Local teen singer makes it in music business

By From page B10 | December 15, 2012

FAIRFIELD — Singer Ashley Cortes is probably better known around the world as Ashlie Cortez.

At just 14, Fairfield resident Cortes has already established a stage name.

Among the fans who know her as Ashlie Cortez is famed boxer Manny Pacquiao. Cortes has been invited to sing at his post-match concerts numerous times and even received a personal visit from him at her home in Vallejo.

Lately, however, Cortes has been involved in a very different kind of project: Saving the planet.

Cortes is using her singing skills to help send a message about saving the planet and dreaming big in the musical soundtrack “Pacha’s Pajamas.”

“Pacha’s Pajamas” is a children’s book paired with a story soundtrack that tells the story of how a young girl named Pacha and her adventures save nature and humanity.

The CD soundtrack intersperses story tracks with eight pop songs performed by major industry artists and up-and-coming young artists such as Cortes.

A few of the many collaborators on the  project include rapper/actor Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def; rapper and lyricist Talib Kweli; R&B vocalist Lester Chambers; actor and author Cheech Marin; singer Om Shimure, better known as Lyrics Born; and the book’s author, Aaron Ableman.

Ableman said he was excited to enlist famous celebrity singers, such as Mos Def, for their talent and vision. He later found that younger musicians, like Cortes, shared the same ability and passion.

“The kid actors, singers, rappers – like Ashlie Cortez or Lil Jaxe – have been a true honor to work with as well,” he said.

Music producer Andre Johnson contacted Cortes after she performed for Ozcat Radio in Vallejo. After hearing more about the project, Cortes was on board.

The opportunity itself was wonderful, she said, plus the topic of the project resonated with her.

“The planet is a beautiful place. . . . Saving it is important,” she said. “I’d rather have a cleaner world for the future.”

Though Cortes is young, she’s been practicing music for quite a while.

“I was singing before I started talking,” she said, laughing.

Cortes has been performing since the first grade and in venues all over the world, from Nevada to the Philippines. She recently put out an album, “Make it Through.” Her songs, all original, blend a variety of musical styles, such as rock, acoustic and vocal. On top of that, she wrote most of the songs on her album.

While Cortes said she’s enjoyed her success thus far, she has no plans of stopping here.

“I definitely want to write more songs. That’s one of my main goals,” she said. “I still can’t believe I was able to achieve all this.”

Cortes is heading to the Philippines over Christmas for a public performance of her new song, “Christmas Time.”

To listen to her song and the rest of the “Pacha’s Pajamas” soundtrack, visit www.pachaspajamas.com/listen.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.
Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.

Discussion | 1 comment

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 15, 2012 - 8:59 am

    Dont stand in the way of a person and their dreams. Let them find their way in life. Statistically, her chances of success are not good. I would counsel that she should have a good backup career plan. Most teens and young adults now all seem to aspire to be sports or entertainment stars along with shunning education and parental counsel.

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