BIO - The Full Story

Born out of a life of trials and tribulations, Ashlee Williss’ story is one of a singer-songwriter who needed music to escape - and turned that escape into her purpose. Seamlessly blending genres of pop, country and dance, her music immediately connects with audiences who crave that same escape through music. Growing up in the south with an alcoholic dad, Ashlee learned that her ability to entertain could keep her father's violent nature at bay. After seeing Trisha Yearwood perform at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, she realized that she herself could turn her passion into more than just a distraction. “Music always came naturally to me.” If you can imagine a baby’s first cry being in tune - that was Ashlee Williss. “But we had no money. My mom worked full time, overtime, and would even clean the local dance/music studios so I could take lessons. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams.”

 

Eager to seek out more than her humble beginnings had to offer, Ashlee headed to LA at age 18 - and quickly saw promising opportunities including several song placements in TV/Film; acting features on The Bachelor, Fuller House, CSI: NY and Kingdom; voiceover work for all 12 episodes of Netflix hit show Absurd Planet; performances at The GRAMMYS® and American Music Awards; and even a song ‘on hold’ by country superstars Rascal Flatts. All the while, Ashlee was writing and recording her first original album. “There were so many ‘close calls’ and ‘almosts’ - I felt like I was on the right track. I just needed that one moment or opportunity to push things over the edge.”

 

What should have launched her career as an original artist - the release of her debut single “You Only Want Me When You’re Wasted” (produced by GRAMMY Award®-winning John Shanks) - was quickly overcome by tragedy. “My boyfriend passed away on release day. I was beyond devastated.” Though an album was supposed to follow closely on the heels of the single, it was never released. “It was just too hard to communicate my utter heartbreak, and I lost the will to try. I was angry at myself for putting my life's attention on music when I should've appreciated this wonderful man who loved me so much. So I took time away from everything and did some serious soul searching.”

 

In the process, Ashlee stumbled upon a new creative outlet as a DJ. Embracing the craft, and a new performer name - DJ Bad Ash - she found herself opening for Snoop Dog, Gwen Stefani, Chainsmokers, Luke Bryan, Adam Levine, and Cardi B (among others), taking the stage at festivals like Stagecoach, Tortuga Music Festival, and Country2Country. “The DJ thing just started to take off. It opened my eyes to so many different styles of music I had never explored and literally made me fall in love with music again.” 

 

Ashlee's experience behind the board served as the ultimate catalyst for her return to original music. “I missed playing my own songs and when the pandemic hit I saw it as the perfect opportunity to re-embrace that exposed singer-songwriter I’d put aside for so long.” Partnering with hit producer T.I Jakke (Ava Max, “Kings & Queens”), “Don’t Let the Music Die” will launch the first of several new tunes from Ashlee - a dancy, mid-tempo tune encompassing her unique mix of pop, country and now EDM all in one. “I wanted this song to scream ‘inclusion’ - it's an anthem for anyone that’s struggled over the past year while we’ve been quarantined. I think it’s a timely, carefree, let loose - kind of message that’s so needed in our world, and I’m excited to deliver it.”