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Johnny Ashby – a British singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles

Johnny Ashby – a British singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles

Johnny Ashby is a British singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Ashby found a love for music through his Dad’s mixtapes. As a teen, he played guitar in various bands and after leaving college, stepped into the session world. Deciding to move to California with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes, a guitar he built himself and dreams of playing the legendary Troubadour, the songwriter dove in headfirst and has not looked back since. 

His latest single “Getting Started” has an ageless tone alongside its chill aura, providing a reassuring feeling and reminder that everything will be ok. Including an array of indie rock instrumentation from twangy guitars, warm piano and timeless backing vocals accompanied by Ashby’s distinct gritty, woozy vocals. The feel-good track is a constant build reaching a climax of power and might. Ashby shares, “We wanted to write something that had this continuous pulse throughout that grew bigger and bigger. We had this image of someone running and the music kinda built up from there”. The overall relaxed feel glazed over the track creates a classic atmosphere reminiscent of his influences such as Chet Faker, Beck and Kodaline. The song was written and produced by Ashby and Fredrik Eriksson, Sebastian Fritze and Bill Delia from the band Grizfolk, the same team who worked on Ashby’s last EP In Bloom. “Getting Started” narrates the whirlwind of events happening around the world and the need for progression and change. Ashby reveals, “Getting Started is a song that asks for help. It’s a call for change. There’s been lots happening in the news over the last year and I felt like I needed to write a song about it”. Emitting a hopeful sense of self-reliance and determination, “Getting Started” encourages you to dig deep and find your inner-strength, even in times of adversity. 

Ashby’s first EP Cannonball Days peaked at #9 in the iTunes songwriters chart which led to Huffington Post naming him a “Top 5 Emerging Icon”. His music has been featured on an official Spotify editorial playlist and heard on radio both in the UK and the US, gaining huge support from BBC Introducing and Absolute Radio in London. He’s played the prestigious Troubadour in Los Angeles multiple times and his songs have been featured on primetime television for shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Elementary, Rise, Baywatch, ITV’s Finding Alice, Teen Mom and Midnight In Texas. “Getting Started” is the first of five tracks to be released this year, on the run-up to a full-length album due Summer 2021.

Here is Johnny Ashby in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.

1) When did your journey as a musician begin? 

I’ve always grown up with music around me. It was a big thing in my house growing up. I used to sit next to the record player with my headphones on and listen all day. I liked reading the liner notes too.

2) Which was your first song?

I learnt bass for a short time before I picked up the guitar. So I already had some guitar knowledge from playing bass. On bass, you’re only ever playing one note at a time. So when I moved over to guitar the first thing I learnt was a power chord, which is played with two notes together. I learnt all of the album Dookie by Green Day. I think I started on track 1 and kept going.

3) Which has been your most memorable live performance?

Probably playing the Troubadour in Los Angeles. There’s something special about that room.

4) Who has been your inspiration?

David Bowie. I mean…

5) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

With my best mates, on a big stage, playing Glastonbury. I’m just gonna put it out there…

6) Which is your most preferred genre?

Ah that’s such a hard question! Anything with guitar. Anything with a bit of dirt. 

7) Tell us about your latest track.

“Getting Started” was written shortly after I released my last EP, “In Bloom”. I’ve written a lot of songs about escaping and trying to get away from something. Not sure why, but it seems to be a recurring theme for me.Maybe because I know how relatable that feeling is. I guess “Getting Started” is one of the first songs I’ve written where it’s about being in the right place at the right time. That feels pretty special to me.

8) Tell us more about your upcoming projects?

I’m going to be releasing a new single every month and then I’m planning to put out a full record at the end of the summer!

9) How was life in quarantine?

It’s been pretty good! It took some time to settle into a routine. I think without that I felt a bit lost at the start. Like a lot of other artists and bands, I had a bunch of shows that got cancelled and didn’t really know what to do with myself. I spent a lot of time in my room playing guitar as a kid, so it feels kinda familiar to be doing that again. I like writing and recording loads from home. I feel less rushed than I did in the studio. It’s a different kind of songwriting and right now it’s been fun to approach it from a different angle. I can’t wait to get out there and start playing shows again soon though!


INSTAGRAM: @johnnyashbymusic

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About The Author

Anirudh Chandel

| Lawyer | Writer | Traveller | Footballer |

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