Ashley Levin’s appearance on the television show The Voice might not have ended the way she hoped, but she said it did open some incredible doors and taught her a lot about herself, and the career she has chosen.
“I have to stay true to myself,” said Levin, a 2012 graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, who was cut from the show April 17 after several months of off-stage as well as on-stage competition.
Staying true to herself means following her passion for writing her own music and singing her own songs rather than those written by others. She calls her style of music “soul country” and she “doesn’t want to be boxed into one thing,” she said.
Her journey to her April 17 finale on the show started nearly a year ago. She was contacted after someone with The Voice saw a YouTube video she’d produced of one of her own songs. Then it was months of auditions and competitions.
Levin, who moved to Nashville in September, said she’s spent more time in Los Angeles than in Nashville over the past few months in grueling competitions with other performers.
“It’s very overwhelming, for sure,” she said. “We were stressed out of our minds, but it’s an incredible experience. It really is mind-blowing to spend time with people like Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan and Alicia Keys.”
Levin has always wanted a musical career and she did everything she could to prepare herself for it. She hails from a musical family with two sisters and a brother who would put on performances around their home on a regular basis.
While at Davidson, she was involved in as many musical and theatrical classes as possible. She took the full range of dance classes, was the soloist for the jazz band and in the chorale, and performed in multiple musicals. During her senior year, she was one of 30 students nationwide to be selected for the Grammy Camp Jazz Session during the Grammy Awards. She performed at several venues around Los Angeles prior to the awards and at an awards after-party.
She said that experience opened her eyes to see that she did want to pursue her dream of singing. The competition may be over for Levin, but her dream is not.
“I’m so thankful and so grateful,” she said. “There are so many great things that have happened.”
And Levin said she was cut from the show at a high, after what many people called her best performance.
The exposure from the show has given her a fan base she would not have gained otherwise, she said, and she’s considering where her future will lead. She’s got a few possibilities on the table.
She’s heading into the studio almost immediately after returning to Nashville to record her songs.