With a big voice, great songs, and a throwback, 90s-country sound, Ashton Dupré has come on to the scene in a big way over the past few years.
After three successful singles, the Louisiana-based singer is preparing to release his debut album within a year with Red Barn Music.
In the mean time, I was able to have a chat with Dupré about his beginnings, his music, and what will be coming next in his exciting career. Read below to get all the details!
Justin Loretangeli: Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up?
Ashton Dupré: As cliché as it sounds, George Jones is my all-time favorite artist. I also was deeply influenced by a local musician named Shane West. He was a great friend of mine who really believed in me & my talent.
JL: Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to make music for a living?
AD: On the weekends in high school, I would set up my brother James’ equipment. As they played, I would sit alongside & watch. I gradually started thinking, “Man, I really want to do this for a living.”
JL: How did you come on to the radar of Red Barn Music?
AD: I was standing under my carport, drinking a beer, when my phone rang. It was a message from a guy named Seth Storer. He went on to say how he really liked my music & the videos I posted. We met up for him to pitch me a song for a single and we ended up writing “When She Drinks My Whiskey” along with my bass player Jonah Guillory. After that, Seth was getting us gigs and helping with promos and we eventually made him our manager.
JL: Your first single, “When She Drinks My Whiskey,” hit pretty well with fans. How validating was it for you, personally and professionally, to have that kind of success with your first release?
AD: I always knew I had local support, but I never expected “When She Drinks My Whiskey” to go as far as it did. Releasing your first single is an extremely scary thing, but I can honestly say that I’m so proud of this song & it’s success. It has by far exceeded my expectations.
JL: “Redneck Side” was your second single, sounding pretty autobiographical. How much of this song came from your life and your co-writers’ lives? How easy is it to write a song about something you are so familiar with?
AD: “Redneck Side” definitely coincides with my day to day life. I come from a very small town, & when I’m not working as a paramedic or playing a gig, you can find me down a backroad or in the woods. I co-wrote “Redneck Side” with Jonah Guillory and Seth Storer, and those guys are like me. It’s definitely easiest to write about things that are close to home and you can relate to because it’s an honest story.
JL: “Don’t Wait Up,” your newest release, sounds like a cross between a Chris Stapleton and Travis Tritt song, and has a great throwback vibe to it. Can you talk about the writing and recording progress of that song, and the specific type of sound you were going for?
AD: “Don’t Wait Up” was more of a personal song than the others. I actually wrote it a few years back, initially it was supposed to be about a working man. I never pursued recording the song, up until my first cousins sudden passing. He served 14 years in the Army, fighting for this country. “Don’t Wait Up” then turned more toward a song about his life.
JL: Can you describe your music/sound in a few words for someone who may not have heard you before?
AD: If you don’t like old, country music, then you probably shouldn’t waste the time coming to listen to me. My set list consists of songs with a genuine story & a classic feel.
JL: What is one of the biggest things you’ve learned from being out on the road for three years?
AD: If there was anything that I have learned from experience in this business; it doesn’t matter how talented the guys you play with are, if they don’t have a good, positive attitude, then you don’t have anything.
JL: What are your thoughts on the current state of country music?
AD: I don’t listen to much of the new country on today’s radio, but there are a select few who I absolutely appreciate & respect. Music is always changing, & has been since the beginning. Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean it isn’t good, it just means it isn’t my taste.
JL: When can fans expect your debut album to be released, and what should they expect to hear on it?
AD: I’m hoping within the next year, if everything works out & God willing, we will have the debut of the first album. Our previous singles will be on it, and we have a few new ones we are in the process of recording now. “Alone in a Bar” was pitched to me by Alex Maxwell. The writers Matt Roy, Rob Snyder, Taylor Phillips and Alex Maxwell are some of the hottest writers in Nashville, so we are just humbled to get to release this one. It’s going to have a late 90s feel to it and the hook is really catchy. “Last Call” was written by Seth Storer and I. It’s going to have a red dirt sound some fiddle and steel. We plan on having one cover on the album as well, but it’s a surprise.
*Feature Image courtesy of Ashton Durpré Facebook Page*
*Live Image courtesy of Red Barn Music*