Interview: Singer/Songwriter Ashley Kutcher Sings a Poignant Goodbye to Love in “Favorite What If”

Favorite What If - Ashley Kutcher
Favorite What If - Ashley Kutcher
Interscope-signed singer/songwriter Ashley Kutcher opens up about her heart-on-sleeve ballad “Favorite What If,” a painful and poignant farewell to young summer love.
Stream: “Favorite What If” – Ashley Kutcher




In another life and time, Ashley Kutcher’s latest single would be your quintessential country classic: Forlorn and aching, the heart-on-sleeve ballad resonates with the ghosts of lost love and longing. It embodies a kind of lingering sadness that fills the room with a sense of absence; of hopes, dreams, and visions left unfulfilled. Opting for a visceral, vulnerable pop sound over country, Kutcher’s “Favorite What If” hangs heavy on the ears as the up-and-coming artist sings a painful, poignant farewell to young summer love.

Favorite What If - Ashley Kutcher
Favorite What If – Ashley Kutcher
Standing knee deep in the water
Feel the waves roll off my skin
Doesn’t feel like the same ocean
That we once were swimming in
Drunk nights and play fights
That you’d always let me win
Now you’re gone and I’ve been losing it
Wouldn’t call it love, but the way you looked at me was
Like you never danced in summer rain
We’d talk through the late hours and search for a way out
I’m here but I guess you found a way

Released June 25, 2021 via Darkroom / Interscope Records, “Favorite What If” arrives as Ashley Kutcher’s her seventh overall song release. Since debuting just a year ago (July 17, 2020) with the intimate, smoldering “Lust,” Kutcher has quickly risen above the noise to establish herself as a shiver-inducing up-and-comer full of passion and fervor. Her breakout song “Love You From A Distance” – telling a heavy-hearted story of distance, disconnect, and longing that all-too perfectly fit into the hopelessness of life during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – has racked up over 27 million combined streams across Spotify and Apple Music.

Needless to say, the 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Baltimore, Maryland has a penchant for spilling her soul through song – which she did as recently as this past April, when her bittersweet, sweeping track “If I Could” marked Kutcher’s first offering of the new year. “With the struggles of the pandemic, I watched a lot of people I love go through a difficult time,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “I felt that the song was really timely and a lot of people really needed it. ‘If I Could’ is about watching someone in pain and wishing you were able to take that away.” Kutcher sings solemnly from her sorrowful verses through empathic, sincere choruses full of feeling:

I don’t even know just how bad it hurts
I hate that I get sad, as I watch you go through worse
And all these days you’ve had alone
learning things you shouldn’t know
Mhmmm I’ll never know
I’ve never seen the things you’ve seen of felt a pain so endlessly
But then your laughing in my dreams won’t let this fade to memory
And if I could
I would take it all away from you for good
I’d weather every storm that you withstood
The nights your lights flickered or fell asleep with old pictures
I would If I could
If I could
– “If I Could,” Ashley Kutcher


“If I Could” has already amassed over 1.5 million streams on Spotify, and its recent follow-up has already passed 500,000 streams in just 2.5 weeks’ time. More a summertime sadness than a sunshine soliloquy, “Favorite What If” dwells in a different kind of loneliness than some of the artist’s past upheavals; instead of measuring the distance between two hearts, the song takes on the emotional burden of absence around the periphery.

“This song is reminiscent of all the great times you’ve had with someone you’re no longer close with,” Kutcher explains. “We’ve all had a situation where we feel plagued with thoughts of what could have been.”

“I wanted to portray a young summer love that didn’t work out. I feel as if a lot of people have a person they loved when they were younger and felt as if they would end up with them in the end. That person is your favorite ‘what if.'”

Kutcher’s voice spellbinds, heartbroken yet nonetheless filled with strength as soft guitars and pianos lay a gentle, soothing foundation. Her posture is calm, yet it’s not hard to feel the turbulence lying just underneath the surface. “And I wish I told you everything, I told myself I would,” she sings in an impassioned chorus. “You left a mark on my heart, but never on my lips, and now you’re just my favorite what if.”

When you packed your bags in August
Didn’t know it’d be for good
And I wish I told you everything, I told myself I would
You left a mark on my heart but nеver on my lips
And now you’re just my favorite what if
And now you’rе just my favorite what if

We all have ghosts from our past – friends, family members, exes we thought would remain with us long into the future and whatever lies beyond. People grow and relationships change over time; we lost touch, fall out of love, stop seeing eye to eye, and more. Whether you yourself have that young summer love that left you empty come August, or any other kind of loss, “Favorite What If” plays with our heartstrings with enchanting grace and elegant stride.

Ashley Kutcher opened up about her new song in conversation with Atwood Magazine below. Dive into the depths of “Favorite What If,” and stay tuned for more from the up-and-coming singer/songwriter as she unveils more songs off her upcoming major label debut EP.

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:: stream/purchase “Favorite What If” here ::
Stream: “Favorite What If” – Ashley Kutcher



A CONVERSATION WITH ASHLEY KUTCHER

Favorite What If - Ashley Kutcher

Atwood Magazine: Ashley, you opened the year up earlier this spring with “If I Could.” Why start the new year this way - was there any significance to that decision?

Ashley Kutcher: “If I Could” is such a meaningful song to me and I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone. With the struggles of the pandemic, I watched a lot of people I love go through a difficult time. I felt that the song was really timely and a lot of people really needed it. “If I Could” is about watching someone in pain and wishing you were able to take that away.

I love the intimacy of “Favorite What If.” How did this song come about?

Ashley Kutcher: This song was written over quarantine on Zoom with two of my friends. I wanted to portray a young summer love that didn’t work out. I feel as if a lot of people have a person they loved when they were younger and felt as if they would end up with them in the end. That person is your favorite “what if.”

Hid the cigarettes under the sand to hide the evidence
When your mom found us a few beers in
We laughed but she was pissed
Coffee shops and late-night stops and I miss every bit
Now you’re gone and I’ve been losing it
Wouldn’t call it love, but the way you looked at me was
Like you never danced in summer rain
We’d talk through the late hours and search for a way out
I’m here but I guess you found a way
Ashley Kutcher © Clyde Munroe
Ashley Kutcher © Clyde Munroe

Standing knee deep in the water, feel the waves roll off my skin; doesn't feel like the same ocean that we once were swimming in.” Can you talk about the significance of these opening lyrics?

Ashley Kutcher: This first line is so visual to me. I see an older version of someone standing in the ocean in the same spot they used to share with someone special. It’s as if they’re standing there alone as the memories flood in of what used to be. The same idea goes for the second verse of “coffee shops and late night stops” – the person is just reminiscing on all the old times.

There's so much wondering and emotional wandering in this track – can you share how this sort of love-lost exploration inspired you?

Ashley Kutcher: When I was younger, I was always confused on what love was supposed to be like and if I was making the right choices. I would always second guess everything. Now I look back on those experiences and wonder what if I would have made a different decision? Or what if I am still supposed to end up with that young love? This song encapsulates all of those emotions.

What does it mean for you, for someone to be your “favorite what if”?

Ashley Kutcher: It’s the person you just can’t stop thinking about if things would have gone differently. To me, it’s about that one person that you let go that you always just wonder, “what if we stayed together?” It’s something I’ll never be able to answer or go back and change.

Do you feel like writing this song gave you catharsis?

Ashley Kutcher: Whenever I release a song, it always does. There are no rules to writing and in general, it’s just a great way for me to express my emotions.

Stream: “Favorite What If” – Ashley Kutcher



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Favorite What If - Ashley Kutcher

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📸 © Clyde Munroe

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