What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
It was the video game and movie soundtracks I was listening to when I was a teenager. I knew when I was 15 that I wanted to be like John Williams when I grew up.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I’m Asha, a Polish-American composer/songwriter. And if it matters, I’m a Virgo. I’m from Boston originally, then I lived in Brooklyn for years before settling down in Los Angeles where I currently live.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
Oh this one is a hard question but I’ll try to answer it. Hands down my favorite album of all time is Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile. That album came into my life at exactly the right time and changed my life when I was going through depression. It’s made me a lifelong fan of Trent Reznor and the work he does.
I know the second album would have to be a Radiohead album, but it’s so hard to choose just one because I love so many of their albums. But alas, if I had to, I’d say In Rainbows. I still listen to all those songs frequently and they still hit me just as hard.
The last album is one that I probably listened to over 1000 times as a teenager. The songs still resonate with me today and that album is Plans by Death Cab For Cutie. That album definitely changed me in some way and I am still in awe of how that band is able to convey so much emotion in their lyrics and music. Some of those songs still choke me up, like Brothers on a Hotel Bed. I saw them live for the first time last fall, and I Will Follow You Into The Dark made me ball like a baby!
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
This is certainly not the first song I ever loved by any means, but this song was one that I heard as a teenager and was like hell yea, I want to make music like this. That song is Baba O’Riley by The Who. I still love The Who, and I love the feeling that song gives me.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
I feel like with this release decades worth of effort, love, and dedication are finally paying off. I have surrounded myself with friends and colleagues that support me, and help me in any way they can and that’s the most you can ask for. I am constantly surprised by how many people believe in me and my work.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I never feel unsafe at gigs, at least not yet because I’m always surrounded by friends, but online, on social media, I definitely have felt like I’ve gotten the wrong attention which has led to some weirdos showing up to my shows. It has made me think twice about posting about shows which I absolutely hate because I should be able to use my platforms to advertise live performances, that’s what they are there for! It is frustrating. As much as I want to call out the weirdos and shame them, I think it’s best to ignore them and hope they go away, because most times, they do. And if a weirdo does show up, tell security to be on the lookout, and make your friends aware.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I have jumped on the music video train because I love making visuals for my music. It’s become a huge hobby of mine and I do not believe for a second that the art of music videos is dead. I also love that I get to collaborate with awesome creative friends, and that helps get more people involved in the art which makes sharing it easier. I’ve also started doing Tik Toks. For my last release, we made a whole bunch of weird short Tik Tok films leading up to the release which was fun to do and people enjoyed.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I have been on court TV.
I have a PhD in music composition.
I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I’m personally not a fan. I don’t like that everything is measured in Spotify plays now.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
A whole lot of Wendy’s chicken nuggets. Just kidding, I needed those.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Probably when I played to one audience member, but I think everyone needs that experience to be humbled.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I do it all myself. I have a studio in my apartment where the magic is made. I write, play almost all the instruments, record, and produce. I’m actually trying to get better at collaborating with other people because I have been doing so much by myself for so long.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Kiss Me Tender is very different for me. I tend to write sad girl songs, but this song is inspired by all the disco dance music I was listening to during the pandemic to keep me sane. I realized sometimes it’s not a bad thing to make music just because it’s fun.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
I had an instrumental track called Kiss Me Tender and I thought it would be fun to make a full-on disco pop track just to see if I could, so that’s what I did.
What was the recording process like?
I really enjoyed playing the funk bass line on this one and making the track super lush with some soft vocals. For a long time, I thought I was going to be a diva singer with a big voice but I realized in the last few years that I actually think my voice works better in more intimate sounding timbres so a lot of the tracks on this album coming out have soft vocals.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Really putting into effect the old adage less is more.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Sure, it would have been nice to record this in a big, fancy studio with some high quality production, but I like that each album I make is like a photograph in time so I can see my growth as an artist.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I am really excited to share this new music with the world and I hope people like the song.