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Rising Stars: Meet Shioban Ashford

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shioban Ashford.

Shioban, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am born and raised in Memphis TN. A graduate of Booker T. Washington H.S. I have a loving fiancé and 2 lovely daughters. I started loving music at an early age. My family listened to all kinds of music. While in High School my friends knew that I could sing but the choir director didn’t. In my 12th-grade year, someone got sick and they needed a singer.

My friend volunteered for me and the band director couldn’t believe that I was there for 4 years and she did not know that I could sing. I spent the majority of my childhood playing sports. Playing sports taught me strong leadership and teamwork skills that I use in my day-to-day life. I attended college and obtained a degree. During that time.

I would sing with a gospel group consisting of 6 members including me at churches and retirement homes throughout the city. In 2007, my cousin Don Valentine and the Hollywood all=stars would perform on Sunday nights.

I would enjoy the show and all the musicians that would come and perform. A year later, I would sing with him on Beale Street. The rest is history. Working with Don Valentine seeing the way the crowd loved him and he would deliver every request they would make I was intrigued. I took notes. As time moved on I would later form my own Band name Baunie and Soul.

They are an incredible group of young men who I say make me sound good every time we play. I became the house band for Handy Bar and Grill. We specialize in all kinds of music Soul/R&B/Blues, etc.

I love all kinds of music now I get to put that into my own sound. When we are not traveling you can catch us downtown on the weekends. We have several places where we play and we are very thankful for each opportunity we are given. in 2018 Tina Tilton of Memphis, TN announced that if you had an idea for a TV show call her. I was already thinking about doing something centered around the musicians in Memphis, TN.

I created a music docu-series titled The Soul of Beale. We aired a couple of shows and then some things happened but fast forward to 2022. The show is back on. Starting this summer on Comcast local channel 17 Sunday at 6:30 pm you can tune in.

The Soul of Beale will feature live performances on and off Beale Street. It will give you access to shows, artists, and hot spots here in Memphis. Get to know the Soul of Memphis and what we are famous for. My soul purpose in doing this show is to give people an inside look into my city, our soul, and our sound.

The road has been hard, I still say the wins are few. Yet there is nothing I would change about my journey.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have been turned away more times than I can count. I have been told NO so many times. When I first started and where I was working was mostly man-dominated so I feel that I had to prove myself as an assertive, strong woman.

I went to every club it seems to ask for people to book my band and my phone wasn’t ringing. I can remember singing and I didn’t have a name. They would just say “Oh, you that girl that sings.”

I have always been an outgoing person, I consider myself funny, Once I was able to combine that with musical hits, plus a group of the city’s best musicians we have been filling up rooms ever since.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an Employee/Professional. I have a degree in Accounting.

I have spent the last 20 plus years of my life doing that. I am also an Artist. I have created a platform for my peers. To share their talents with viewers. I am most proud of my family their support has always held me up. What sets me apart from others I like to say I can genuinely be happy for someone even though my dreams are still in the making.

I pride myself on selfless acts. I feel that it is important to do a thing (Something) for people that do not (don’t) benefit you. I want to see everybody win.

What matters most to you? Why?
God. My family. It is important that I show them the right morals, integrity, and most of all love.

Contact Info:

  • Email: renise.ashford@gmail.com
  • Website: thesoulofbeale.com
  • Instagram: @baunieandsoul
  • Facebook: baunieandsoul
  • Youtube: baunieandsoul

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1 Comment

  1. Beverly Shields

    May 11, 2022 at 2:26 am

    U go niece love u

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