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RGM Introducing – Conrad Ashton

What made you decide to go for it as an artist?

It was something decided long ago I started playing guitar at 10 and fell in love with it and seemed to pick it up quite well. From there things kept developing, at 12 I was writing and in and out of different bands at school until 15 I took it as a choice in my GCSE’s and then 16 I was at New College Durham doing a diploma in music and from there I went to Leeds college of music and gained a BA in Pop music composition in between that it has been working different jobs to fund my exploits as a solo act so it really has been music all the way for me.

What is the unsigned scene in Spennymoor like at the minute?

In fairness it has always been non-existent its all about playing covers around here, people want a good oasis cover and stuff like that at the moment it just isn’t a place for unsigned acts. That isn’t a bad thing the fact it is like that allowed me to go Leeds college of music and branch out and be around all different kinds of musicians and make valuable connections for life. If things had been more vibrant around Spennymoor I probably wouldn’t have gone to Leeds and gained the development as a person and artist.

Is there enough support out there for new artists?

It’s getting better all the time there is the unsigned guide and a lot of good people out there who genuinely want to help, but there’s still a lot of sharks who want money and will achieve nothing for you, unfortunately, I learned that hard way on my last release ‘Anna Jean’ back in August 2018, I genuinely chucked away £3000 and got no further forward. Simply trusted the wrong people. 

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

I was lucky enough and still play verve bar in Leeds regularly and there was one night, in particular, it was packed I was supporting a group called Brooders and they made it feel like a venue ten times its size, the noise and everything was brilliant and I was lucky enough to have the audience singing along to my songs it was something I won’t forget.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Easily a bar I will leave un-named in Harrogate. I was told and still have the emails I required no gear just myself and my guitar. That wasn’t the case so they called some grumpy old fella (I’d describe him far worse but my Mam will read this) so he left me some gear just a mic etc and then said ‘what kind of act travels without gear..’ well one who was told he didn’t need any. On top of that I played a decent set I thought and had a couple of pals down for it but people seemed to be getting up and walking out on me, was kinda humbling I don’t know if it was me I think it was and took it personally but it was 8pm on a Sunday night after all.

Tell us something about each yourself that you think people would be surprised about? 

I am doing everything all off my own back I work full time and fund my music career there’s no management, label or any handouts, bank loans nothing. I write all my music myself and I play all the instruments.

Whats your biggest achievement as an artist?

So far it is definitely the international airplay that I find through artist summaries on Spotify and also the radio play I have received everywhere from Australia to Japan and places I hope one day to visit. 

What makes you stand out as a solo act?

My voice doesn’t sound like any other act I don’t think and certainly the way I play guitar with the rhythms and layers going on and I have a fantastic producer behind me in Stuart Campbell who is certainly helping make music to my ears sounds okay! I feel as well in these songs I do it is very much me I am not trying to copy any other act past or present.

Its strange times at the min with the virus halting the whole live music scene in uk and abroad, how do you lan to stay productive while we get through this?

I have managed quite well the guitar has been out every day and I am frequently writing and reviewing the tracks already written and trying to make them better before an eventual release. Luckily I am still working In my day job from home so that takes up 40hrs of my week anyway! But it has let me brush up on my other instruments.

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

The track is called ‘Time’ and due for release May 22nd. It will be my best song I have released so far it was produced by Stuart Campbell at blast recording in Newcastle which is where I recorded my last single ‘Anna Jean’ it was finally a place and studio and producer I connected with and where I will be using going forwards. I wish I had discovered the place and Stu years ago haha! I played all the instruments on the track too as well as writing it everything from guitars to shakers that’s all me!

What message do you have for your fans at this difficult time?

Follow the government guidelines like and it will all be over soon. Stay home and stay safe, I will see you all live when it’s all over.

New Single out 22nd May 2020