An exciting new DJ and producer emerging from Chicago, Ashton shares his debut EP, For The People, after bursting onto the scene in 2021. The 4-track record doubles as a sharp showcase of his production sensibilities, offering a sample of four different strains. of the house music. From a saxophone-drenched melody to a gun-slinging G-House to a minimalist experimental house cut, Ashton's For The People EP offers something for every type of house lover. The For The People EP is available to stream now.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
What can you tell us about your latest project & debut EP, For The People? What concept do you want to convey? How would you like your proposal to be enjoyed?
This EP was something that I’ve wanted to give back to my audience and I’m so happy the day has finally come. I wanted to portray my wide taste of house music and this EP does just that. In this EP I display my different styles of production from, tech house, bass house and even experimental house. Each song has a unique style that any house music listener can connect to.
Would you like to reveal any additional projects you have in the pipeline?
I’m sitting on a lot of unreleased tracks. After the New Year I will be dropping a song a month and I can’t wait to continue to give my audience new music to enjoy.
The relationship with electronic music is also changing. There are more and more djs and producers and fewer spectators. Don't you sometimes feel, when producing, that you are providing tools for djs more than pieces to be heard? How do you see the future of this industry? Where do you think we're going?
Nowadays, especially after covid, there has been a surplus of DJs so I do agree that the audience in a way has been shrinking. We’re going into a realm of where a lot of listeners can DJ, which isn’t a bad thing at all. There’s room for everyone to grow and work on their creativity.
Do you think that the identity that a dj/producer/artist presents on social media is increasingly essential when it comes to being selected by promoters? What is your take on this?
Social media is a tool that every artist must use nowadays. Creating content, getting your name out and working on your brand constantly is needed in this industry. It can be a grind but with so many artists out there, it’s something that needs to be done. I enjoy making content, because it shows your audience who you truly are and your personality beyond the music.
In an overly saturated market, how would you advise someone looking to express themselves creatively in music culture?
Being unique and different is my advice to anyone that wants to be an artist. Having your distinct sound is something I always advise any artist to do. People will anticipate your sets for a specific reason or even listen to your music to have that feeling that you personally portray.
Do you think that in the music industry there is an open door for the most disadvantaged?
Yes that door is wide open. I’ve never gone to a music school or spent a large amount of money working on my production. Everything is self taught. I’ve learned so much from youtube videos and tutorials online. With the internet, anything is possible and there are so many tools to learn anything.
What was the last thing you shazamed?
Ja Rasta by Michael Sparks
Last set that really impressed you?
I recently played a show with Nostalgix and the way she is behind the decks is inspiring. The way she energizes the crowd and truly just has fun is something that I strive to do as well. Having fun is very important to me and she has mastered that.
Last record you bought?
Ruh - Taiki Nulight Afterhours Extended Mix
The best thing about working in music?
The ability to express your art to everyone around the world. There’s also no greater feeling than playing a new track and seeing the reaction to the crowd enjoying something that you created. It’s an amazing experience.
The most difficult challenge of working in music?
Starting out and getting your name known. The music scene can be challenging for new artists to get shows and have people listen to your music. Believing in yourself and knowing that it will all work out is something that every artist experiences.
The biggest disappointment in your career? How did you get over that?
My biggest disappointment so far was when I entered the North Coast Music Festival voting contest in 2021. I ended up coming in fifth place so I didn’t get the chance to play, but it gave me the exposure I needed when I started so I’m thankful for that contest overall. Then this year's festival happened and I was booked to play the Fire Pit stage. From the voting contest and then to being booked to play the festival, it will be an experience that I will never forget.
The last time you stayed in a club until the lights came on?
When I saw Matroda at a venue called Sound Bar in Chicago. His production of house music is something I strive to create. The creativity behind his bass lines and overall sound is inspiring.
Who has been the most inspiring person you have worked with?
I’d have to say Qualowkey(Quavaungh Pointer). He is a vocalist who can adapt to any song. He has a solo hip hop project but also is a part of a duo project called Zqua with another artist named Zogon(Adrian Gonzalez). The way he flows behind a mic, the way he interacts with the crowd during his performances and his overall creativity of his art is truly inspirational. It’s just a matter of time before he is known throughout the world.
Your staple records of the moment?
I can’t stop listening to Skanka by Hamdi. I love bass music just as much as house music and try to merge those genres into my production and shows as much as possible. Also I love Ayybo, he is an up and coming house artist who uses unique sounds and style. Specifically I can’t stop listening to his song Hypnosis which includes a saxophone. During my past show I played that live and had my good friend Saxogene(Eugene Yakubovich) on stage where he layered the song live with his saxophone which created an amazing experience for the crowd.
Who do you think we should interview next?
My good friend Marco Castellanos. He was the first person that allowed me to play my first show. He started a venue called Bass Station, which is mainly a venue that books bass and dubstep artists. This venue controls the scene in this area and I’m so proud of him. Him and his team started with nothing at all and now they can book the biggest artists in the scene. The atmosphere and vibe that they have at that venue is something unique and I couldn’t be happier to start my music career at any other place.
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Stay true to yourself no matter what. A lot of people will try to influence you and make you do things that you truly don't want to do. Trust your gut, be respectful to everyone you meet and just be a good person overall. This mentality will take you a long way in this industry.
ABOUT ASHTON – Ashton is an emerging house artist from Chicago bringing a unique style to the electronic music scene. The music he produces ranges from bass, tech, and experimental house. Ashton also switches up the game by showcasing live musicians in his sets, whether it’s a saxophone player or a vocalist.