to a strumming electric guitar."

Who is an artist you can’t get enough of right now?

"A devastatingly beautiful singer-songwriter who I also have the pleasure of calling my dear friend, Stephanie Cherote. She has just released 2 singles in 2020 and she is beyond magic. I highly recommend her to anyone who loves nostalgic folk with finger picked acoustic guitar, orchestral strings and Cohen-esque lyrical alchemy."

In your experience what can the music industry do better for female identifying artists?

"I’d love to see more female identifying artists working in this industry, not just on stage but behind the scenes as well. I’ve noticed in most of my interactions with booking gigs, dealing with PR etc it is mostly masculine dominated. I am very fortunate to not have had any negative experiences dealing with men in these areas, but sometimes I find myself yearning for the feminine touch and sisterhood interaction in these in-between spaces." Is there a social cause/piece of art/book/cuisine that you think we should all get on board with?

"I’m pretty obsessed with Patti Smith’s Just Kids. It’s such a captivating delivery to another time, one that I know a lot of artists today would give a limb to exist in. It felt so romantic and electric to me, I must be due to read it again."

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