Ashley Roberts walked away from one of the biggest pop groups in history, the Pussycat Dolls, without anything more than a dream to make music, on her terms, with her words, and her voice. After working tirelessly on her debut album at Metropolis for nearly a year, it’s finally ready for release and is trailed by the new single, ‘Clockwork’.
It’s an album of sophisticated pop, with a fresh urban edge. ‘Clockwork’ is all broody beats, electric guitar, an explosive, arms-aloft chorus and a hailstorm of hooks. And, yes, there’s even a ticking clock.
“I didn’t want to end up in a shiny dance-pop box,” she insists. “I like a broad spectrum of music. My dad was a drummer [in the Mamas & Papas], so I grew up with rock, folk, all sorts of sounds. I love hip hop, funk, anything I can groove to. I wanted different songs on the album to reflect different parts of my personality.”
The lush ‘Lonely Nights’ is clever, classy, electro-pop with a soaring vocal that sounds both bright and sultry. “Don’t be scared to dance alone/In the dark, on your own” sings Ashley. Its verses are driven by pulsating beats; its chorus feels like a hug. Its lyrics could be Ashley recalling life on the road with the Pussycat Dolls. In fact, it’s about her childhood. ‘Woman Up’ is a fun, feisty feminist anthem in the vein of classic Destiny’s Child. It’s a celebratory, brass-backed ode to “fighters and survivors” that boasts a funky, looped guitar line and Ashley at her sassiest. The song was inspired by her mother, who loves it and listens to it when she goes hiking.
Ashley signed to the Metropolis record label last year, and while she developed her debut album, she took advantage of the creative talent here at Metropolis. From Studios and Mastering through to Productions and the dedicated Label team, this project has been a highly collaborative labour of love.
Ashley moved from Arizona to L.A. in her teens, initially to study dance, and appeared in a variety of pop videos and commercials. Within six months, she joined Pussycat Dolls, after singing Bjork’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ at her audition. “Looking back at the Dolls, I appreciate how much we achieved. We had the likes of Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo support us. We went on tour with Britney, Rihanna and the Black Eyed Peas. It was an amazing experience. But best of all, it led me here; to this moment, this music, and I hope you love it.”
The new single ‘Clockwork’ is released on May 25th in the UK & Eire, and is available to pre-order here. The album will follow in late summer.