Meet the Rap Game’s Next Star
Ashley Greenwood, known musically as WowAshWow, was born and raised in South Jersey and Philadelphia and has been heavily involved in music for most of her life. Writing her first song at just six years old, she quickly began performing concerts at local churches and county fairs, and at age 14, she picked up the electric guitar. By the time Wowashwow was 17, she had started a punk rock band and began touring, where she opened for Marky Ramone of The Ramones.
Her familiar sound is credited to her hip-hop influences during her college years in New York and her move to Philadelphia, which shaped every aspect and crafted it to perfection. An activist in the cannabis industry, she has been active in breaking the stigmas around cannabis consumption and has been getting people to see her vision through her music and social media.
Her latest album, I’m a Hashole paved the way for her as a hip-hop artist. With features in MTV Next, Smash Magazine, and Hip Hop Weekly, it’s clear that she is quickly becoming a female powerhouse in the industry.
Wowashwow – “Class Enrollment”
“Rising hip-hop artist and female powerhouse,” Wowashwow has a flare for the theatrical, a freestyling fluency fierce enough to threaten the male-dominated hip-hop scene and brings an “unbridled bravado through no holds barred, unapologetic rhymes.” With the visual surrealism of Missy Elliot, the untamable energy of Tina Turner meets Mick Jagger, and the genre-fluidity of Radiohead, our South Jersey/Philly raised visionary is spanning genres and obliterating the hip-hop/pop formula to bring you her next single, “Class Enrollment,” out Feb 24, 2023.
Meet and Get To Know WowAshWow
Kulture Vulturez: How did you get introduced to music initially?
WowAshWow: So, music has been something that has been a part of my life forever, essentially. Starting back with my family where my grandfather was, excuse my language, he was a sick ass drummer. He actually used to do like some touring with Elvis Presley and his band when Elvis was first getting started. Then fast forward to my mom, my uncle and my family all being a part of like a family band, Jackson 5 style.
They used to like play at the restaurant that my grandmother owned where she would sell dinners and illegal moonshine, you know, she was just doing all the things (LOL). While she was there she put the kids out with their family band. My big brother is a drummer. So, music has always been something that I have always just known and done my entire life. It’s was never anything that was like forced on me. If anything, they’re just like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go to law school or be a doctor?’ I’m like, ‘No, I want to sing.’
I remember when I was five years old, where I’m from in South Jersey is like straight up the country. There is a cowtown rodeo that’s like 5 minutes away from where I live and the John Deere tractor store, just paint a picture of what it looks like. I entered when I was five years old the County Fair, the talent competition. I went against all the adults and sang Diana Ross at age five and won. I remember my mom was so nervous for me because she was like, this is my first time being on stage. She was like, ‘Are you sure? Are you ready? And she’s like, Ashley, you really just snatch the microphone on me and said, Hi, everybody, and just started singing.’
Music has been my love my entire life. I used to sing a lot of gospel music and put on concerts at different churches and stuff like that with my mom making my like track playlist. Then I would have a karaoke machine with a CD player because CDs were still a thing, they were phasing out, but they were still a thing. She got me this karaoke machine and she put the CD player on and would play the music and everything, and then take the church microphone and put it up to the karaoke speaker so that I could have good sound. Then I had my microphone, and then I would perform and do my thing.
Kulture Vulturez: You were once part of a punk rock band, was that your first professional start in music?
WowAshWow: That was my first. Well, my first professional start, honestly, was me going around and touring at age seven for gospel choirs and stuff. Stepping out of the gospel music when I was a teenager I discovered rock and roll music from my brother, because he used to give me gospel album covers, but sneak rock and roll bands on the inside.
So, it was like Nirvana and AC DC inside, you know, the Mississippi Mass Choir, or something. ?That’s what started my love. Through my high school years, I played in a punk rock band. Then when I went to college in New York, that’s when [I discovered hip hop]. Hip hop had always kind of been around in my life, but when I was in New York City Joey Badass and all these crazy underground rappers, the Wu-Tang Clan and Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj and just all of these great lyricists.
I’m like, ‘Wow, this is dope, and this is kind of what I want to do. Alright, I’m gonna try to figure out how to spit some bars, because this is what I like.’ So, yeah, it’s always sort of changed and evolved. Now you have my sound today, which is like a blend of the rock and soul and hip hop, and you shake it all up together and you have WowAshWow, essentially.
Wowashwow – PU$$I POWER (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: So, when you were in New York, that’s when you started to develop the sound?
WowAshWow: Yeah, developing my sound for hip hop and rap and stuff like that. Because I used to go to a lot of underground shows and just listen to lyricists and listen to their approach and then go back home and write my own lyrics and practice my own, like practice and practice and practice.
