Memphis Music Feature: Ashley Wimbush aka DJ Alpha Whiskey
Memphis DJ Ashley Wimbush aka DJ Alpha Whiskey takes her talents to the lobby at Central Station this Friday night April 24 for an all-ladies soul music dance party—streaming live into your living room at 8:30 p.m.
All-Ladies Memphis Soul Dance Party This Friday Night
Holly: I really want to know your story! But first, real quick—What can Memphis music fans from around the world expect during your set on Friday?
Ashley: I’m going to spin classics from amazing women like Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, Anita Ward…women who paved the way for a lot of us female artists. I want listeners to feel the music as if they are at a real concert or show. I have records that will make you sing and dance nonstop!
Holly: What can you tell us about the all-women soul theme? What does that mean to you?
Ashley: I am happy that Memphis honors and recognizes female artists. These beautiful women inspire(ed) a lot of female artists to sing and pursue musical careers. Their voices were powerful and you felt every word they sang! I am very honored to be able to spin their records on Friday night and let world hear the Women of Soul!
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Why “Alpha Whiskey”?
Holly: I know you’ve answered this question many times, but: where does your name come from?
Ashley: My name is Ashley Wimbush and I am an Air Traffic Controller. We use the phonetic alphabet to communicate with one another and my initials are Alpha Whiskey. Alpha Whiskey also describes me as a person. I’m an Alpha female, who believes in empowering women to have confidence and faith. Whiskey gives you life if you drink responsibly and that’s what I do as a DJ. I bring energy and life to people through music. Music is a release.
A Little Background
Holly: Where are you from? How long have you lived in Memphis/how did you get here?
Ashley: I was born and raised in Virginia. I’ve been here six years.
Holly: How did you get started as DJ?
Ashley: I’ve always wanted to be a DJ because I love music and dancing. In 2017 my boyfriend who is a Business and Marketing Consultant asked me if I wasn’t an ATCer what would I be doing and I told him DJing. He talked to me about the importance of having multiple streams of income and from there we started having long conversations about how I could start as a DJ.
I purchased a DJ board and started practicing and getting feedback from friends. He saw how passionate I was and he connected me DJ KJ (@djkj1973) and DJ Crystal Mercedes (@therunwaydj) here in Memphis and from there they gave me great tips and got me my 1st gig! After my first gig I started getting more opportunities, building my brand, and perfecting my craft.
“Memphis has truly taught me what hustle, grit, and grind is.”
Holly: How has Memphis music inspired your artistic career?
Ashley: Memphis inspired my artistic career at a very young age. I grew up listening to Otis Redding, Johnnie Taylor, BB King, Little Milton and Three 6 Mafia. I used to dance and embarrass my aunt whenever she played blues music in the car. I loved pretending to play the guitar (laughs). I would tell her I was going to be a guitar player one day. Learning how to play the guitar is still on my list of things to learn.
Holly: How has Memphis as a city inspired your artistic career?
Ashley: Memphis is such a great city. Sometimes, I almost forget that I wasn’t born here. There are so many talented artists in this city, and I am just happy that I am able to experience first hand. When I first got here I saw DJ Spaceage spinning at a bar near U of M and she had some great music playing. Then I heard Big Sue on the radio while driving and I loved her voice and mixes.
I saw there were twin female DJs (DJ Tootz) doing great things and I had never seen that before, so when I met DJ Crystal Mercedes I knew there was already a great female DJ presence in Memphis I could reach out to for needed advice. Memphis has truly taught me what hustle, grit, and grind is, and I am so thankful.
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Holly: Favorite Memphis music artists (or overall genre) and why?
Ashley: Three 6 Mafia (their energy and beats appealed to me at a very young age) Aretha Franklin (greatest soul singer) , The Bar-Kay’s (one of my favorite bands, they have great music my favorite is “Holy Ghost”) . I love 90s hip hop. I was born in 88 and I loved the beats, lyrics, and vibes during that time.
Holly: You have three jobs [air traffic controller, DJ, model]. How do you manage it?
Ashley: 2019 was my first year of consistent DJing, ATC, and modeling. I am off on weekends from my ATC job so I am able to DJ during that time. However I’m working on a more structured routine that allows me to be more productive.
Holly: During non-pandemic times, how can Memphians experience DJ Alpha Whiskey?
Ashley: I DJ every Saturday at Sage Memphis (noon – 4 p.m.) for brunch. Every other Sunday at The WKND for After Brunch (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.). I rotate Saturday nights with two other local DJs at Tailors Union (9 p.m. – 1 a.m.) for Old School Saturdays. I also DJ Private events such as birthdays and corporate events, etc.
DJing In A Pandemic
Holly: How have you been coping personally and professional during the pandemic?
Ashley: I have been working on improving my brand and quality of life. This time has allowed me to focus on organizing, disciplining myself, and innovating. Professionally, I partnered with Phillip Ashley Chocolates to host Themed Live Tasting events every Friday via Zoom.
Also, The She DJs wanted to make sure we still could provide relief to the world during these tough times. So we started Ladies Love Day Parties Live Edition via our SheDJs Memphis Facebook Page and SheDJs901 IG Page. Every Saturday we have a line up of female DJs spinning every hour.
Until this pandemic hit I never went Live because I wasn’t comfortable but now I’m more comfortable and I hope to go live more in the future.
Holly: Go-to food and drink orders after a DJ set?
Ashley: Central Station makes a special cocktail for me . I told the bartender I love St. Germaine liquor and they took care of the rest. It was delicious! I ordered three.
Everything at Sage is delicious. My favorite is the soul waffle. The bartenders are amazing there as well. I’m always looking forward to their brunch on Saturday.
When I finish DJing at the Wknd on Sundays I grab myself and my boyfriend a Yardbird flatbread and the honey hot shrimp or chicken wings. Once we get home, it’s on!
Holly: How can people keep up with your projects?
Just For Fun: Meet Ashley
1. What’s always in your bag? Business cards
2. Guilty pleasure? I love to cook too so I’m always at the grocery store ( almost every day)
3. Go to outfit? Leggings/comfy graphic tee/ comfy sneakers (Nike or Puma)
4. How do you drink your coffee? I stopped drinking coffee beginning of January for health reasons but I loved French Truck Coffee with French vanilla cream and sugar.
5. Favorite song(s) right now? Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes ft. Freddie Gibbs “Nightrider”
Follow DJ Alpha Whiskey / Listen Live
Memphis Music Hub DJ Series Feat. DJ Alpha Whiskey
Friday, April 24 at 8:30 p.m.