Bobbie Jean Ashley is the seventh daughter of eight girls of Bud and Opal Ashley. She graduated in 1991 from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois with a degree in Radio/Television communications. She has been singing since the age of four and writing songs since her teens. From 2000 to 2002, she sang with a band called Southtown and opened for Kentucky Headhunters at the Effingham County Fairgrounds. Boofuhluh is her first album.
How long have you been interested in singing/songwriting, and what inspired you to create this album at this time?
I’ve been writing songs since the age of 14/15 and have written close to 300 songs so far. Most I will never share with another person because they just aren’t ready for another’s ears but maybe one day I can rework some of them so that they are ready. The inspiration for this album came after a prayer I made to God and asked him why my life has been spared so many times at deaths door.
I’ve nearly died over 9 times. I was walking when I said that prayer and I looked down and saw a piece of string on the floor and I took that as a sign that I need to do my music. I wanted this album to be filled with inspiration, love, and beauty because of that sign and I dedicated this album in part to God.
Do you have a favorite song on the album, and why?
My favorite is “The Hope and the Love” which is the song I wrote for God. I’ve had several people tell me that this song was just what they needed during this time of COVID.
What is the origin of the album’s name and what does it mean?
BooFuhLuh…. when I was 4 years old, I had issues pronouncing various words and the big one was “BooFuhLuh”… my parents even started using this word instead of the real one. It was just my 4 year old way of saying the word, “Beautiful”. The album is also dedicated to my mom and dad so I thought it appropriate to name it “BooFuhLuh”.
Recording an album like this must have been challenging, especially during a pandemic. What hurdles did you have to overcome?
Lot of big hurdles. When the pandemic first hit the studios (rightly so) closed down so there was no way of knowing when we could record it. Not long after they reopened, so we thought we might get in to do it. Then, my producer, Mike Waldron, had a serious bicycle accident and had to go in to the hospital. While at the hospital, he was exposed to COVID and it took several months for his hands to heal from the wreck and for him to fully heal from a bad case of COVID.
Eventually, we were able to schedule time in October to record. All of the musicians and I wore masks and practiced social distancing. It was a fun experience to get to hear my songs come to life with music and background singer and it was an honor to get to work with such seasoned professionals.
Obviously doing live events right now is problematic, but do you have any plans for events in the future?
I would like to… I haven’t planned anything officially but hopefully I can.
How soon can we see a second album?
Hopefully this album will do well enough that I can afford to do another. 😉