The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Singer/Songwriter Chambliss to Perform at Skylight Exchange

Or at least that's what Ashley Chambliss, a 28-year-old pianist, singer/songwriter, hopes.

Chambliss, who is performing at the Skylight Exchange on Friday, is venturing away from the piano bars in and around her town of Asheville and coming to Chapel Hill to develop her career. "The Triangle is an important place to be heard," Chambliss said.

Even though she's never played in the Triangle area, Chambliss has honed her raspy yet vulnerable voice and her driven melodic sensibility throughout the past six years as a professional musician.

Chambliss' interest in music has always existed despite her short performance history. She grew up with musical talent in her family, with her father as a choir director. Chambliss took some piano lessons while she was young but eventually began teaching herself. "When I was 14 I started doing my own thing," Chambliss said.

Despite the fact that music has been a part of her entire life, Chambliss didn't begin to write songs until the age of 21. It was then she decided on her professional career. "I knew my career was definitely music," she said.

With her future decided, Chambliss built her music solely around the piano and her voice. She believes that individuality will make her stand out in the music business.

"I feel like I do really have something unique," Chambliss said. "I've developed my own style. It's different than guitar-based music. It's a different sound."

Chambliss went on to describe her sound as ranging from pop to funk to blues but always emotional and poetic.

"It's really about how I'm feeling," she said. "The songs that I'm writing are coming from an authentic place. I'm learning my lessons and singing about that."

Lyrics about these lessons describe unhealthy relationships and growing pains, but Chambliss revealed that the driving force behind her music is the loss of her father at the age of 2. "(It was) the first thing that really broke my heart," she said.

That said, Chambliss wants to gain experience by sharing her music and life lessons with a new audience and gain more support in the process.

"I'm not really familiar with the music scene (in Chapel Hill), but I'm hoping to stand out by playing the keyboards," Chambliss said. "I think my musical approach will speak for itself."

Chambliss will make her Chapel Hill debut at 9 p.m. Friday at the Skylight Exchange.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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