Guitar Girl Magazine’s Diversity Editor, Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan sat down with some of her industry sisters to celebrate the cultural influence of Black history in music. This series highlights the amazing womxn that continue carrying the torch while using their platforms and music to spread positivity in a changing world.
What’s your name and pronouns, where are you from and what instrument do you play?
My name is Ashilee Roberts but I go by Ashilee Ashilee. I’m from Southfield Michigan (Detroit), and I play a lot of instruments from the viola, violin, cello, upright bass, electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, piano, and hand drums.
What does it mean to be a Black womxn to you?
To be a Black womxn in this world means you always have to persevere no matter how high the odds are stacked against you. To be a Black womxn in this world is to be a creator and nurturer for the culture and mankind in general. To be a Black womxn is to be the blueprint.
Why do you think it is important to pay homage to the Black creatives that came before us?
Black history is the celebration of all the positive contributions African Americans have made and continue to make in this world. I think that it is important to know your history and culture so you can effectively build a better future for the next generations.
List some influential musicians that inspire you and why?
Sarah Chang the violinist, Queen the band, and Quincy Jones the music producer. They’re all so innovative with music and have done something big for the first time within the music industry.
What Black artist are you listening to right now?
I actually don’t listen to much music (not enough to name a lot of artists on top). Honestly, I just create music, and I often enjoy the silence because it allows me to dive into the ideas that circulate in my head.
Share one piece of advice for any of those young girls, womxn, LGBTQ+, and trans people watching and looking up to you.
Learn to say “No” in every adaptable way. People will try to change your sound, direction, image, and message just because of your gender, but don’t let them. Stay true to yourself; don’t let anyone even think they can take advantage of you in any way, shape, or form, and always carry yourself with self-respect.
Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on that you would like to share?
I’m working on a collaborative album right now called All My Friends are Famous” because I work with some amazing artists and some have millions of supporters while others have only a couple but they have a similar talent level. So I’m putting them on songs together to cross-promote and build a great body of art with one album with all my amazing music friends.
Follow Ashilee Ashilee on IG @ashileeashilee