Bio: That Maxine Ashley wouldn’t make music was never an option. The Bronx-bred daughter of Puerto Rican salsa singers was born into it. “My whole life I’ve sung and not thought about it," she explained. "I’ve been writing since I was a kid.”
The not thought about it part is important. It is the 21-year-old’s instinct for music that makes her special, her ability to sing how she feels, to write what’s in her mind, to allow her emotions to lead her. The music that flows through her veins flows straight in to her songs. It’s why she doesn’t sound like anyone else and why her songs feel so real. It’s why her musical style, even her singing, can shift with her mood. It’s why her music makes an instant connection with everyone who hears it.
Pharrell Williams felt that connection the moment he saw Maxine sing, at age 13. At her mother’s behest, Maxine had posted a video of herself on YouTube performing “Here’s Where I Stand,” a little-known song from the soundtrack of comedy film "Camp." Pharrell waited four years to get in touch, always keeping an eye on the covers, skits and artwork Maxine continued to post on her YouTube channel.
By the time Pharrell became Maxine’s mentor, signing her to his label, recording and writing with her, she was already an industry veteran and had spent years perfecting her craft in London. “I spent every day in studios, writing,” Maxine recalled. “I played in clubs and bars, though I was underage. It was amazing. Every experience I had—good or bad—made me strong. I grew up so much."
Pharrell taught Maxine to produce, helped sharpen her writing, advised her on how to sell herself.
Her first proper EP, Moodswings (Outsiders/i am OTHER), produced by Kerry ‘Krucial' Brothers, arrives as her introduction and among the standouts is "Between You & I," a sultry, late night soul-soaked title track and the funk "Lobster."
Watch her video on REVOLT the week of March 21, 2016! Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @RevoltTV and using the hashtag #SpotlightOnREVOLT