Finally, my one homie was like, ‘Dude, you’ve been doing all this practice, and when you go make a song.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, I should do that.’ And then didn’t do it. Then one day my homegirl, she literally dropped me off at the studio and said, ‘Come back with a song.’ That’s what started the whole love of merging the hip hop and rock and roll and everything like that.
Kulture Vulturez: Do you remember that song, was it ever officially release it and put it out?
WowAshWow: Yeah. It’s called “Hustle Hard.” So she’s about a year and a half old, but I do have that song. I can send over the SoundCloud link for you to take a look at it, but it was something that I didn’t release on my main album that I dropped. It was like just a song that I dropped randomly, but it’s actually been one of my bigger songs that I have and the most well-received song every time I play live.
Especially, because when I play live, I play with a band. I don’t have any backing tracks or anything like that. I got a seven piece band that backs me up when I play. So that song in particular is the number one hit that everybody wants to hear when I play live.
Kulture Vulturez: How have you evolved from when you began as an artist to now?
WowAshWow: My writing has definitely grown. My approach to how I want to put songs and structures together and just the overall vibe has changed. When I was doing a lot of the rock and roll music, a lot of what I was writing was super heavy political base, because there’s so much going on in the world. It’s not that I wanted to say, Oh, I don’t want to talk about politics anymore, but I’m just like, ‘Listen, I just want to make shit that makes people happy, that makes people dance, if you want to shake your ass a little bit, that’s perfect.
More importantly, that you just feel empowered. My shit is a shit that you put on when you’re like, I need to get some stuff done. I need to feel like I’m a boss ass bitch getting some stuff done. And my album is the album you gonna listen to.
Kulture Vulturez: Tell me about your album. Your latest project, I’m an Hashole?
WowAshWow: The concept is I’m a Hashole. The Hashole part pays homage to my involvement and my sort of activism within the cannabis community. Being a part of the cannabis community, doing the things that I’ve done and sort of to help promote the legalization and just overall reform and change for a lot of black and brown people that are locked up for something that people are making millions of dollars for.
That sort of push my passion for my music, but it also really helped to shape a lot of the things that I’m doing today. I would definitely say if it wasn’t for the cannabis industry and having that motivation to fight for something that’s way bigger of a cause than myself, it wouldn’t have sparked that extra passion in my music. That’s why I have the album, I’m a Hashole, because my nickname that everyone calls me as Hashley, it’s self explanatory (LOL).
The album is very much unapologetic, it’s in-your-face, and it has a vibe and a groove to it. Some might say, not necessarily aggressive, it’s in-your-face. Like, I’m a hash hole, I’m an asshole. Whatever you want to call it. It’s in your face. It’s here, this is the album, boom. Roll something up, smoke to it, listen to it.
Kulture Vulturez: What inspired you to speak up for marijuana consumption and to becoming pro cannabis?
WowAshWow: About two years ago I went to a festival [in Philadelphia] and there was a group of people there that were just handing out pamphlets and information about cannabis reform. One of the things that really stuck out to me is they had two speakers and one was a veteran who suffered from PTSD from being a part of serving in the war. He was taking so many medications and it was making him damn near suicidal. Then he decided to wean himself off the medications and just smoke marijuana.
That did a 180 and his entire life and his quality of life and how he was treating his family. I was like, wow, that’s amazing. Then what hit me the hardest to say, okay, how can I get involved? There was a parent whose child suffered from multiple seizures. She was immobilized, basically from the neck down. She had this rare disease that the doctors essentially gave her only six years to live. She had been able to extend the quality of her life and even become mobile from the parents using cannabis to treat her pain and to treat her seizures and her issues. Here was a medicine that was natural and it was actually working.
The parents face the possibility of having child protective services take their child away and put them in jail because it’s not a legal treatment. What they were doing was illegal. And it’s like, this is absolutely crazy. They are doing the one thing that is extending their child’s life, that’s helping their child, that’s doing everything for them. And they’re about to get, excuse my language, lock the f*** up for this. That’s crazy. What can I do to help? And that’s pretty much what started it.
Kulture Vulturez: How do you feel your music can contribute to society, in a positive way?
Wowashwow: My music can contribute to society because I feel like I am a story of this is what happens when you are consistent and when you are grinding. I feel that when you hear my music, every album, every song, you hear growth. It keeps getting better. It encourages people to follow your own path and follow your own dream and keep pushing. And that’s essentially like what I’m about, what my music is about, like the overall vibe. And it’s so amazing that I look on social media now because the album is almost at like 100,000 streams.
