Bossip: Tell the world who you are and where your from?
AC: My name is Ashley Coleman, but I go by my stage name: ACstyle. I am a singer, rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur from the north side of Chicago, Illinois. My first passion has always been music. I went from performing at open mics, showcases and talent shows to opening up for major artists in concert, headlining my own shows and having local acts open up for me and performing nationwide in different cities. My single Ridin’ feat. Shawnna hit a few nation charts including the Top 200 charts with a lot of major artists back in 2014. It has been quite a journey so far and it isn’t easy at all but it’s been pretty cool to see my dreams turn into reality. Lately I started designing my own merchandise and I ended up turning that into a clothing line to expand my brand even more. You can find some gear on my website at: http://www.officialacstyle.com. I also design websites, so I started my own web design company as well because my schedule started getting so busy to the point where I was getting too many clients and started getting backed up. So by 2018 the company should be fully established. So on top of being a recording artist I am also a business woman.
Bossip: Chicago has been buzzing a lot lately it’s a string movement in your city, Your sound is different why is that?
AC: I came up with the name ACstyle because AC are the initials of my name but also people have told me I have a “cold or sick flow” or “cold or dope sound” and style because I do my own thing, I have my own style of music and own style of what I wear and how I rock it. I wanted a unique sound to stand out from everybody else, a combination of singing and rapping but to appeal to a wide audience. Nobody can compare me to another artist saying I sound just like them, they can say I remind them of someone like a mix of two or three artists but never sounding like any of them.
Bossip: Being from Chicago do you feel pressured to do drill music?
AC: No. A lot of the drill artists grew up together and what they rap about is what they have gone through or witnessed and that is their style of music. I don’t want to copy anybody else’s style I want to stand out from the rest. I rather be a trendsetter, not a follower. A lot of drill artists have hit 1 million views on youtube or are super popular out here because that genre is super popular so it is tempting, but I want to stay in my own lane. I’m versatile and willing to try different genres, but I don’t want to sound like the rest either. At certain clubs or venues, some of the audience prefers drill music, and I have done remixes to some drill songs to hype the crowd up when I perform but I still have my own sound to it.
Bossip: Being a female rapper has its challenges how do you see yourself contributing to hip hop as a female?..
AC: Being a female rapper sure is challenging, but I keep my head up because I am also a singer so that is a plus. This industry is swamped with male rappers but barely has any female rappers. A lot of female rappers currently on the rise are staying independent while there are only a few major female rappers out there. I want to change the game for the female artists out there, open up more doors for them, maybe even one day start my own label where I push them. I see so much potential in a lot of female rappers, but since it is harder from them to get noticed it is more of a challenge. Some people don’t listen to female rappers because they underestimate us and because of that we are underrated. However to open up more doors for myself I started singing more. Label A&Rs and even female rappers that were in the game before me told me the fact that I can sing too will make me more successful and bring more money into my pockets than solely rapping.
Bossip: What are some of your upcoming projects?
AC: I have a multi-collaboration track with a bunch of upcoming artists from different cities giving them a chance to get heard more and I will be having a DJ with a strong following host it as if it would be a DJ Khaled type song. Each artist will be putting on for their city individually. This track will be dropping prior to another project I will be dropping this year featuring a major artist (to those that don’t know who it is I’ll leave it as a surprise) until I drop the single cover so stay tuned on all of my social media accounts.
Bossip: We love your video can you break down the concept and the message in the song?
AC: When listening to this song and watching the music video “Keep it on the Low” it can have different meanings behind it. The song is really about a love story of how two people meet in a party or at the club, they eventually fall in love, but want to keep their relationship on the low to keep people out of their business to prevent problems which can mean not tagging each other on Instagram posts etc. But in the music video to make it more interesting and relatable to different people multiple meanings of “Keeping it on the Low” are revealed. In the video I’m throwing a mansion masquerade party like people did back in the day, but a new school version of that. Me and “my husband” make a grand entrance into the room of the party, but in the video I’m not happy with him anymore….. Watch the video to find out what all happens because it is a whole switch!!
Bossip: Who are some of your favorite Chicago artist and female artist in Hip Hop?.
AC: Kanye West, Shawnna, Lupe Fiasco, Da Brat, Twista, Dreezy, Tink, King Louie are a few of my favorites.
Bossip: What’s your main goal with your music?. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AC: I want to become fully established, whether I stay independent or major I want to be successful, I want to have millions of people to be able to relate to my music, I want to inspire people and I want to be able to fully live off my career. In 5 years I see myself as a major well known worldwide artist that has accomplished every goal I have put down on paper to work towards fulfilling. Everything I say I’m going to do I want to do it like I have been doing. I also see myself as a successful entrepreneur as well and my businesses will have expanded nationwide.
Bossip: Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
AC: I would like to collaborate with Trey Songz, Drake, K Camp, Chris Brown, Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Nicki Minaj and many more artists. However these are the main artists I would love to collaborate with, not only are they some of my favorite but every track they come out with is a banger and people can listen to over and over again without getting tired of the song. Every time they put out an album, you can listen to just about every song on there without skipping to the next. Also I feel that my sound would go good with their sounds too on a song as well.
Bossip: What’s your message to any upcoming artist in the game?.
AC: My advice to upcoming artists in the game is don’t be afraid to invest in your craft, put money into studio time if you want good quality music, put money into your music videos so you can get that good clear quality that people would love to replay over and over again. Get yourself out there as much as possible, if there is a local show opportunity then find out how you can be apart of the show, travel to other cities to get your name heard around the nation, once they know of you in that city they will invite you to come back but pay you next time. Open up for major artists, whenever you come across that opportunity as well because it is usually a large crowd that will see and hear you perform before the headliner comes on. Promote your music, get on as many blogs as possible, be willing to work with other artists to get your name out there in their city and be open to constructive criticism because someone always telling you yes may only be telling you what you want to hear. And whatever you do never give up, just keep going until you get to where you want to be.