Kassi Ashton tempers her rural country roots with hints of gritty soul and atmospheric rock, creating a distinctive, unusual synthesis that can be heard on her 2018 debut single "California, Missouri," the title of which is also the name of Ashton's hometown. Born Kassi Meisenheimer, she was raised there, listening to country music and participating in musical theater, dance, and beauty pageants. Contemporary pop sounds of Adele and Amy Winehouse caught her attention as a teenager, strengthening her desire to become a professional musician.
Ashton began writing songs when she was 15, and after high school she headed to Nashville, enrolling at Belmont University's School of Music. Her plans were derailed in 2014 when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After successful treatment, she returned to performing. In 2016 she won the university's annual Country Music Showcase and interned at the publishing company Carnival Music. After signing a representation deal with Creative Nation for publishing and management, Ashton signed to UMG Nashville/Interscope in December 2017. "California, Missouri" -- a song co-written with Shane McAnally and Luke Laird -- arrived swiftly in January of 2018.
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