We sit down with incredible new songwriter and vocalist ASHA.
ASHA is the ex-street dance teacher who’s making waves as a singer/songwriter. Mixing infectious beats with her introspective lyrics and powerful voice, ASHA’s debut single, “We Can Do This”, was a triumphantly raw track that stirred up a lot of hype online. Then, a few weeks ago, she returned with her best effort thus far: “Record Straight” is a little more upbeat than some of ASHA’s previous stuff, and has been knocking around our heads since we first heard it – we’re sticking it firmly on repeat. If you’re after a fearless female singer who doesn’t put on a cringy faux-American accent then ASHA will be the girl for you. We were lucky enough to get to know her a little better as we spoke about her inspirations, the importance of Adele, and what we can expect from this up-and-coming talent.
You were a street-dance teacher, when/how did you decide to move into making your own music?
It was never really a choice I made, it was just something that I found myself doing… I went to theatre school and studied musical theatre for a good four years – dance has always been my first love but due to an injury I had to stop pursuing it. I kind of found my voice rather than knowing that I had a voice – it was something that I found a love for just as much as dancing, so now singing definitely has my heart.
How do you think that background in dance informs your music (if at all)?
To be honest I don’t think my dance informs my music really, I think it just pays to have dance in my background for the future you know, when I’m touring and stuff, I’ll find it easy to pick up choreography, and hopefully feel a little more at ease on the stage!
How do you think you sound has progressed between your first releases and “Record Straight”?
I think hopefully it has helped show the outside world that I’m a versatile artist. As each release happened, I felt myself becoming a better song writer – I became more certain and confident in my own sound.
But “Record Straight” has always been the one song I was scared to release – I always said to my manager that I didn’t think anyone would get it, as it was so different to my first two tracks. It was such a relief when I saw peoples’ reactions to it – how much people have felt it really reassured me that I made the right choice.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
ADELE, ADELE, ADELE & ADELE! This woman has made such a life for herself, her music touches and reaches everyone, it’s just the effect that I’d want to have. On a personal level, her lyrics really connected with some life experiences I’ve had. At really hard points recently in my life she has really given me the motivation to keep going, so I want to thank her for that. It’s an incredible thing to be able to touch people so many people so deeply.
Outside of music, is there anything that inspires you to get creating?
I’ve got a special someone in my life who really motivates my creativity, he’s already had a couple songs dedicated to him ha, hopefully you’ll hear those soon!
I find that whenever something crappy happens to me it’s what motivates me the most to create music. It seems to be that the best songs are written out of really rubbish situations that I’ve been through.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is nothing more than me. It’s real, I guess. I stick with my London accent as thats where I’m from & my sound musically is always gritty… Because let’s be honest, I’m no angel!!
You had your debut show recently in Hoxton: talk to us a little about that.
It was a crazy night, I was so scared! I hadn’t performed properly in such a long time, I’d not been in front of an audience with my new material yet, and that was the one thing that scared me the most – the reaction from outsiders. Each of my songs are like my babies, I’m so over-protective of them. I want them so badly to be accepted by the world. Everyone kept on telling me I had nothing to worry about, but that didn’t reassure me. I was still worried… The time came and oh my gosh I loved every second of that performance! It felt great to share my music with everyone there on that evening, it was just really special.
What can we expect from the forthcoming EP?
Expect my life journey on a plate! I’m literally letting the world into my whole life; my troubles, my darkest days & the ending of the dark days… I can’t wait for you guys to hear it.
What’s next for you – after the EP?
I’m just gonna keep writing, hopefully give you all some new tracks and some new videos & celebrate my 22nd birthday next year!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I just want to perform. I love being on stage and interacting with audiences; I just want to be performing and maybe receiving an award or two… Hey there’s no harm in dreaming!!