We were really lucky to catch up with the superb artist Conrad Ashton following the release of his latest single ‘Time’ on 22nd May 2020. Check out the interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
Conrad Ashton, Singer-songwriter from Spennymoor County Durham, first picked up a guitar age ten and never looked back.
What is your songwriting process?
So for me ideas kind of drop out the sky I never set aside a time to write or actively sit down to do so. Sure I pick up my guitar and play but just for enjoyment and to refine songs I have already or to practice for a gig with my voice too. All I need to write is a line just a few words or sentence with a slight melody, and I am off! And usually, the song is done in 10 minutes chords and everything. Job done. Sometimes said ideas amount to nowt but I keep them in case they can then go with another song, or eventually, I get another idea to add to it.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘Time’ very much comes from the soul if you listen to the lyrics there’s a lot of deep stuff in there and more and more can be picked up from listening I feel particularly the music video that is coming with this done one of my best pals Alex close (https://www.instagram.com/alexclosedesign/) really conveys the song’s message beautifully.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
That everything I sing, I mean. There are no lies, nothing fake, no autotune or anything nowt. It’s just me, Conrad. I am myself I don’t try to be anyone else and proud of who I am. I think my music can hopefully help you and get you through any bad times you’re going through and hopefully make you live in the moment of your good ones.
Who are your musical influences?
Pete Townshend of The Who is a big one the way he plays, and he is such a stage presence even now at 74 the man is a rock god. The amount of stuff I have used of his in my playing is mad, everything from strumming to occasional ‘windmill’ and knee drop haha. I love the Who in general all brilliant musicians, and even with the line up with Zak and Simon, they have now there’s still so much to their music it is timeless. The Jam have had a big impact on me, and the way Paul has branched out since leaving them is something I hope to do in my music eventually the further along I go as long as I stay true to myself and make the music I wanna make.
Who are your non-musical influences?
To be fair none. For me it has been music, music, music since I strummed my first D chord, don’t get me wrong there are a lot of people I admire outside of music like Steven Gerrard and Tom Hardy for example, but they haven’t influenced me they’re just people I like.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
Been fortunate to have played quite a few belta’s Leeds was always a lot of fun I have friends there from my time at uni, and it is always lovely to return. A very cultural and diverse place and somewhere nice to be some cracking venues and the night out after the gig is always decent, haha.
What is your funniest gig moment?
My last one before lockdown I was a bit rusty and played thinktank in Newcastle I snapped a string berated the guitar, used some bad language, got my back up guitar and resumed the show much to everyone’s amusement and mine!
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
The amount of scams and people wanting to rip you off. I won’t name names here as it’s not right, but if anyone wants to DM me, I will have a bit crack with them and give ’em some names to avoid for sure. I have lost thousands trusting the wrong people genuinely hence the gap between ‘Anna Jean’ and this I was in 4 figure debt.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Do research on everyone you pay and do business with. Managers, PR, plugging (radio and Spotify), surround yourself with only good people cut people out your life that don’t support you or believe in you. I am blessed with friends I call family and rarely get any problems now, but there are many people in the past I don’t bother with now out of my choice I did my first EP 8 years ago, so I have done all my cutting of that nature a while back. Be confident in every decision you make and never do half a job give 110 per cent always be it a studio, writing, networking and gigging!
What are your hopes for the next two years?
Continue to develop and grow as an artist, writer and performer. I have about two albums written I am looking at labels and deciding on next steps for myself, and we will see what happens I am just really enjoying myself currently I have a good team around me for PR, studio and graphic design its exciting times I feel.
FVMusicBlog May 2020
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