My name is Ashley Outrageous, I’m 24 years old and I was born in South Florida. Five years ago I was fresh out of high school and that’s when I decided to go to the Art Institute of Graphic Design and I was just starting this thing called blogging. Which, at the time, I definitely didn’t know much about it, I was just learning about it from a friend who had one. So I was just doing personal stuff, covering what me and my friends were doing, or covering what music I liked and then going to school. Before I started mine I would look at blogs like NahRight and the blog DCtoBC and how Modi would put a lot of personal touch into his content and it was really something I always enjoyed reading. It wasn’t fast facts, it was still personalized. So that was the first blog that made me want to write more about why I like this music video or why I like that song. And that’s when I was still on blogspot and then one day I just woke up and wanted to take it more serious. So I took it down for a month and I did a full redesign. And then from there I went to South By South West a month later, after I re-launched and I went to wordpress, who Modi from DCtoBC actually told me to do.
After that specific trip to South By in 2010, that’s when I knew that I wanted to take it seriously.
After South By, I came back to school and decided I didn’t want to be there so I didn’t finish. But I still apply everything I learned in that time to now with my own website and brand.
I started blogging in Miami and there wasn’t that many bloggers at the time so it was a bit easier for me to get content, rather than say if I started out here (in New York) where there’s so many people, every one’s trying to dish for that interview and get in front of each other. So back in Miami it was easier for me because there was maybe only me and two other bloggers, and when artists came in to town or even when I brought them myself, doing my own events, I felt that that gave me a little more credibility and I was able to get more original content. Plus I wanted to keep all my interviews fun. Like I interviewed Dom Kennedy from a pool before. And then I interviewed Erick from the Zombies in his home studio… Just a bunch of different things where I feel I took people somewhere else, instead of just the standard interview. So I definitely feel it was the strong content that got me out there.
And up keeping that personality is so important, like… people want to know what I like to listen to so I want to create a Spotify play list and show people exactly what I listen to, which is anything from Gucci Mane to Michael Jackson.
FF- Speaking of… If your life was a movie what would be on its soundtrack?
AO- Oooh! Coldplay ‘Green Eyes’ would be my mellow one, for when I’m reflecting. Then I’m gonna go with Young Jeezy, the trap star song… because I like to call myself a digital trap star. And that’s my entrance song. And then Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’, I feel that is totally my personality right there (laughs).
And I really want people to see more of my personality and back when I first started, my personality was hip hop.
I’ve loved it since I was little, my Dad threw my Juvenile mixtape out the window once. Out of my two sisters, I was the one that didn’t really know what I wanted to, always jumping around. They both went to private school and I went to public so I was the loud one at the pep rally, always talking to every one. I learned a lot from my sisters; the oldest one was a singer, she doesn’t do it anymore but growing up she wanted to pursue a singing career, so my parents would do everything for her – I would be dragged along to the studio sessions and dance practices. And my other sister is a model and I’d always have to go along to her photo shoots and back then I hated it. It’s so funny because now I’m combining all those things in my career.
FF- Who are three people we should chat to that inspire you?
AO- My new Brand Manager, Meko… he’s really motivating, very smart; he manages an artist named Deniro Ferarr, he used to manage Mystikal, which is crazy! So yeah definitely Meko. I’d also recommend Eric from the Zombies; another super creative. And I’m going to say… Vinny, from Madbury Club. Three guys (laughs)! They’re all very talented.
FF- Is there a specific post that significantly impacted your following?
AO- Hmm… I know I definitely have had a few of those moments… There was an interview I did with AbSoul, where I got real answers out of him because I know him, so I was able to ask him personal things… about the loss of his girlfriend and he spoke to me about that. And definitely one of my Big Sean interviews.
He was talking about a possible Good Music tour so that was the big thing, people were like who is this girl and why is Big Sean telling her that exclusive?!
And he’s actually one of my really good friends now. He shared the story, lots of people shared it off that, I sent it out and a lot of websites picked it up, so Big Sean definitely got traffic.
I actually met him through my friend Hustle Simmons in Chicago. He knew his road manager at the time and he was like Hey! Big Sean is coming to Miami, do you want to interview him? And of course I said yes! Please! Do the intro! Give me the stamp of approval. So yeah that’s usually what I do.
FF- So what’s your advice for people who don’t have that time to get comfortable and aren’t the best at networking?
AO- I mean, you have to be. If you’re not going to network how are people going to know who you are? Say you’re out during CMJ and you’re at SOBs and it’s packed full of people…
if you’re not saying anything to anybody, how are they going to know who you are? I never wanted to be just the girl behind the computer screen.
So even though… that first year in 2010 was like my burst! I’m telling you, I went to South By and I was like OK this is it! So then I went to Chicago for just one day, then went to NY, then to LA, then Atlanta for A3C. That whole year I went to all five of those places because I wanted to go meet these people that I was talking to on twitter, back then… that was all we had! Instagram didn’t exist yet. I was really using Twitter and I feel that was my big networking thing but I didn’t just stay online. Like I was on Twitter talking to people from NY, LA and ATL… then was in their city and be like let’s link up! So I would go to all these events, then if I saw some one that I knew off Twitter I wouldn’t… you know how people get weird, they’re like staring at you… and it’s like OK who’s going to say hi?! So I would just go up to people and introduce myself. You have to interact with people, if you’re not then… what are you doing?! You better get that 9 to 5 in the office where you don’t talk to anyone and you’re sitting in a cubicle. To be in this work, you have to. If you’re scared then you’re in the wrong lane.
FF- So what’s the goal with all of this? What would you like to add to the world?
AO- I feel that’s what I’m figuring out right now. I’m going through a phase, especially since I moved to New York… this is my first time moving away from home ever. You know, I did college twenty minutes away from my house. I didn’t need a dorm, nothing, I’m used to seeing my parents every single day. And you know, I’m away from my comfort zone, I don’t have my car, now I’m in a city! At home it’s like trees growing, grass everywhere. So I feel the first six months here have been a very personal growth experience and even finding things out about myself.
And the whole point OF COMING here was to challenge myself. I was getting very comfortable back home. I felt if I stayed there I was going to be on cruise control,
unless I wanted to say, get into the party scene, there was really nothing else there for me. That’s home and I’m always going to go back as much as I can, I always want to bring stuff back to Miami because that’s what got me to where I am now. And I’m going through this whole reformatting and rebranding phase because I want to go back to my original roots, where I started… that passion that I had back in 2010. I felt that I lost it last year and I’ve told some people this before… I felt blogging became a fast food chain or something, where every site has the same thing and every thing is just very quickly posted because people only care about hits. Which I admit I fell into that hole one time, but that steered me away from what separated me from every one else. When people ask what separates your blog from everything, I say my content! I’m giving my original point of view. And that’s what I want to do, I want to make everything more original. And all these artists that I personally know, that are friends of mine, when we have conversations about their music and other random things that journalists wouldn’t really be able to get. I don’t really call myself a journalist, I didn’t go to school for it. I like to say I’m a creative,
I like to do a lot of creative things and I like to be both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
So now the goal is to become more of that personality, and creative and a curator and really show people who I am and it’s still always going to go back to music but I do want to expand into fashion or gadgets or food. I always have to clear my head and ask myself Where am I? Where do I want to go? What am I doing? How am I going to get it done? And at the end of the day, I tell myself this… no one is stopping me from anything but myself, if I don’t get this done today that’s my fault. I’m the only one responsible.