I look at people on social media who are literally just doing their everyday thing and getting their grind on with like my music blasting in the background. And I was just like, this is literally like what it’s about. You washing our damn truck and getting it squeaky clean, while blasting my music. You powerlifting in the gym. I’m like, this is literally what it’s all about about you. Get into your grind, get into your bag, loving your damn self.
That’s what I feel that I’ve been able to contribute in the short amount of time that I’ve really been like pushing myself as an artist. I’ve only really, really been going hard at this for like a year and a half, even though my entire life I’ve been sort of, I would like to say in training and cultivating myself and finding my sound and everything. And finally, for this year and a half, I’ve been going hard in the paint to get it done.
Kulture Vulturez: Your song “Heatwave” is out right now, right?
Wowashwow: “Heatwave” is out right now. The music video drops on Friday, May 13th. It will be the day before I step on stage in Vegas to open up for Snoop Dogg and Travis Barker.
Kulture Vulturez: So, breakdown the song “Heatwave” and the music video also?
Wowashwow: “Heatwave” it’s like one of those double entendre. It’s a song that’s no matter how hard you try and what you try to do, you literally can’t stop the vision, the flow and everything of what I’m doing because I’m coming in this bitch like a heat wave and there ain’t shit you can do.
Also, on the other hand is instructions and talks about how indoor weed is grown. It’s slight instruction talking about like certain types of weed and how it’s grown. Sometimes it’s sort of poking fun a little bit at white label cannabis brands who are like, look at my weed and my cannabis. But our shit comes from the source and this grows from here and you’re over here outsourcing and buying your weed and showing it off. Those who get it will get it for those certain references.
For the most part, it’s about being on your grind and not taking shit from anybody. The music video itself was filmed in the middle of the desert in Joshua Tree, California, in this super, super sick house that’s like decorated sort of 70s style. It’s just it’s something that you just definitely have to check out. I’m really excited about it because in every single music video I’ve always pushed for high level production. There’s always been like a spectacle and a fanfare and like dancers and extras and this and that.
This is the first music video where it was just me, myself, and I. Showing myself as an artist, showing my performance and just giving y’all a good ass performance video. Having fun with it. I’m very proud of this one and how it turned out. And then all of my outfits were made by this amazing designer named Troy Seaford, who’s in Vogue and a whole bunch of other different magazines. He’s an incredible talent. Gave an extra push to this video up to where it needs to be. The video is just about having fun, coming in that bitch like a heat wave.
Kulture Vulturez: So, what is next for you after the release of your album and your latest video, “Heatwave”?
Wowashwow: Well, after this, I have started working on album number two. I also have these shows that are coming up. I have the show on May 14th in Vegas with Snoop Dogg and Travis Barker. Then I have some shows lined up in West Hollywood. I have written a script for the album on I’m A Hashole. That is my overall biggest project that I want to do with this album in particular. I’ve written a really dope movie and I want to produce an entire film for that.
Kulture Vulturez: Is it full length or a mini short film?
Wowashwow: Oh, no, it’s a full length film. Yep, full length with the entire album. It starts with Heatwave, because that’s how the album starts out and goes all the way to the end.
Kulture Vulturez: What inspired you to write a movie?
Wowashwow: When I sat down and listened to the album in its entirety. Once I was finished with the band, I realized that, Hey, this all has a flow and can all tell an entire story. Essentially, I wanted it to tell a loose story of a girl who is pushing herself, trying to follow her dreams, trying to make it as an independent artist, but it splits into like two different sub worlds. In one world you have real life, which essentially follows a lot of what I’m doing. The hustle and the grind in real life. Then it flips over into this sub world where all of the dreams and everything is actualized and it’s this dream world.
So, essentially all the songs take place in this dream world where you see that it’s this character is at the pinnacle of success, whatever that is defined by within the script. It sort of ends back into the real world with it being open ended and you’re not really sure what happens, because what I’m going to be able to do is now once I’ve written my second album and see and shape and mold what that looks like, I’ll be writing another script to carry from the first film into the second film that will. So basically I kind of want it to be like a trilogy and continuation. The movie will go into three parts, just like the album will go into three parts.
Kulture Vulturez: I think that’s about it for me. Anything else or anything I left out?
Wowashwow: I mean, other than giving a shout out to my team that I work with. The album itself was created using all live instruments, no samples or anything, and that was produced by Heaping Teaspoon, specifically a guy name blapsmith. Then also a guy by the name of John the Funky Monk and also Riva Sax. Also my creative team, Voodoo Visuals as well. They’re like my rock and everything and they’ve helped me to cultivate all the visuals and every crazy idea that I have they are there pretty much helping it get done.
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