Scroll down to experience Ajae’s new video for her song, “Just Do Me“
*They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but in the case of upcoming pop artist Ashley Jackson aka “Ajae,” that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The daughter of prominent civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and esteemed collegiate dean and author Karin L. Stanford Ph.D., Ajae has been preparing herself for a life in front of the masses for quite some time.
But there will be no marches, speeches or sit-ins. At least not of the type we’re used to. The 15-year-old protégé has been pursuing a life in music ever since she could remember and her time in the limelight is quickly approaching.
“I’ve been singing for a long time and I’ve had to try and convince my parents that this is what I’ve wanted to do for a while,” Ajae told EURweb’s Lee Bailey. “For the past two or three years I’ve been working with a production company on getting a project together. It came from one song and turned into several. I have a team and I’ve been working with management. Right now we’re working with a team and trying to get together a project.”
Though a major record deal and all the bells and whistle indicative of a pop star are on the horizon, Ajae says she and her team are gearing up now to prepare the listening public to the coming tsunami of talent that she is destined to catalyze.
“I just kind of wanted to let people know what I’m doing because I felt like they needed to know at some point,” she explained. “Right now, I think we’re just going to be releasing some music and letting people know that this is what I’m trying to do. Then we’re going to put more music out and see what’s going to happen and more visuals, of course. I mean. I take it very seriously. It’s like a fun project but I do want people to hear my music and see what I’m about.”
Ashley Jackson’s pedigree is without question and her familial legacy is one that many Americans would be proud to be a part of. However, this young wunderkind has plans to make a name for herself on her on accord. That’s literal and figurative as well.
“Professionally, I go by AJae because it’s my initials. People have been calling me that for years and it just kind of stuck,” she explained. “I go by that because I kind of want to separate that part of my life from my regular life. Like, all of my friends don’t call me AJae because I think that would be kind of weird. I performed at a location once and all these little girls were calling me AJae. I feel like if my friends are calling me AJae it kind of puts me out of the zone. I have friends that I’ve met in the industry and they call me AJae. But none of my friends and family call me that. To them, I’m just Ashley. Kind of like a separation of lifestyles.”
Musically, AJae’s style is a distinctively American amalgamation of music and influences that we’re all familiar with.
“I love R&B and I’m hoping to incorporate more hip-hop in my upcoming songs. I also rap, which a lot of people don’t know. I hope to do that in my upcoming music as well. It’s kind of like a mix between R&B, Pop and rap. That’s where my style is headed.”
“My main influence is Beyonce. Honestly, I love everything about that woman,” she continued. “She’s been my influence, not only because of her music, but she’s such a good business woman and a feminist. I’ve always defended that about her. Other influences are Janelle Monae and Alicia Keys. I like people who kind of have a message about their music but they still kind of bring you in. I also think Nicki Minaj is hilarious. I just like the character and nobody is rapping like she is right now. I think she does so well because of her character and also she has the talent to go along with it. I think that’s interesting. Of course, her lyrics at times are a little alarming.”
Though this young woman undoubtedly has the talent to make a living as a pop artist she will repeatedly be mentioned in the same breath as her parents. Young AJae explains how she convinced her parents that this was the life she wanted and not a passing fad.
“My parents have their own background working for them. Like, academics and politics, which I still embrace because of my upbringing. But that’s not exactly where I’m headed. I still want to respect their legacy and what they taught me. But I still have to do what I love, which is creativity and music. Like respecting their legacy, but simultaneously respect my dreams and what I want to do.”
“My Mom always knew that I wanted to do music. But, I think, initially she didn’t take it as seriously as I already have. It wasn’t a big conflict, but I had to take the time and energy to prove to her that this is what I wanted to do because she wasn’t just going to put me out there wholeheartedly when she wasn’t sure that I was officially in it. Once I proved that to her then we were fine. Of course she still wants me to follow in her footsteps. I’m just going to do that through educating people in my music.”
Ashley Jackson’s first single is titled “Just Do Me” and is a message to her fans regarding her life path, and to her family as well.
Speaking of family, we’ll have more from the young Ms. Jackson in part II of our story as well as get some insight from her mother, Dr. Karin Stanford Ph.D. Stay tuned and check out Ashley’s video below for “Just Do Me”: