Ava Aston may or may not be a name you are familiar with but, if it’s not, you should GET familiar with it. That name belongs to someone whose face you may have seen in commercials or seen on You Tube but there is quite a bit more to Ava you probably don’t know.
Ava, welcome to The National Patriot’s 20 questions!
When most people hear the term, “independent artist” they probably think of a typical liberal grunge musician or left wing Hollywood type. You don’t fit into that stereotype as a conservative.
1) Is being an independent artist and a conservative a little like swimming upstream in a career sense?
“Independent” in music industry terms simply means “not on a record label” and that everything I do is self-paid. Unlike most music artists in the public eye who are on a record label. The record labels are like Liberals in the sense since they pay for recording, promotion via radio, TV, Internet, etc. The record executives, like big government, think they know what’s the best thing is and have a need to tell the American people who should get radio air time, how old recording artists should be, and what they look like, etc.
2) You’re always busy and audiences turn out for you but, over the last few years, have you found a difference in how those in the music world perceive you because of your conservative outlook?
I have only one political song and actually, not be a Debbie Downer, but I am not as busy as most people imagine I am. LOL, I would like to be working every night. That is my goal and what I aspire to do, however at this time I am more busy working to get my music out to people so they can hear it. As far as being a conservative, I am not what you would call a “political artist or activist” – I’m just a girl who is trying to get her dream and I happen to have an opinion and that is more conservative. As corny as it may sound, I just really have simple values; I love my God, my family and my country.
Ava, you’re involved in much more than music. Let’s get our readers a little more familiar with you.
3) As an actor, can you tell us where people may have seen or will be able to see you?
I do have a National Commercial currently running for Cystex Cranberry & Cranberry Wonder. Where will people be able to see me soon?… God willing – everywhere! ;D
4) As a songwriter, what awards on your mantle are you proudest of?
My song “I Carry You With Me” won grand prize in an international songwriting contest from over 5,000 entries, so to me that was probably the best thing. When other songwriters and industry professionals were critiquing a song and then chose it, that was truly and honor.
5) You’re not really “about” politics; you’re more about living and being an American. Your blog reflects that. What made you start the blog and who exactly is, “Greek Girl?”
Well I cannot take credit for that; it was my manager Mr. Bricks. (yes he is a real person) After he met me and started to get a handle on all of my random “muckery” and “greekness” as he likes to call it, the passionate way I talk about things and the flailing of my hands when I talk - he thought it would be a good way to expose people to another side of me and set me apart from the bazillions of blonde girls releasing records. The Greek Girl is a pretty much a simple happy go lucky girl who has been working on attaining her dream. She likes to sing, write songs, perform, act, workout, drink coffee, rescue animals, and pretty much wants to be a singing philanthropist. My blog allows people to read it and wake up each morning with a smile! For those who have never read it yet, they can find it at www.avaaston.wordpress.com
6) What is “Operation First Response?”
They are a non-profit that works tirelessly to make the lives of our Veterans and their families better. They step in to fill the need, whatever it may be, from prosthesis, to financial hardship. Operation First Response is a very unique organization that is making a world of difference for our nation’s Greatest Heroes.
7) OFR isn’t the only thing you’ve involved yourself in regarding the military. What was performing for “Walk for the Wounded” like?
The Walk for the Wounded, is an annual event in Media, PA that is actually part of a group of events that take place all over the country to benefit Operation First Response.
8) Is there a military connection with your family?
Yes my husband is a Veteran and my mom works for as an NSO for the Purple Heart. The men and women of our Military make the ultimate sacrifice so we can have the freedom to sit here and have this interview today. I feel very passionately that they should be far more respected and revered than they are.
9) Who are some of the artists, over the years, who have influenced you?
Good gravy…. That is a very long list. Well I will just try to name a few as they randomly appear in my noggin, in no particular order. Sting/Police, Good Goo Dolls, U2, Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20, Heart, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Journey, Phil Collins, Stxy, Pat Benatar, Foo Fighters, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Natalie Grant, Matthew West, One Republic, Switchfoot, Kelly Clarkson, and Daughtry to name a few…. Lol
10) Those influences are pretty much all over the board. How do you classify YOUR musical genre?
Pop/Rock. Actually I don’t think I’m too much “different” than most people. Most people just like what they like – they don’t really care what it is “called or labeled”. The music industry I think spends far too much time trying to put things into categories and labeling things. At the end of the day all people really care about is, does this song make me feel something? If it does they generally like it. It is that simple.
Not really, not that I am not willing to try new things, but I think it best to stick to what you are good at. I’m the same girl who was writing songs as a little girl in her diary (although at the time I didn’t really know they were songs per say). My best work usually comes when I am not trying to do or be something that is “popular at the moment” or what people are telling me I “should be or do” in order to get to where I want to be – when I am just being myself. An acting teacher once told me, “we casting directors get so annoyed by you actors because you are always acting!! The only thing that makes you unique is that there is only one you in the whole entire world, and you come into auditions all doing one of about four methods and hiding the real you, Stop it!. Just be you and you will book the job.” So the long answer to that question is, no I am not dying to try anything, I just want to be me, sing my songs and have the opportunity to share them with the world.
12) You grew up in Upstate NY and started singing early. When did you realize you had true talent?
Well I was always singing, and being like a little Tina Turner in the movie with the hairbrush in the mirror. I guess maybe when my music teachers took an interest in me and started to give me extra attention and help. Suggesting I get a vocal coach etc. to develop my sound. Which I did when my parents could afford it and the rest as they say is history. Although winning the $10 Grand Prize in the 8th grade talent show did help a little… ;D
13) Okay…”Ava the Diva”…What’s THAT all about?
Again, Mr. Bricks… He had the idea of creating an animated series of my “muckery” to try to expand my brand per say. It’s an exaggerated version of my life, because that’s what you can do with cartoon characters is make them bigger than life. Most of the time Mr. Bricks is laughing at me, and he decided to play up some things about my personality. Being Greek, my blonde hair, and how much I love to workout, etc. Because in real life I am so not a “Diva”. I find a lot of what is rammed down the throats of people for “entertainment” is really quite silly actually. So he thought it would be funny to do an animated series to show Ava the Diva as a bit of a self absorbed girl Rock Star who is always harassing her manager who has not yet got her “her record deal” because he is too busy eating the Mc Donalds McRib sandwich. (Which is true btw, he is obsessed with Diet Coke and McRibs – and he has not yet gotten “my record deal’). Besides no one else was doing anything like it! LOL.
Ava, you album “Gone” is a real mix of stuff. “What Do I Gotta Say” has an urban look to the video and a country sound. “Gone” has a true pop feel and puts the “Garage” in garage band. “I Adore You” is a romantic ballad.
14) As an independent artist, how do you financially manage production of music and videos?
Well as an independent artist, I have to sell my music in order to be able to make more. I am lucky that I have my husband who knows how to do most of the things you see, my website, makes the videos, all my branding, and the visual content. Regarding recording that is honestly the reason I have not recorded more music to date. As recording and promoting a project is costly. I have a bunch of music that I am working to record for a new project. So I am doing a campaign through a very unique funding platform for start up creative businesses and independent artists called kickstarter.com – It allows artists to fund their project through selling their art to people along with exclusive creative rewards. It is all or nothing, each project has an allowed time to hit the project goal, if it does it will fund. If not no one is charged and the project does not fund. They do this to keep it on the up and up, as it is not a “fund my life” website. They want real tangible projects, as they realize that you need the proper tools to do a project right. If you do not have all the tools you need the project most likely will no succeed. It is secure, all done through amazon.com and no one is actually charged until the project end date. Here is the link to check it out, my end date is Jan 5th at 10:30am EST.
15) The song, “We The People” my favorite, stands a chance, a real chance, at becoming an anthem for the 2012 election. How do you feel about that?
“We The People” is actually a single; it is not on the “Gone” album. As far as being the anthem for the 2012 election, one can only hope. My mom sure prays it will be!
16) What moved you to write “We The People?”
It is a long story, I actually wrote a “note” about it on my facebook Music Page. Basically it came from a simple place. I saw the country I knew and loved being changed in a way that frightened me. Most of my songs are usually about something I feel that has happened to me or someone I know. I was tired of yelling at my TV screen – so I wrote about it.
17) Where did, “I Carry You With Me” come from?
Same place really, I lost someone special to me a family member and wrote about it. Well actually I was doing a project in Nashville, and my mom wrote a letter about this person that was read at their eulogy. It contained some of the lines about what kind of person she was and how she touched the people around her. I was talking with producer about it and we together came up with the song.
18) You have a chance for people, fans, to get involved in your next project. How can folks get involved and what’s in it for them?
Well I guess I jumped the gun a little bit on that on the above question… Kickstarter! What is in it for people is they get to be a part of my being able to actually record my album. For as little as a $1.00 download pledge, they can contribute to making this new album a reality. Because without the funding this record simply cannot be made. There are some very cool rewards, everything from a pre release of the new album for $10, all the way up to one of my songs handwritten and framed special for you, doggie play date, lunch with me, a Skype call, a workout with me, and even hanging out with me in the studio when I record. Please – Go to this link to watch the video and pledge TODAY, (no one is charged until Jan. 5th at 10:30am EST and that is only IF I hit the project goal of $17,500.) Time is ticking, less than days to go!
Just a couple more questions if you have the time.
19) Singing the National Anthem, as you’ve done more than a hundred times…The most terrifying minute and a half in a performer’s life?
This is not terrifying, it is an honor.
20) Okay Ava…you’ve got some explaining to do…You and the Phillie Fanatic…WHAT THE HECK???
He sneaked up on me while I was performing at the Walk for the Wounded, and we had a little moment of goofiness I guess.
Ava Aston, best of luck and we KNOW people are gonna hear a LOT more from you. Thanks SO much for being a part of “20 Questions” with The National Patriot and please let us know when you newest project is available. Once again, to support Ava and her upcoming project, please visit KickStarter by clicking HERE!!!
Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my music with more people, have a wonderful day! Blessings ~ Ava