Back when I still lived in Montreal, I hosted a Canadian music radio show called We.Are.Canadian on CJLO and PunkRadioCast. I first heard of Hey Ocean while researching new Canadian bands to play on the show. At the time, they had released two independant EPs and one full-length record called Stop Looking Like Music. I was right away captivated by the lead singer Ashleigh Ball‘s voice. I got to see them play live not too long after and it marked the beginning of my love affair with Hey Ocean. It’s been such a joy to see the band grow over the past couple of years and also having the chance to work with them a bit. Ashleigh is not only an amazing singer, songwriter and performer, she also has the sweetest personality and the coolest style. I love her laid back west coast vibe and also the fact she surfs! In addition to fronting Hey Ocean, Ashleigh is also a successful voice actress, having voiced characters in the Barbie film series, as well as many characters in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and was most recently featured in a documentary called A Brony Tale. You can catch Ashleigh on tour with Hey Ocean across Ontario in June and out west this summer. In addition, she’s currently working on recording her own EP, which should come out soon. Here are my 5 Questions With Ashleigh Ball:
1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)
There were 4 kids in my house growing up and my parents were never that well off so there were loads of hand-me-downs. Lucky for me my older siblings had really cool style so I drew a lot of fashion inspiration from them. I was definitely a tom boy in my early teens. I would shop at value village and buy oversized men’s slacks and little boys t shirts. I remember at a point in high school when name brands were really cool and I shop lifted Tommy Hilfiger tops from the mall but that phase passed, thank god! ( and luckily I never got caught…) I got really into the rave scene in my later teens. Lots of baseball caps and fat pants (yikes!). My style these days is pretty varied… I’m gonna go with 70’s summer camp meets 90’s beach party 🙂
2) Who are your style icons?
My sister Melissa! She has the most amazing eye for vintage fashion. She runs a vintage clothing store in Toronto called Chosen. I love going there cause she always has “ash” items that she’s saved for me. She’s seriously the coolest. So effortlessly stylish.
Bjork ( two words -Swan Dress)
Stevie Nicks ( gypsy goddess- those sleeves!)
Patti Smith ( Tom boy badass)
3) How do you pick out your clothes for tour and stage? What are your tour must-haves?
Packing for tour is always tricky. I always over pack and often end up rotating outfits. I tend to wear bright, colourful dresses on stage and I always pack extra booty shorts so I don’t give the audience a peep show. I move around a lot when I perform so it’s important for me to wear clothes that move with me. I must have comfy shoes or boots. Heels are my nightmare.
4) You’ve had the chance to travel a lot with Hey Ocean and also for pleasure, what is the most magical place you’ve been to and why?
My best friend makes amazing jewelry and has been living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for the last two years honing her craft and learning from some of the top silversmiths in the world. https://www.facebook.com/armourjewelry
I finally had time off from work and touring in February and went to visit her and was completely blown away. Its this beautiful village in the mountains and its filled with artists and musicians and so much history and the most amazing tacos I have ever eaten! We went horse back riding in felids of yellow flowers and floated in hot spring pools in the sunshine and walked through the winding cobblestone streets. It’s the most magical place I have ever been.
5) For those who don’t know, you also surf. What is your favorite surf spot?
The west coast has some beautiful surf spots. Tofino is probably one of my favourites, even though it’s freezing and you have to wear a full wet suit, booties and gloves. Maui also has some of the most beautiful surf spots. Way waaaaay warmer. And surfing in a bikini is the best.
Thanks so much Ashleigh!