Within the last three years, the country music landscape has welcomed a new wave of musicians coming from TikTok. Fast-rising artist Ashley Cooke has played a vital role in the shift the music industry is experiencing today. The “Gettin’ Somewhere” singer understands first-hand the power of the platform, as it became her window into the genre.
While utilizing innovative tools at her fingertips, Cooke managed to cultivate a devoted fan base of 938.3K followers, caught the attention of A-listers, founded Nashville’s 615 house, and scored a record deal.
“It has been a complete whirlwind. As soon as I signed, I was immediately on the road. So, it’s been a lot of fun and really busy. Big Loud is like the best team possible and Black Blocks Music too,” the promising new artist told CMT. “I got my first song to radio, so it’s been nuts. I’m pretty much playing shows until Thanksgiving,” she added while trying to grasp her new reality.
In 2021 Cooke independently released her debut record “Already Drank That Beer –Side A,” which includes tracks “Good Goodbye” featuring Jimmie Allen, fan-favorite “Sunday Morning Kinda Saturday Night,” and standout track “Never Til Now” with Brett Young. The Nashville-based breakout star said she never expected to receive so much positive praise with “Never Til Now.”
“This song just took me by surprise completely. I wrote it in the middle of the pandemic with my friend, Matt Roy – who has also worked with Chris Janson. I honestly thought it was an incredible song. I recorded it and put It on my first project, but we didn’t really call any attention to it and pushed it too hard. I posted a TikTok of this song, and it went viral. 40-something thousand people were making videos with this single and using it as their wedding song. I think it stayed in the top 50 on iTunes for like eight months independently. So, just nuts! It was the most perfect example of organic growth that can happen from social media and what a song can do.”
While writing the poignant lyrics alongside Roy on her apartment couch, she declared that she always “heard” a duet. Once she vocalized her initial vision, critically acclaimed producer Jimmy Robbins pitched Brett Young.
“Jimmy gave Brett a call, and he already heard of the song and knew who I was,” she said. “I am really fortunate that Brett Young’s on my song. At the time, I was still independent, and it’s just so rare that you hear of a mega country artist like Brett Young knowing who you are. It shows the really cool times that we’re in right now. Label artists and independent artists can be on the same playing field and can get their music out there.”
“Never Til Now” not only displays Cooke’s superstar potential, but also served as her country radio debut. After releasing the reflective hit destined to become the wedding song of 2022 and inking her record deal, she said that her life changed in a blink of an eye.
“It’s crazy because I feel like so many things have complied together to keep my career moving and growing. I feel like every other day there’s another really exciting thing happening, and I’m just really blessed that I get to live this life,” she expressed with gratitude. “I worked hard to be here, and I feel like it’s cool to see all the long nights and the writes coming to fruition.”
Following the collaboration, the promising new artist joined Brett Young on his headlining trek. While hitting iconic venues, Young provided Cooke with helpful career advice and guidance.
“He invited me on the bus to come to hang out, and we just had the best heart to heart,” she explained. “I honestly have had the most incredible mentors along the journey. I think it all boils down to constantly treating everybody with respect. If you ever get to the spot where you’re headlining, you want to treat your opener the same way,” she added.
Jordan Davis and Cole Swindell have become some of Cooke’s biggest cheerleaders, as they also watched her thrive under the spotlight out on the road. The TikTok sensation turned powerhouse vocalist is currently touring with Swindell and Tyler Rich.
While learning from the platinum-selling performer, Cooke said she’s also working on new music to keep up the positive momentum.
“I have a couple of new songs that I recorded, that I am looking forward to putting out here soon,” she said full of excitement. “I have a secret folder of music that I’m pumped to share with the world and follow up ‘Never Til Now.’
Cooke has not revealed additional information regarding a release date. Until the country songstress drops new music – fans can catch her live on Swindell’s trek, at world-renowned festivals, and on an upcoming episode of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”