A Pop Newcomer Talks About Her Major Label Debut

The saying goes "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." And that's just what Atlanta, Georgia-based singer-songwriter Aslyn has done on her Capitol Records debut, "Lemon Love". Taking the "lemons" of her broken relationships, family struggles and the many broken-down cars she drove while residing in Atlanta as an up-and-coming artist, Aslyn squeezed out twelve beautiful and strong songs for her national debut.

Although "Lemon Love" won't release until March 29, Aslyn's star is already rising high in the sky. Her first single, "Be the Girl" hit Top 40 radio in early February and was the most-added song on Hot AC for two consecutive weeks. Even more recently, it was most-added on Mainstream Top 40 radio, a major accomplishment for a new artist. The accompanying video, directed by Phil Harder (Prince, Liz Phair, Barenaked Ladies) is in rotation on VH1.

To top it all off, Aslyn recently ended supporting tours with notables Ryan Cabrera, Chris Isaak and Bob Schneider. She is now gearing up to hit the road with Marc Broussard for his spring tour.

Chorus and Verse recently caught up with Aslyn for a phone interview from Orlando, Florida where she was playing the first date of the Ryan Cabrera tour. Here's what she had to say about her national debut:

"Lemon Love" is a cute title for your debut album. I think every female can relate to it! Tell me why you decided on that title?

Aslyn: I drove so many broken down cars just in my short time in Atlanta, and every time one would break down it would cost so much to get fixed that it wasn't worth it, you know. The car wasn't even worth that much money. So one day, it just clicked that my relationships had tumbled apart in that time, too. I picked that for the name of the record [because] there was a struggle behind that song. I wanted to show that there was a struggle to get to the point where I am. That it wasn't handed to me. That I did have to go through some stuff and be relentless, just really not give up. So, that's why I picked that one for the record. "Lemon Love" wasn't based on just one relationship. It was based on struggles not just in love, but in life, just keeping myself together.

You obviously wrote a lot about love and relationships, maybe bad luck with them. Tell me what were some of your inspirations for these songs when you wrote them?

Aslyn: A lot of them do spur from relationships. Songs for me are always a gut feeling, something that I will wake up in the morning and have something I'll have to get out of my system. And it ends up in the song by the end of the day. There is a lot of love on the record, but there's a lot of different [inspirations] behind the songs.

"Here's to Believe. - to those who just listen to it - it sounds like a love song. But I actually wrote it right after the relationship because I didn't have the guts to say what I was feeling when I was in the middle of it. When it was all said and done I had a lot to get out of my system that I didn't say. So that song is a whole different thing to me. It's an intense love song to me because it was... words unsaid.

There's a song on my record about my grandparents. With all the breakups on the record, there's one inspiring relationship for sure, my grandparents. They were married for 55 years and have the most beautiful story. They met at a USS dance, fell in love and just stuck in there that long, which this day and age you just don't see that. It's inspiring to know.

There are other songs on the record that were inspired by a friend going through something like "I'll Be Here" or personal family issues. But, all in all, it's always something I'm dealing with in my head and I have to get out somehow. Music seems to be the surefire answer for me, at least most of the time, to get it out - sort of a release. A lot of musicians say that it's like therapy, but for me it really is.

Which song on the album do you feel is the most personal to you?

Aslyn: Definitely "413-1023" is the most personal on the record. I normally don't even talk too much about it. It's my childhood phone number, so I grew up with that phone number my whole life. We had some issues surrounding our family and friends and loyalty that, I guess you could learn, that it didn't exist. As a result of that, I wrote that with my brother. So, that is definitely probably the closest to home where I have to tap into every night.

What are your hopes for "Lemon Love"?

Aslyn: On a personal level, my biggest hope is that people hear it as something real. I was telling you earlier how I'm proud that they [the record label] didn't try to switch me up in any way. There are a lot of artists out there these days and it's hard to separate yourself from all the other artists. New artists come out all the time and it's hard to find your place. I tried hard to not look from side to side when I was putting the record together, really make it for what I am, and not try to follow a particular trend. Just let it be these songs that are special to me.

My biggest hope is that people will really give it a listen, see it for what it is and that they'll be able to connect with it in some way. That's probably one of the best feelings ... after a show someone saying a particular song someone connected with or they felt you wrote it for them. That's when it all comes full circle and you realize it's all worth it.

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Kristi Singer

Kristi Singer is a Contributing Writer for Chorus and Verse.