Ash B. on capturing all sides of herself through music
“It didn’t take me long at all to come to terms with who I was, I love me and that’s all that mattered.”
Artist Ash B. understands the nuances of gender expression and people’s perception, her androgynous style lends to being mistaken for a man. Despite this confusion, she aspires to work with Monica and Drake on an EP someday.
“I can see it now, we’ll name it 10/24 as we all share the same birthday,” said B.
For the New Jersey rapper, she is comfortable with herself and unfazed by people mistaking her for a man.
“I am comfortable with pretty much anything,” she says. “Although I identify as a woman, I’m literally called a man everyday, from the way I look to the way I sound, but when someone does call me a boy I do tell them I’m a woman.”
This ambiguity of gender can be confusing or uncomfortable for some, trying to navigate a binary world is tricky at times, but Ash B. takes it in stride. She uses her music to help balance her masculine and feminine sides.
“Music connects me with my true self, especially being an AG or dyke,” said B. “There’s certain pressures or expectations of masculinity that’s almost always associated with being who you are, so my music helps me balance my feminine ways and my masculinity.”
Through her music, she is able to capture the essence of herself and put it into the world to completely express her womanhood.
“I never realized — well until now — that my Identity does affect my music,” she said. “You know, I just figured I was being myself, but it does. From my androgynous voice, countless songs of women, love an pain — its’ all who I am.
With friends and family commenting on her expression early on, B. has been aware of her identity from a young age but never needed to come to terms with it herself.
“I can remember family members and friends of the family always saying I was this or that, I was always a tomboy,” she said. “It didn’t take me long at all to come to terms with who I was, I love me and that’s all that mattered.”
Because of her family’s inklings, she came out as a teen very casually.
“Maybe 14 or 15, it was like [saying] ‘pass the peas’ at dinner,” said B. “I think I was telling everyone something they knew already.”
Influenced by life and the 90’s, she talks highly of her identity and self-respect.
“To me my identity means staying true to myself and always being myself,” she said. “Being yourself is a superpower because no one in this world can be who I am.”
Her 2019 album, Memoirs of an A.G. can be streamed on Spotify.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25, according to their website. Click here to make a donation.