One day, Ashley Paige Somogyi, a local musician who goes by Somogyi, was walking around the Dallas Arts District with a friend when they found a wine bottle on the ground. Somogyi picked it up and read the word “Yes" on the cork. On one side of the bottle was an image of a monkey’s face with the word “Awaken” spelled across its forehead and the other side read, “Message in a bottle.”
Inside was a faded white piece of paper with a handwritten message and a picture of a woman. The message read, “Yes. Now. Shazam! The universal flow has led your vibrational being into this present moment vortex. Focusing your thoughts to the powerfully fantastic evolution of your inner-revolution; awakening the dancing, love-swinging, illusion-shattering samurai within.”
This is essentially Somogyi’s outlook regarding her success in music. Part of success is about being at the right place at the right time, she says. The other part is about following your intuition and your instincts when you’re in the right place at the right time. Throughout the years, Somogyi has done just that, especially in the run-up to her latest EP, Sideways Dreams
, in which she is backed by a full band of seasoned musicians.
In summer 2015, Somogyi moved to Denton after getting out of a long-term relationship that eventually became abusive.
“When I left that toxic relationship, it kind of opened me up to be a little more positive. That was the overall changing point,” Somogyi says.
She began playing open mics anywhere she could to get her name out. The first was at LSA Burger Co., and eventually, she played an open mic at Abbey Underground, a bar in Denton. There, she met Jared Herzog and he told her he wanted to help her record her songs.
“It was just me on guitar and him with his laptop to add the beats and whatnot,” she says.
The duo initially recorded two songs: "TMI" and "Magic Voodoo," songs Somogyi had performed regularly at open mics.
Later, Somogyi approached Herzog about recording her first album, Hopeless Romantic
Venturing into Dallas, Somogyi played an open mic at Sundown at Granada shortly after the release of her album. There, she met Paul Slavens, the local musician and KXT-FM radio host, and he was the first to play Somogyi’s music on the radio. Through this, her music became part of KXT’s regular rotation.
Somogyi ended up on KXT’s top songs list in 2016, which is based on fan votes. The same year, she was also nominated for Best Pop Act in the Denton Arts and Music Awards.
But after the success of her first release, she took a break because about 15 months ago, Somogyi had a baby girl who was born with a condition called aniridia, leaving her without irises.
“She could be legally blind some day or she could just have to wear glasses." – Somogyi
“She could be legally blind some day or she could just have to wear glasses,” Somogyi says.
Her daughter is her priority, but she says she also does not want to give up on her goals.
“Part of it is, I don’t want to give up on it to not let myself down," she says. "The other part of it is that when she’s older, I want her to have those beliefs that you pursue your dreams and goals no matter what happens in life. I want her to be that kind of person.”
The hype from her first release is in the past, Somogyi says. Her goal now is to get back into the scene and start playing more often. She is working with BandSource’s Charlsie Grace to make that happen.
Somogyi's new EP can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other streaming sites.
Somogyi will play The Prophet Bar on Dec. 20.