“For me, this song is a rallying cry to not settle for the mundane and to challenge ourselves to do the things that make us feel alive.” — Ashley Wineland on her latest, “Crank It Up”

Donna Block
7 min readMay 24, 2024

Raised in Arizona, loving country music. Influenced by Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, and Miranda Lambert’s storytelling lyrics. Which songs of theirs are your favorites and why?

For Carrie Underwood , I love her tune, “Choctaw County Affair.” I think it’s the perfect blend of country storytelling, powerhouse vocals, and fun instrumentation. Gretchen Wilson has always captured my heart with “Here for the Party”! It’s a song that gets everyone going and captures the energy I love to project at shows. Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene” is a perfect female power song and a cornerstone of country music.

Your father gave you studio recording time with a local producer for your 13th birthday to experience recording music professionally. Recorded your original song, “Red White & Blue,” which honored those who make the ultimate sacrifice (your family has a long history of serving in the armed forces). The recording and distributing experience gave you a glimpse into the business side of the industry and all the hard work involved. How has the experience continued to influence the artist you are today?

It taught me early on all the fundamental steps of creating and releasing as an independent artist. I am grateful for all of the love “Red White and Blue” received from the media and my fans, as it helped propel me to where I am now and opened amazing opportunities for me to learn various aspects of the business that I still use today.

Produced a music video to support the original song. Your local CBS station shared the video, talking about your decision to support veterans and raising your presence in the local music scene. This showed you the importance of the media to an artist growing a fanbase, across social media and at concerts. Your fans are known as the “Winelanders.” How do you make sure to connect with fans on a personal level?

I love how connected my community of Winelanders is to myself and each other! I do live streams every week to engage with them in real time; I answer as many of their comments as I can on social media; and I host meet and greets at every show. I think it is so important to meet and connect with every fan. I wouldn’t be able to do my job without their unyielding support, and I strive to let them know how much that means to me.

Donated all of that song’s proceeds to various charities supporting veterans. This led you to realize your music could raise awareness for causes close to your heart, including animal rights. Have you written a song to support animal rights?

I have not written a song specifically for animal rights; however, I have used music videos such as “I’m Gonna Ride” to incorporate my love for animals and highlight causes near to my heart. The music video for “I’m Gonna Ride” features shots of the beautiful Salt River Wild Horses in Apache Junction. These herds are constantly under threat of removal from the government, and spreading awareness of their presence helps the community stay aware of their presence and the current situation against them.

Graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Film. Music is your passion and business. Being careful who you let into your inner circle while staying true to your philosophies as an artist. How challenging has it been to balance purpose and motivation?

There are days where this business kicks me in the teeth and makes it hard to have the motivation to keep moving forward. However, it is a strong sense of purpose and my mission of bringing people joy and connection through music that I fall back on when the motivation is not enough to keep the momentum going.

Released three albums as an independent artist (Family Business, Simple Life, and I’m Gonna Ride). National recording and touring artist, known for your live performances and stage presence, sharing the stage with artists like Eddie Montgomery, Aaron Lewis, Parmalee, and Josh Turner. Which summer festivals are on your bucket list to perform at?

I would love to go visit the other Country Thunders Arizona outside of my hometown in Florence, AZ. Tortuga Music Fest in Florida is a dream show for me as well. Country Jam in Colorado would be a blast as well!

Singing the National Anthem at MLB, NFL, NASCAR, and Supercross Championships. Can you share your favorite performance to date?

One of my favorite anthem performances was with the Arizona Cardinals. It was the first game after Senator John McCain had passed, and the pre-game show was dedicated to him. There was a full field flag and a touching memorial video that aired right before the anthem. It was also the only anthem for the NFL regular season that year to be televised nationally. It was an honor to be the one to perform at that game. It was also very exciting for me to get on social media afterwards and see so many people who had tagged me in posts with pictures of the anthem broadcast on their TVs!

“‘Crank It Up” is a true anthem song. For me, this song is a rallying cry to not settle for the mundane and to challenge ourselves to do the things that make us feel alive. From the first moment Marti and I started working on it, we locked eyes and smiled. I’ve longed for the day when I can be with the fans, microphone held out to them, singing this song together at the top of our lungs.” The new single, co-written by Steven McEwan, Marti Frederiksen, and Carrie Underwood, was also produced by the award-winning Frederiksen (well-known for performing the lead vocals for the fictitious band Stillwater in the movie Almost Famous). What was it like working with Frederiksen on the track?

I love working with Marti! He is a mastermind in the engineering room. His ear picks up so much. I know I can count on him to get the best performance from me and get right to the heart of what a track needs. Marti has a special touch for pushing me outside of my comfort zone to get the ideal sounds. We work hard, but the energy is so laid back it feels effortless.

About the new song you shared, “There was no question about what our first song out the gate was going to be. This song carries the heart and energy that define the art Marti and I create so incredibly well.” When will you be jointly releasing other songs you’ve worked on?

I have multiple releases from this project with Marti that I will be releasing this year! We have more releases dropping this summer and fall. I can’t give exact dates at this time (I think my team would take me for dropping the juicy details too early!), but I want everyone to know that there are multiple songs dropping throughout our 2024 season!

Arizona dirt. Outdoor lifestyle, including riding horses and dirt bikes. Where are your favorite places in Nashville that you recommend for first time visitors?

My #1 place I always tell first timers to go in Nashville is The Row just off Broadway. It’s my favorite restaurant in town. Plus, they have my favorite pickle chips in the U.S. (I’ve had a lot!).

What’s ahead?

Looking down the road of what’s ahead this year is a mountain of goodness! I’m out on my Crank It Up Tour all across the country, I have new music releases that Marti and I have produced dropping all throughout the year, and more fun up my sleeve that I can’t say now, but if you follow along on the journey, you’ll know soon enough!

Album Photo Credit: Phyllis Lane

For more information and to connect with Wineland, follow her on Website, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.