IT STARTED WITH — A tragedy, an endless passion for music, for discovery, for people, and for life.
Ashliegh Lisset, an independent country artist from Texas, is kind-hearted and cognizant of the impact music has on its listeners. While this talented, young vocalist has always had a love and appreciation for music, she discovered it was her true passion at the time her world unexpectedly shattered around her.
Can you share your memory of the role music played in your life, and both your parents’ families, growing up in Texas?
Music was very much a thing on both sides of my family! On my dad’s side, everyone sang and played guitar either at church or at family events. My mom’s side also would sing and play guitar as well. My weekends were filled with family cookouts and everyone gathered around singing songs together.
01.14.07 Lisset was just 11 when her father, Army Sgt. Paul T. Sanchez, died during Operation Iraqi Freedom of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
Reflecting, what do you wish you could tell your 11 year old self about life and the role music would play in healing it?
I think…I would tell my 11 year old self to not be so shy. I still am kind of that way, however, I think my shyness sheltered me from big opportunities at time because I was so scared to take a chance out of fear. I’d definitely tell myself to be more confident and to believe in myself! I would also tell myself to be more open with my healing process, that was definitely something I hid from everyone the first few years.
A song request from her father right before his last deployment would lead her to Nashville.
Your first single, “Kill the Headlights”, came out when you were in your teens, was a SiriusXM Highway Find, and spent weeks in the Top 30.
When I first started music, it was 100% because it was something that kept me busy and kept my mind off of his passing. However, as time went on, I realized just how much I actually loved it. It all truly started with a song he had asked me to record… “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood. The thought of never being able to record that for him before he passed often lingered in my mind. I was 11 at that time.
Lisset recorded the song for closure and played it at her father’s grave. The trip to the recording studio introduced her to a woman who booked shows and gave lessons. At 15 she went to Nashville and recorded two songs.
A few years had passed when I ended up recording “Kill The Headlights”. After the song was already mastered, that’s when the producers told me the song was co-written by Carrie. I knew that it was no accident. It was a complete full-circle moment. It really solidified that this was what I was supposed to be doing. Sharing my story, and showing others that there is healing after tragedy.
Lisset has written songs about her father, including “Daughter of an American Hero” (co-written with Aria Macias).
Your single, “Goodbye”, also helped you heal, but in a different way.
Oh yes. “Goodbye” came into my life at a time that I needed it the most. I was going through what I considered the worst breakup up of my life. I heard the song, and I just knew that I had to record it. I’m really good at hiding my feelings and emotions, but I just couldn’t shake them with what I was going through. I knew that “Goodbye” was supposed to be my next part of healing in my life.
Kelsea Ballerini co-wrote “Goodbye”. After Lisset released the song and posted how the song had helped her personally, Ballerini responded.
Saw you recently were in New York City. What are your favorite places to visit in the city? Best restaurants? Any other cities on your bucket list to visit?
Yes!! I love NYC! My favorite places to visit in the city are the Brooklyn Bridge & Top of the Rock!As for restaurants, the best ones are: La Esquina (really good tacos), Pietro Nolita (awesome Italian food), and Joe’s Pizza (the best pizza ever)! I don’t have any cities in the US that I’m wanting to visit at the moment, but I do want to travel to another country eventually!
Time. Past. Present. Future. What a great idea to take time to reflect in the present on the past and plan for the future. What’s ahead musically for you?
I plan on recording a new project soon! So hopefully everything lines up accordingly and I’m able to do that.
In order to keep up with singing (moving around on stage and singing while trying to keep breath control) I have to stay in shape. Running on the treadmill and singing at the same time helps a lot. Avocado and toast is my go to healthy food! No matter the time of day! Haha.
Fashion and beauty. What are you planning on for upcoming shows?
Fashion for the shows moving forward will definitely be more me! I’m excited to actually incorporate more of my style into my outfits!
What songs are on your summer playlist?
What is something fans would be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m actually shy!
What do you wish someone would ask you in an interview?
If I’m doing okay after the Jonas Brothers are officially back together — (I’m not-says my 11 year old self). Hahaha.