Born December 20, 1982, in Fort Worth, Texas, Ashley Christine aka A.K.A was soon after adopted by a loving family in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and given the chance to blossom into the creative and gifted young woman she is today. Her exceptional talent in many areas of the arts, primarily music, has resulted in numerous opportunities for her to showcase her abilities. While she has composed and recorded more than 100 song ideas and produced over 500 original beats in recent years, her performing career actually started as a young child. She began as a member of the Flossmoor Community Church Cherub Choir, and later participated in church- and school-sponsored talent shows, school musicals, Christmas pageants, and self-organized community performances. Several of these performances were even written and directed by A.K.A herself; the first hint that her talents in the musical field went beyond just performing.
As a teenager growing up in Chicago and later moving to Pittsburgh, A.K.A's performances continued with greater sophistication. These included several soloist opportunities in church-sponsored events, nursing home holiday concerts, and others. She was an integral member of the nationally acclaimed North Allegheny Senior High Jazz Choir, was lead female singer in the Kwanzaa Club’s production of the musical “Days Gone By”, and organized her own hip-hop/R&B group (“Lo, High, and Mightee”). She maintained her activity in a number of other choirs, as well as in Umoja Club, a group that organized various musical events as a vehicle to promote racial unity in schools. In spite of the wide number of performances, she kept focused on her studies, with an outstanding academic record at an extremely demanding school, North Allegheny Senior High, from which she graduated in 2001.
Since then, A.K.A has maintained her high level of performance in even greater venues. In an effort to gain further exposure, she sang live on the internet multiple times, and developed a devoted online fan base as a result. Capitalizing on her friendship with two other talented young women, she formed an R&B/Gospel group (“Silhouette”) that gave several local performances, one of which was sponsored by 106.7 FM WAMO. However, due to the divergence of career goals, the group soon parted ways. A.K.A has since performed at a CD Release Party for the Boys and Girls Club of Western PA, a Pittsburgh Music Works-sponsored show at Club Café, and other local events. In addition to live performances and her own self-produced recordings, her vocals have been featured on musical projects of numerous local rap artists.
Currently a Pittsburgh resident, A.K.A has complemented her talent as an artist with top-notch music production and engineering skills. Co-Owning and operating her own home-based studio, Kolab Music Productions, she has helped many aspiring local musicians reach their artistic goals by producing high quality, industry-standard beats, overseeing completion of numerous demo projects, and engineering recording sessions. In 2003, A.K.A helped one local artist, known as “Freestyle”, by providing vocal training, assisting in the development of his press kit, and serving as executive producer of his CD, “Style Guidance”, that has led to the artist signing with Def Jam. In December 2005, with the assistance of Producer/Engineer Ali Jackson, A.K.A (then known as "Shy") released a compilation CD featuring 20 of Pittsburgh’s most talented artists showcasing their musical skills over all original, Kolab-made beats.
More recently, A.K.A has gradually shifted her focus from producing the music of other artists back to perfecting her own performing skills. She has continued to compose fresh new songs, and the recent years spent working on music as a writer/producer/sound engineer have allowed her to have a more holistic approach to original production. As a result, A.K.A’s most recent selections have a mature feel with a variety of well-developed styles. She has just completed a full CD of her best current songs, and selected tracks were recently unveiled during a personal appearance at the upscale Club 720 in Chicago. The tracks met with rave reviews by the club management as well as the patrons present for the occasion. One of those tracks, “Boy Next Door”, qualified A.K.A as a finalist in the 2007 International John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Negotiations are currently underway for radio play of several songs from the CD on hip-hop, pop and R&B stations in several major cities, as well as live performances.
On June 18, 2008 A.K.A was featured in The New Pittsburgh Courier "Entertainer" section, she was also recently interviewed by Chris Moore on "Black Horizons" WQED, as well as by Timmy Willis of the Timmy Willis show on PCTV. July 14, 2008 she released her debut album "Incognito" to the public under the stage name "Sasha". The entire musical project was managed, written, sung, recorded and mixed by A.K.A herself. The CD is already selling out online to both national and international buyers and is generating nothing but positive feedback.
A.K.A’s hobbies include modeling, interior decorating, baking, belly dancing, and gaming. She has other artistic talents in addition to singing, including visual arts (paintings, sketches, drawings, logo designs, tattoos, web design, and clothing design); dance and choreography; performing as an instrumentalist (viola, guitar, and piano); and authoring poetry, song lyrics, short stories, musicals, and one-act plays.
As of October 2008, A.K.A has been out in Los Angeles recording her latest album "Life's Not Fair". With the help of Multi-Grammy Award winning Producer Damon Elliott (Confidential Records), she is currently shopping her new material to several major labels.