Only a couple years ago, Ashley McBryde was an aspiring singer-songwriter, trying to get her music heard. But then McBryde struck gold, earning the attention – and respect – of artists like Eric Church and Miranda Lambert.
By the time McBryde released "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" last year, she already had a fan base that continues to grow, making her, for the first time, get a taste of what it's like to be famous – something she is still getting accustomed to.
"It's actually really weird, walking through airports and things, when people are like, 'Is that Ashley?' and I'll go, 'Yes,'" she tells PopCulture.com. "I'm still not used to it. I don't know if I'll ever really get used to it, but within a year and a half, I went from being the girl nobody knew to the person people were talking about in magazines and things. It's kind of strange, but it's a really cool thing."
Although the Arkansas native loves meeting her fans, there are times she admits it's not easy.
"When I look like crap it makes me uncomfortable, if I'm in pajamas leaving the airport or something," McBryde concedes. "They're like, 'Can we have a picture?' and I'm like, 'Of course you can. I just look like crap.' It doesn't make me uncomfortable any other way. If I feel like it's all right to take a photo – I don't have to be glam of course. But if I don't have any make-up on and I'm like, 'Oh no, I didn't get enough sleep last night,' then it's weird. But I'll still do it."
It's Lambert who has helped McBryde get used to her newfound popularity, becoming a mentor for McBryde as she navigates the highs and lows of being a celebrity.
"I met Miranda Lambert first in Chicago, at LakeShake," McBryde recalls. "She came side stage and watched our show, and tweeted about it. She said, 'You should come have a drink with me later.' That turned into us writing together and becoming really fast friends. And then, being at the house, and talking to her, I could ask her anything, and she had no trouble giving me advice. Things about safety, and what things to look for on social media, and things to stay away from.
"I was like, 'I don't know how to meet-and-greets. What do I do about that?'" she continues. "And she was like, 'You just accept that that's the thing you're going to have to do now.' She's really been a guiding light for me.'"
McBryde's 2018 was a busy one, spending much of it on the road, including several dates with Lambert.
"Being out with Luke Combs in the early part of the year was awesome," McBryde maintains. "It was my first experience doing 35 to 40 days without going home. That was kind of rough, but I learned how to do it. And then overseas for a little bit, and then [with] Miranda with Jon Pardi."
Her time on the road as an opening act prepared McBryde for her own tour, The Girl Going Nowhere Tour, with Dee White serving as the opening act.
"We're about to start our own headlining thing on September 4," says McBryde. "Doing our little club tour. I don't want to call it 'a little club tour,' but I feel like if we downplay it a little, I won't be nervous. It's going to be fun, because now we have an opener, so we get to be good to him too."
As much as McBryde is looking foward to taking the stage night after night, she's also looking forward to spending time with White, and extending to him the same helping hand that has been offered to her.
"It was done for me, and I can't wait to do it," explains McBryde. "Miranda and Luke and Jon Pardi were really good, and then Brothers Osborne, about showing me a good example of how you treat someone who's on the road with you."0comments
Find a list of all of McBryde's upcoming shows at AshleyMcBryde.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Davis