Hello Ash, hope you are well. I would love to learn a little more about you and what lead to the start of your career as a musician. When did you first start making music? How did you get into this specific genre?
When I was young I was very unique in what I listened to, most people were listening to 50 cent or Grime (which is cool, I don't mean to sound pretentious haha), but I was listening to like 80's funk music at the age of nine. I always had a ear for music that was way beyond my years. While I was making grime music, I would be making rock type as well. I fell in love with music and I decided to tackle every genre, say when is one of many that I will be releasing. I started at about age 11, writing poetry first, which then it developed into rapping, then into melody. I was playing the keyboard since I was seven but I didn’t start laying my own tracks down until about fourteen.
When was Tha Ashes born and how did you come up with the name?
My niche is my diversity: I rap, I sing ,I produce and I do all genres of music: There is an Ash that can do everything, hence the name ''Tha Ashes'' meaning there is more than one Ash. It also means ''Ashes'' like in what is left after fire, a symbol for self improvement and being a better version of yourself, what comes after the fire like a phoenix. And lastly it’s a spin of my name, my name is ''Ashanti'' But I couldn't call myself that for obvious reasons haha. Everyone calls me ''Ash''... so I just turned it into Tha Ashes.
Who are your favourite artists and main inspirations when making music?
My biggest influences are Kanye West - his creativity and out of the box ideas. Frank Ocean is my favourite songwriter EVER: his lyrics are so philosophical, captivating and reflective , and the emotion in his voice is makes the message so digestible. Also artists such as Labyrinth and Pharrell are great inspirations to me.
Your song “Say when” is now available to listen to on SoundCloud and has over 13k views on YouTube. What was the process that lead to its birth?
The song came to me while I was playing playstation! I just got this nagging melody in my head saying ''Shudududu say when'' (which became the chorus). I ran up stairs and laid it down in my home studio. I was already going through tough times with a girl, so I filled in the rest of the song with lyrics about the situation. I still loved her though, so that melody in my head of me saying ''Say When'' took on a new meaning as in ''say when'' you are ready to stop giving me a headache and ill be back haha!
I wanted to make I hate you but I love you type song, an argument song not a breakup song. We all have that moment when we absolutely hate someone but don't want to break up forever.
There is another subject that I wanted to touch on that I don't hear in much songs. The way some girls chase ''bad boys'' and ignore the good ones. I find it absolutely ridiculous how they leave the good guy then end up hurting themselves in the process, a bit sadistic if you ask me.
I also want to touch on how corny and childish this ''road guy'' attitude is, I used to be like that then I grew up, its about time a lot more people do too.
“Say when” has also received the support of DJs from Radar Radio, Pulse FM and RJR Radio. How does it feel to hear your own song played on the radio?
It felt surreal, I was in the car with my sister when it played. We were both shocked: I made this song in my room now its on radio. What was amazing is the dj's played it out of their own free will. I was so flattered.
What plans do you have for the future? Do you have any upcoming projects or live events?
I'm starting a weekly series called ''#SoYouThinkYourDiverse, i'll be releasing a song in a different genre every week. Say When is the first instalment starting with ''Afro-Rnb''. I'll be releasing , grime, reggae, garage, afrobeats, afro swing, drill, gospel, orchestra and my own unique genres! I'll be releasing this in video and audio form every week on Thursday.