Major labels are taking note of R&B singer Ashlee’s viral success of her independent single "Alone With You." Building steady momentum, the music video directed by Ronald Reid is quickly reached 2 million streams on YouTube while the audio has surpassed a combined 9 million plays on the video-sharing website.
Ashlee, 23, wanted the song to capture a female perspective about sex. "My whole purpose for the song came from real place, being the woman and me being the dominant one and in a sensual setting," Ashlee says. "I tried to portray that. I wanted to make the act of sex not just about men. A lot of times it’s just for men, but no it’s for women too."
Ashlee McDonald has always been obsessed with music. When the rising R&B star was a child, she analysed song lyrics and emulated her favorite artists Brandy, Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys, who were a part of her older sister’s music collection. Even though she realized she could sing when she was 9-years-old and she won a poetry contest in elementary school, she did not begin writing songs until high school where she was a member of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), jazz choir and chorus. She never seriously considered a career in music until her performance of Christina Aguilera’s “Bound to You” at a school event moved her choir teacher to tears and to encourage her to “go pro.”
Shortly after high school, Ashlee scored 50,000 streams of “Know Ya,” the first song she ever posted on SoundCloud, without any promotion. She worked with a small collective of singers, songwriters and producers for a few years until creative differences caused them to disband. jonxlewis contacted Ashlee after hearing “Know Ya” on a mutual friend’s Instagram page. Their styles complimented each other and they began recording. After finding success with “Alone With You,” jonxlewis took the project to veteran music industry executive Quayshaun Carter of Que Global Entertainment / Que Records who signed her to an indie deal.