Music: Battleships by Ashlinn Gray – Johannesburg, South Africa

Singer Songwriter Ashlinn Gray 6 - Credit Natalie Field  (Field Photography)
Ashlinn Gray is barely out of high school and already her music career is soaring. The 18-year-old singer songwriter began drama, singing and piano lessons in Grade 4 and unlike her acting ability, singing didn’t come naturally. Instead of being a deterrent, it became her motivator. She practised day and night getting her voice into shape, knowing that there was a God-given talent brewing inside her. She had a story to tell and music was to be the answer. From up-tempo folk tunes to distinguished power ballads, Ashlinn flaunts the vocal prowess of some of our most celebrated international divas. Throw in her lyrical masterpieces together with her band of sophistication and you’ve got yourself a winning formula.
We did previously place this record on our site, but we were so impressed that we had to go back and get the story behind this amazing record.
Why did you select this song as your current single?  
Battleships is a genuine reflection of who I am as a person and musician. I like to think of myself as someone who is determined to make the best out of every situation and achieve the goals I place for myself. I also think this single has a message that everyone needs to hear. We all need to be reminded that we are far greater than our mind and bodies give us credit for; nothing is impossible.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape? 
The single has elements of hope, light and dark, and that’s what I wanted to achieve with this EP. Each of the five songs are about giving your all and those moments of hope.
What was the writing process for the song? 
Since it was the first song I’ve ever written, I didn’t really know any proper writing processes. I just sat at the piano for a few hours and started playing around with chords and the mixed feeling of doubt and belief started coming out as words. Once I got most of the lyrics and music done, I workshopped it with my co-writers and the song came alive.
What does this song’s lyric mean to you? 
The lyrics turned out to be the conversations I was having in my head at the time of starting so many new things and taking a lot of risks. I felt like I was literally on an adventure with no map, food or water and somehow had to get to an unknown destination alive. Battleships is about having faith and I needed to remind myself to believe.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?  
When I perform battleships, I think of it as a celebration of knowing that you can achieve anything. Knowing that everyone has their struggles, no mater how big or small, puts us all in the same boat [or ship ;)] and that can give us that extra push into conquering our battles.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song? 
I think this song allows fans to see a huge part of who I am as an artist. What I like about Battleships is that it doesn’t give everything away of who I am. It’s a positive song with underlying tones that aren’t exactly light. I believe that without the dark you don’t get light and hopefully fans can feel that in this song.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music? 
I make music to remind myself and others that we are greater that the pressures and struggles we are faced with. I’m a storyteller who uses music to paint the pictures of the world I see and experience through my unique lens. We are all empowered to live life the way we want to, and sometimes we forget that we have a say in how our future plays out. We get thrown a lot curve balls and are told to follow straight lines, but I want to challenge people to start a journey of new discoveries and living life joyfully.

Singer Songwriter Ashlinn Gray 6 - Credit Natalie Field  (Field Photography) Singer Songwriter Ashlinn Gray 5 - Credit Natalie Field  (Field Photography) Singer Songwriter Ashlinn Gray 13 - Credit Natalie Field  (Field Photography)
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