Rosemarie Ashley, also known as ‘tude Vox Ro, has a life that touches both the arts as well as a long career of empowering consumers of “Corporate America” in employee development, organization design and marketing, primarily in the financial services industry. When her work in mortgage origination wasn’t fun any more, she directed her attention to personal empowerment through entertainment. She joined the ranks of Ekhart Tolle and Dr. Joe Vitale on a path to creating a collective consciousness evolution. We chatted with Rosemarie covering a range of subjects.
PI. So people connected with the music industry usually have a fascinating story as to how their connection or attraction for music. What’s your story?
RA (Rosemarie) “I practically came out of the womb singing” My grandma taught me “Happy Talk”: Happy talky singing happy talk. Talk about the things you like to do. You’ve got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream then how ya gonna have a dream come true? (she interrupts her answer with song as if she had no choice) from the musical South Pacific, before I could talk and I’ve been singing ever since.
RA “My 3rd Grade teacher insisted that we all come up with an act for the talent show but I didn’t have any specific talent? My teacher said “What do you most love to do? My immediate answer was ‘singing’. So I rehearsed and the first song I performed was; “What the World Needs Now is Love” the Burt Bacharach tune.
PI Hmm…. another Positive Song. What came next?
RA “I mentioned to my mom that I didn’t sign up for the high-school varsity chorus group. Mom insisted and set up a private audition. I passed the audition. In 11th grade I got a role in Godspell which turned out to be a spiritual experience for me. As I got busy in my career, I didn’t do anything with my voice until I saw auditions for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at a local community theater in 1997. I fell in love with that show when my grandparents took me to see it as a young girl. The auditions were three days away and I had been practicing for decades. Being in the show reawakened my enthusiasm and drive to perform. It also helped me realize that what I most love to do is sing songs with uplifting messages and cool music.
After that, I had a reoccurring intuitive push to put an advertisement in a local spiritual paper to gather like-minded people who want to create, perform and record original rock musicals to uplift people of any religion as well as those with no religious interest. In one meeting, a participant asked about using the word ’God’ in the lyrics. I said I’d use it sparingly, if at all because every religion has music. It’s been done and I wanted to do something different. I also wanted this to appeal to all people, not just those with a strong faith in what they call God.
The next morning, I kept hearing some words in my head: ‘Heaven on Earth. Can it really be true? I only know it’s up to me and you”. They kept repeating until I wrote them down. 45 minutes later I had lyrics to my first song “Heaven On Earth”. A while later, the melody came to me and even though I don’t play an instrument, my mom had recently bought me a key board with pre-programmed styles and I composed the music. I didn’t know I could write songs before that. A short time later I met my producer, Scott Sumner (through a series of seemingly unrelated events) who arranged and performed the music, recorded and produced my vocals and professionally engineered the song.
PI This all seems very spontaneous.
RA Yes. This isn’t something I planned…. It just came to me in pieces, one step at a time …. I’ve always been in to self talk, I started learning about this when I was ten years old going to the Unity Church, and how to tune in to myself, listening to my inner voice that I call intuition.”
PI So Positive self talk seems to fit well with Positive Music.
RA Yes that’s right. Music that has most appealed to me, songs that had the most profound effect on me, were uplifting and always made me feel better. These songs that had some meaning, something thoughtful…something that encouraged people to move beyond where they are.
PI You often say that your Positive Music is a “Sassy Alternative” However some of your music really comes from a place of pain.
RA Yes. Truth isn’t usually politically correct. Sassy can mean lively, spirited and jaunty as well as outspoken. That fits. I love uplifting Positive Music when I’m up. But when I’m not in a good mood, I won’t to listen to light and fluffy stuff. So while I like both styles, even in my younger days – when you look at the music I sang in the musicals like Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar, they included songs about fear and resolution. They use hard rock music as well as beautiful ballads to express powerful emotions. I do the same.
PI So you are saying sometimes we need to use music to access people at a point of pain?
RA That’s right, because otherwise people aren’t processing their emotions. The title to my first CD album, “From Primal to Divine ” popped in my head, as I realized the music I make moves people through their pain and into transformation. I feel like the lyrics come through me from my higher self and tell me what I need to hear. Sometimes is an expression of inner joy but other times it addresses fear that invites change to a higher level of compassion and love.
PI Why did you decide to get involved with the Positive Imperative?
RA For me it’s important that people of like minds to come together. The Positive Imperative is a movement that comes together in a logical rationalized concept and appeals to my intellect. I tend to want to intellectualize. The PI concepts are well thought out in the way it’s structured. It really appeals to both my intellect and my heart. It’s a great structure to share the positive energy.
PI So now that you recorded an album what’s next?
RA I’ve released 8 songs since then and have another in process. So while I’m creating new songs, my intuition told me to prepare for my good to arrive, and wait for the next major career direction. I was told recently “Your music will get mass distribution when God is ready for it to be distributed”. I know it’s not something I can push. I’m allowing it to unfold. Recently I learned to produce videos. Putting video’s to my songs adds a new dimension to the work I do. I’m engaging the audience with moving music, meaningful lyrics, supportive visuals and written words. I enjoy finding new ways to share and connect with people.
PI Care to share some last thoughts?
RA Sure, I’m loving the process. I appreciate working with like-minded people from the Positive Imperative. Artistically, I’m always meeting new collaborators. I feel compelled to join with people in film, documentaries, causes and activities that contribute to this transformative time in human history. Entertainment is a powerful tool to affect feelings, activate thought, initiate words and incite action. My mission is to encourage people to intentionally use entertainment for personal growth and global transformation. My purpose is to provide songs in a wide variety of styles that address the full spectrum of human emotion, leaving listeners in a better place. So that’s what I’ll be doing.
For more information on Rosemarie Ashley go to her Web Site.
Her Mother’s Day tribute “The Greatest Gift” is located on the video box of this web site. (Front Page).