Ash is the multi-million streaming sensation who evokes serious emotion with his middle eastern influenced music. With a life shared between Egypt and French Canada, he’s highly inspired by his past, his travels, and the people and experiences around him. He creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. Ash recently announced his new EP ‘About Life’ which drops in February, featuring new tracks ‘Homes’ (with a beautifully moving music video) and the poignant ‘Mourning’ which has just dropped. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hi Ash, thanks for speaking with us! Congratulations on the announcement of your new EP ‘About Life’. Even though you’ve had many singles, this is your first EP; why did now feel like the right time for this longer release?
Hi! Thank you so much! I’ve always wanted to release an EP or an album. I just always felt like it was too challenging considering that I’m an independent artist. It’s not easy to put out and market a full EP independently so I always chose the singles option because it would allow me to focus all my listeners’ attention on one track at a time. Now, it just felt like a perfect time to release a full project!
What is the story behind the EP? It’s chronicling the story of your life, right? Is your music always this personal with this much meaning behind it?
That’s exactly it, chronicling the story of my life, every side of it, the good and bad. My music isn’t always this personal, it’s actually never been personal. This time I felt like I wanted to connect more with my listeners and show them who I am as a person, my life, where I grew up, my family and my best friends!
The latest single from the EP is the stunning cut ‘Homes’. The new video for this is
absolutely beautiful, I bet you had fun shooting it! Can you tell us a couple of the key parts in the video, where they were shot and what they mean to you?
Thank you so much! So glad you liked it. We did have so much fun shooting it! The main parts are my apartment and my dad in the neighbourhood where I grew up in Maadi, Cairo, my school also, the Lycée Français du Caire in the same neighbourhood, and my neighbourhood in Montreal. The school is where I spent most of the time in Cairo with my friends, I miss those days, so it means a lot to me! My apartment is also where it all started. And my lovely neighbourhood in Montreal is where I live now with my wife and spend my best years with my friends!
You’ve now had over 600 million streams of your tracks across DSPs, incredible! Looking
back at your first ever release ‘Lost’, can you believe the journey you’ve been on?
It has been crazy! When I released ‘Lost’ I used to dream of having just 1000 streams. Reaching 600 million today is absolutely unbelievable. I never would’ve thought that my music would reach that many people, I’m so grateful.
Do you remember the reception to ‘Lost’? How did putting out that track change the course of your life and what you saw your career and future to be?
Yes, the reception was absolutely amazing. It was one of the first tracks where I added a middle eastern melody and I was happy to see that it got some nice feedback! At that point in my career, it was one of my early tracks so I still wanted to finish my studies in political science, I wasn’t considering a career in music yet. It was obviously a dream, but I couldn’t imagine it being my full-time job yet!
After ‘Lost’ came the track that really did change everything for you – ‘Mosaique’. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened with this runaway success of a release?
It was actually crazy. I was doing an internship at Justin Trudeau’s constituency office in Montréal, part of my Political Science Bachelor’s Degree. At this point, I still thought that my career was going to be in politics. Then one day, I was showing ‘Mosaïque’ to one of my co-workers at the internship and I saw that it had gained 100,000 more views. I thought something was wrong with the streams. Then the next day it was getting more and more and eventually started reaching millions! That’s when I really thought, okay, when I’m done with my internship, I’ll dedicate myself to music full time! I’m so happy I took that decision.
What’s next for Ash alongside this release? Any gig plans you can share with us?
We’re working a lot on the creative side of the EP release, such as music videos and live performance videos on Youtube. But I’m definitely planning on having some gigs hopefully in 2022 to be able to play all these new tracks live and connect with the crowd! I’ve been playing them in some gigs for the past 2-3 months and the reception has been amazing!
‘Ash ‘Homes’ and ‘Mourning’ are out now, get them here: https://ash.ffm.to/mourning.
His full EP ‘About Life’ is out February 18th.