Power is something that can be seen as a blessing and a curse. While having the potential do to positive and impactful things, power also has the capacity to instil narcissism in those that possess it. This is exactly the notion that singer Asher Monroe explores with his latest track “Midnight Masquerade”. Taken from his upcoming album Windows of Time, this powerful new song features strings and electrifying guitar riffs along with Asher’s melodic voice as he explores themes of corruption, narcissism and power.
When asked about the meaning behind his latest hit Monroe claimed, “’Midnight Masquerade’ was inspired by the foolish and folly narcissistic minds of today’s world that we see in public figures and even in ourselves. The verses ask hard-nosed questions about truth, lies and morality whilst the chorus deals with karma / universal laws.”
Monroe is no stranger to the creative industry. He has had a wildly impressive career that spans across Broadway, film and music, which has seen him feature in major projects such as Fame and Broadway shows such as The Sound of Music and Oliver, allowing him to bring high levels of skill and knowledge to his musical creations. This latest tune also comes as a collaboration with the esteemed producer Walter Afanasieff, who has worked with the likes of Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand in the past, furthering the impressive levels of industry knowledge and mastery that went into the song.
Read our interview with Asher below…
Hi Asher – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
Hi Wonderland, thanks for having me back …it’s been a while. The past year or so has been uncertain for everyone but doing everything you can to keep a sane mind is the most certain thing you can do for yourself. I’ve tried to stay active and keep my mind on positive things. Music will always be a creative outlet for me to channel any of my thoughts and has very much helped through these tough times.
How did growing up in Virginia influence your music? Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
I only lived in Virginia until I was about 6 and the only real music recollection I have from that time in Virginia is my mum always playing me oldies in the car. I did have this colourful jukebox record player in my room, and I think I only had 3 records but the one I clearly remember playing on repeat is ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feelin’’ by The Righteous Brothers. The old school soul R&B was engraved in me since I was really young.
How would you describe your genre?
It depends on the project and I don’t like to box myself in with one specific sound. I think it’s similar to me and food as I’ve tried a little of everything. The most recent project I’m most excited about is my new album, Windows of Time. The only way I can describe it at the moment is orchestral pop with hints of musical theatre, rock and lots of soul.
Congratulations on your single “Midnight Masquerade” – the name is super cinematic as is the song. What was it inspired by?
Thanks! ‘Midnight Masquerade’ was inspired by the foolish and folly narcissistic minds of today’s world that we see in public figures and even in ourselves. The verses ask hard-nosed questions about truth, lies and morality whilst the chorus deals with karma / universal laws.
Did you expect it to receive so much success as it has?
I think success is objective, but I do hope more people get to hear the song and resonate with its message.
And you created it with acclaimed producer Walter Afanasieff, after you guys met through a chance meeting – can you talk a bit about this?
Yes, that is correct. Walter is a genius producer and pours his emotion into his music. I was lucky enough to spend many months, day in and day out in the studio with him crafting these babies. Personally, we got to know each other really well and musically we were definitely a match.
And it’s taken from your album Windows of Time – why that name? What ties all the songs together as a body of work? What are the main inspirations?
I think of the title Windows of Time as a portal into different worlds and reality. In the writing process, I tried to free my mind of anything I’d done in the past. I didn’t want to fit into any particular mode, sound or genre and just use all the experiences I’ve had over the last few years with the current state of mind I was in, channelling Walters genius imprint and just make the best songs possible. I think the common thread is myself and Walters’ production/ background. We both have worked on movies and in film, hence the cinematic flare, and we both love musical theatre, hence the theatrics that are carefully woven in and out of the songs.
You’ve worked with a variety of talent since becoming a solo artist – collaborating with the likes of Ryan Tedder, Akon and Sean Kingston – what’s been your highlight so far?
It’s always fun collaborating with other like-minded individuals who are driven and free thinkers. It makes the creative process spontaneous and outside of the box. You honestly never know the final outcome when you work with talents such as Ryan Tedder, Akon or Sean Kingston. I’ve had many highlights throughout my career but instead of dwelling on anything from the past I’ve always got my sights to the future!
And you’re a successful actor that has appeared in a slew of films and also on Broadway – do you think your love of acting and music are intrinsically tied?
In a way, I feel all creative forms of expression are intrinsically tied. Who’s to say a painters painting, a songwriter’s song or a chef’s meal is any different. I interior designed an entire home in California and got just as much joy from that as I have many of my prior projects in the spotlight. I do love acting and performing on Broadway, but I sometimes felt like they were stepping stones to get me to where I am today. I might go back to either but instead of acting, I might direct or instead of starring in someone else’s show maybe I’ll write and star in my own show.
How does it feel releasing music at such an uncertain time? What do you hope it brings you listeners?
I like to go against the grain and since there was such a lack of content during the pandemic, I think it was the perfect time to release, especially for the people starved for new music. A good rule of thumb for investors is to invest when the market is down and not up. Music always finds its targeted audience by chance or coincidence. I hope the lyrics, melody and sonics of each song find who it’s supposed to find and it speaks with them in a deep way. I hope my music and the message sparks an emotion.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
‘Midnight Masquerade’ just got added to the playlist on Radio 2, which is really exciting! I’m working on a music video, a live immersive show and promoting my new album, which will be released this year.