Interview: Ashley Campbell Shares ‘Remembering’ Behind-the-Scenes Video, Family Memories [Exclusive Premiere]
Ashley Campbell recently signed with Dot Records and released her debut single, "Remembering." Now, the singer-songwriter is premiering behind-the-scenes footage from the tune's accompanying music video exclusively on The Boot.
"Remembering" is a touching tribute to Campbell's father, Glen Campbell, who is battling Alzheimer's disease. She recently spoke with The Boot about her dad's illness, his legacy and her determination to follow in his musical footsteps.
How did you come up with the idea for "Remembering"?
I started writing that song in Malibu, [Calif.], just after [my dad's final tour] ended. I was still living with my parents, taking care of my dad. I was sitting by the fireplace in our living room, and I think my mom and dad were in the kitchen, cooking dinner or something. I started coming up with the run, the intro of the song, and immediately, that first line came to me: "Four years old, running up the stairs to your bed." I was just thinking about my dad, and so I knew that was going to be a song about my dad, but that’s all I had to go on.
I recorded that on my phone and left it for a while, and then after I moved to Nashville that spring, I got together with my good friend and co-writer, Kai Welch. I said, "I’ve got this thing that I started that I think could be really cool. I want to write a song about my dad." At that point, I was really missing him because I had moved to Nashville, and they were still in Malibu, and I felt bad about not being there. We wrote this song, and it was one of those magic moments where it was a perfect day and the perfect person to finish the song with.
The "Remembering" music video shows times with your dad before he became ill. Was that difficult for you to watch?
We actually asked James Keach, who produced and directed the documentary [Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me] to put together some footage that he thought would be good for "Remembering," because the filmmakers have pretty much all of our home video footage. It was pretty cool for them to put that together for my music video.
Emotionally, is it difficult a difficult song to perform?
Sometimes it is. I sing it a lot these days. But there are some times it still gets me -- like when I hear someone in the crowd start to sniffle or wipe their eyes, I get a little emotional, and I have to keep it together.
It was one of those magic moments where it was a perfect day and the perfect person to finish the song with.
What was it like touring with your father?
It was some of the best years of my life, really. Everyone on his crew and band were like family to me. Some of them were: My brothers played drums and guitar, and so it was just this beautiful couple years of getting to tour the country and do what we loved with family. Especially getting to spend time with my dad, because I had never really gotten to know him onstage as a performer, because I was always watching from the wings or from the audience. So being onstage with someone, you get to know them on a totally different level.
How's your album progressing?
My album is coming along very, very well. I’m super excited. I’m writing all the songs for it, so it’s going to really be coming from me. I’m so excited.
We have about five songs recorded so far. I was in the studio with Buddy Cannon, and I’m really loving how they’re sounding. We’ll probably go in and record a couple more pretty soon -- if not this year, then early early next year.
I’m hoping to have the album out by spring. But I’m super excited about it. It’s going to be almost like a diary of me, because you’re going to see all my different personality traits. You’re going to see some dark sides, and you’re going to see some funny sides.
Why did you want to write all of the songs for your new record?
That’s what makes me unique as an artist, not just that I have [a] pretty, unique voice and I can play an instrument. But I think all of my most favorite artists are writers, too, and I like hearing straight from the horse’s mouth what the artist is going through. I just respect the whole spectrum, so it’s important for me when I’m using my voice to sing that it is my own voice.
How did you get your record deal?
My song "Remembering," was in the documentary, so [Big Machine Label Group head] Scott Borchetta was already talking with James Keach about putting out the documentary on Big Machine. I had already kind of worked with Big Machine with the Rascal Flatts’ music video ["Banjo"], being the banjo girl in that. My dad has had a long-standing relationship with Scott and his family -- Scott’s dad and my dad go way back -- and so there was always some kind of connection there. But I think, really, the record deal started coming onto the table when the soundtrack for the film started being talked about.
Do you have any tour plans?
There are talks of maybe doing a couple dates with Toby Keith next year, but other than that, it’s focusing on radio right now. I’m on a radio tour right now; I’m four weeks in. I’m learning how to prioritize sleep and eating well and exercise.
He’s in the late stages, but he’s pretty happy ... It’s his soul that’s just sitting there, and it’s a darn good one.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which coincides with the release of "Remembering."
My single add date is Nov. 9, so hopefully we’ll be hearing my song on the radio in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. And also, CNN is going to be airing my dad’s documentary a couple times in November, in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
It has to be heart-wrenching to watch your father as he struggles with Alzheimer's.
It's a very slow goodbye. And what kills me is knowing what’s coming and also knowing that, when I do have to say goodbye, that it’s going to hit me just as hard as if I had to say goodbye suddenly -- maybe even worse, I don’t know.
He’s in the late stages, but he’s pretty happy. He sings to himself a lot, and smiles, and gives hugs and kisses. It’s his soul that’s just sitting there, and it’s a darn good one.
Glen Campbell Through the Years