Ashh Blackwood Shares the Story Behind Viral TikTok Good Vibes Anthem, 'You're Gonna Be Okay'
Even if you don't know Ashh Blackwood's name, there's a good chance you've heard her viral track "You're Gonna Be Okay" on TikTok and instantly felt like a small weight was lifted from your soul.
The song is a powerful mantra, with simple but effective phrasing that uplifts without diminishing life's struggles, layered with gentle Afro-Caribbean-inspired percussion and Ashh's soothing vocals to create the message a lot of us need to hear. It comes as no surprise to us that the track has moved many a fan to tears—but the song is just one piece of Ashh's artistry. The London-based creative is also a poet and spoken word artist, as well as a performer in musical theater, and the singer-songwriter released her debut EP (also titled You're Gonna Be Okay) in November of last year. We were fans from our first listen and just had to learn more, and we had the pleasure of chatting with Ashh all about her music, her life and what the success of "You're Gonna Be Okay" means to her. Read the full interview below.
Sweety High: How long have you been making music? Can you tell us a little bit about your influences and how they play out in your sound?
Ashh Blackwood: I have been making music since 2010. A lot of it started off with covers of other people, and if I did write any original songs in the early days, I didn't really share with anyone. It wasn't until 2018, when I started writing poetry and spoken word pieces, that I got the confidence to share my own work with others. In regards to influences, Erykah Badu and Laura Mvula have such great sounds and I love listening to music created and written by Black women. Mvula's sound is so unique. I highly recommend listening to literally every album she's ever done!
@ashhblackwood A lil snippet of You Deserve The World- Ashh's Version. And yes this ting will drop on Spotify with a bunch of other Aunty Gladys mantras! Stay tuned🎶🎶 #foryou #viral #mantras #motivation ♬ original sound – ASHH
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SH: What's the story behind "You're Gonna Be Okay"? What inspired you to write it?
AB: I have no shame in saying that I've had many times battling my own mind. I always have a hard time asking for help, and since my character that I created, "Aunty Gladys," is also a hit, I asked myself, what would she do? And so I sang this song in character, and before I knew it, she went viral!
SH: What does the song mean to you? What do you hope it has meant to your listeners?
AB: This song is the reason why people want to listen to more of my songs, and whilst I didn't expect it to be anywhere near as popular as it is, I'm really glad it has resonated with so many people. I think social media can become a very toxic place very quickly. I wanted to bring joy and good vibes to people instead. I didn't know how that would happen, but the fact it's through something that I've created on my own makes it all the more special.
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SH: While the 42-second version of the track has an outward focus telling listeners, "you're gonna be okay," the extended ukulele version has a more self-referential narrative with "I'm gonna be okay." Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired these two versions and the choices that went into each one?
AB: The short version was written with others in mind. Should they be having a hard day and they happen to stumble across my page and see this and it helps? Then the work is done. It's the reason why it's a short, catchy song, so it stays in people's heads when they feel sad.
As mentioned above, I don't always ask for help and I've spent a lot of my life putting others first, including creating videos and music. I wanted to create a version of the song for me to remind myself that I'm human, too, and I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself all the time.
SH: What has it been like to see the track absolutely blow up and go viral on TikTok? Was that something you ever expected? What does it mean to you that the song has resonated so strongly with people?
AB: Definitely did not expect to go viral. The last time I went viral was when I was remixing sea shanties! I thought, okay, well, nothing can top that. How wrong I was. I receive a lot of messages from people all around the world saying how the song has saved them in some way, or they were about to spiral but managed to get themselves out of it by listening to the
song. Seeing people of all ages singing and dancing to it. It truly is universal!
@ashhblackwood Aunty Gladys says even when all feels lost, YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY! 💜💜💜👑👑👑 #foryou #viral #mantras #motivation #AuntyGladys ♬ YOURE GONNA BE OKAY. AUNTY GLADYS – ASHH
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SH: What's your favorite lyric from the song?
AB: "Is it loud in your mind? Just take your time."
SH: What's one thing you're super proud of right now?
AB: Not music related, but I recently became a homeowner! Now I can create and sing whenever and no one can shout at me for being too loud!
SH: Is there anything else we should know?
AB: Keep on keeping on! You got this <3
For more interviews with our favorite artists, click HERE to discover what Thomas Day had to say about his new single, "VICIOUS."