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Ashley Mills Monaghan talks about her new song ‘When I Feel Mad’ and future plans

Children’s music artist Ashley Mills Monaghan chatted with Digital Journal about her new song “When I Feel Mad.”

Ashley Mills Monaghan
Ashley Mills Monaghan. Photo Credit: Kevin and King/ Diana King
Ashley Mills Monaghan. Photo Credit: Kevin and King/ Diana King

Children’s music artist Ashley Mills Monaghan chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about her new song “When I Feel Mad,” her songwriting inspirations, and future plans.

On her new song “When I Feel Mad,” she said, “I am a mother to young boys and I have also worked with young children my entire career so I know heavy feelings are just part of growing up. I feel it’s part of my job as a mother and a voice to little ones to take advantage of opportunities where I can provide tools to help control their emotions in a healthy way.”

She continued, “A simple solution to regain emotional regulation is simply by breathing. We did a lot of mindful practice in my classroom when I was teaching. I learned that when heavy feelings rise, we literally can’t think straight. If you are triggered by stress, our reasoning skills in the prefrontal cortex of the brain are bypassed and the amygdala gets set off which sends our body’s alarm system in flight or fight mode.”

“For children, sometimes this just looks like a tantrum. ‘When I Feel Mad’ simply reminds us it’s OK to feel those big feelings, but counting to 3 and blowing them all away, which the song suggests, will make you feel better. It’s also set in a jazzy mode and jazz always makes you feel more chilled out,” she elaborated.

Songwriting inspirations

Regarding her songwriting inspirations, she said, “My children and the children in my life. I watch what they go through and write about the themes that they could relate to and constantly write silly ideas with my kids at home.”

Future plans

Regarding her future plans, she said, “Currently, I am busy with songwriting and scoring for an upcoming animated series for kids! It’s been a wonderful working experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I really love the creative process and the collaboration with other artists in the industry so I hope to continue stretching that creative muscle.”

“I am also working on finishing my full album, ‘Good Times,’ which will hopefully be done by the end of summer.  I will be releasing another song on April 1 and will continue working on my own creative projects and teaching at home,” she added.

Success

On her definition of success, she said, “Success has such a variety of meanings and it is truly different for everyone. For some, success is money. And I get that. We need to feel what we are worth. But I think about this a lot. When will I feel successful? When I’ve made my million? As an artist, I am constantly growing and constantly doubting myself in a highly competitive world. But I am doing it.”

“I told myself for so many years I wasn’t good enough to do music but here I am. I fought through that self-doubt and I am seeking opportunities and getting paid for it! Right now, that is MY success. My success will evolve as I do. But that is my success. For now. I am doing what I love. And I am not being held back by my own fear. That’s enough. For now.”

Mills remarked about her song “When I Feel Mad,” “This was the first song that I actually produced myself. It was a song that I wrote on the guitar but when I started recording it, I tried playing it on the piano and the jazzy musician in me came out and I went with it.”

“I think the jazzy chords serve the song much better because there is something about smooth jazz that calms you down. I played a little bit of jazz piano in high school and college so it was fun to explore that side of my soul as a musician,” she concluded. 

“When I Feel Mad” is available on Spotify.

To learn more about Ashley Mills Monaghan and her music, visit her official website, and follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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