RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST ANDREW ASH
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I sang in all the school performances when I was a child, but in middle school, after listening to “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls, I became a devoted pop music fan, and it brought me so much joy that I just picked up a pencil, sat at a keyboard, and started creating my own songs. Thank you, Spice Girls!
Introduce yourself and your musical history.
I’m Andrew Ash, I’ve been singing since I was a wee lad, writing music since I was a teen, and professionally doing music since my early 20’s. I am self-taught when it comes to songwriting and production, and currently, my music is highly influenced by the powerhouse pop divo’s of the late 80s, like Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, and Robert Palmer. On the performance side of things, I’m influenced by my pop idols: Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Robyn, Girls Aloud, and pretty much all the great female pop icons.
We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?
I think it’s a slam dunk idea! The more outlets that we have to highlight new grassroots music, the better. There is a lot of incredible music out there that isn’t being heard by the masses, and it’s resources like RGM that are helping to get these songs and artists recognized. Y’all are doing great work!
What useless party trick do you have?
I have one trick up my sleeve, and that’s knowing all the choreography to each Britney Spears dance routine. I’m also a self-proclaimed Britney Spears historian…if you consider that a trick.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Back in 2019 I played an outdoor gig at Portland Pride. I hadn’t played to an audience that big before, and I honestly thought that maybe I would just be background music for everyone, but the crowd got so into my performance, they were so engaged, that it felt like my soul left my body, and I was running on pure adrenalin. I’m always chasing the high of that performance.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I once took a shot of Tequila before performing, and it dried out my vocals so much that to say I was singing would be an insult to vocalists everywhere. Lesson learned! Water before performing, Tequila after.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
I like women. Just kidding, I like men.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
I would tell an alien that I am a fashionable guy who is all about having a good time, and my danceable pop songs are designed to spread joy, happiness, and laughter to anyone who listens.
What makes you stand out as a artist?
I mean, how many gay, ginger, pop stars with a mustache can you name? When it comes to my songs, there is a lightness, and playfulness that I’m not hearing a lot of in mainstream music; which is understandable with the past two or three years that we’ve had, current music will reflect what’s going on in the world, but I do see this light of at the end of the tunnel that everyone is ready to explore, and I hope my music can help pull people towards that light.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
My new single “I Think I’m Ready for Love” is my favourite song to perform live. I love how it slowly and unexpectedly makes people dance and smile in the audience. Watching people enjoy your music is an indescribable feeling.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
All the music I’m currently creating is meant to accomplish one thing, and that is to make people smile. It is inspired by the pop music of the late 80’s/early 90’s, and it is generally upbeat and highly danceable.
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album/ep?
The single is about personal growth, bettering yourself for the person you love, and the transition between being a single playboy and a fully committed man of honor. The first lyrics I wrote to this tune were “I Think I’m Ready for Love” and I created everything else around those six words. I just kept asking myself “why haven’t I been ready?” and “why am I ready now?” Sonically, I was inspired by “End of Time” by Beyoncé, and that was the feel I originally wanted for the song, but as I started working on it more, I found myself leaning towards an 80’s sound, and I drew inspiration from “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie, “Rhythm of the Night” by Debarge, and “Sussudio” by Phil Collins.
What was the recording process like?
The tune and lyrics came to me out of nowhere while I was driving home from work one day. When I knew I was onto something, I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and recorded the melody and lyrics into my phone’s voice memos. From there, I started mapping out the song in Garageband on my computer (midi is my medium), I knew I wanted to use a Xylophone as the main instrument, so I laid down the keys and chords for that instrument first, then added a few other production ideas before sending it off to my producer to fine tune. Once we had a solid first mix going, I recorded the vocals, then we brought in a bassist, drummer, and guitarist, and told them to just do their thing. After the song was mixed and mastered, I listened to it for a few months before deciding that I needed to re-work the lyrics and melody in the bridge. So I went back into the studio, re-recorded the bridge, and voilà! Magic was made.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
From writing this song I learned a lot about not being so darn descriptive with the stories I want to tell. There is so much I wanted to say in this song, and I even wanted to go a little deeper with the lyrics, but this isn’t the kind of song that needs a lot of explanation. I needed to take a step back from my ego, and make a song that could allow the listener to come to their own conclusions about what the story is. With that said, I still think it’s pretty obvious what the lyrics are saying.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I don’t think there’s an artist in the world that wouldn’t change something about the final product of their songs. There comes a point though where you just have to say “this is done, this sounds great, time to move on.” and that’s what I had to do with “I Think I’m Ready for Love”. Long story short, I am extremely satisfied with the final product.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I have an EP that I’m looking to release in 2023, I’ll be dropping another single this year off of that EP, and I’m looking to play some dates in the UK and Europe in the very near future.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I am a fan of shameless self-promotion, so I’d just like to add that “I Think I’m Ready for Love” is available to stream and download on all music platforms on the 9th of September, and the music video will follow closely behind. I really hope everyone enjoys the track, as it was designed to be enjoyed. Thank you RGM for giving me this platform to share my music with the world.