ASHBA: From Guns N' Roses To EDM
As the world went silent March 2020, little did we all know the musical genius of DJ ASHBA was already hunkered down in his Vegas home studio creating wildly new innovative music.
The ability to "pivot" has never been more crucial than right now, and artists like ASHBA are being successful in this new music climate. Taking risks and being unapologetic in his creative aspirations is just who ASHBA is. Thinking way outside the box and taking a creative leap into a genre of music outside of the rock world has afforded ASHBA new creative expression and success into the world of EDM. His new 2020 releases are quintessential examples of a music evolution without and bringing innovative music to a world of listeners in a time like no other.
Being signed to EDGEOUT Records/Universal Music Group/Ume in early 2020, ASHBA has found a team who not only support his musical vision but allow him full artistic freedom over every aspect of this project. The musical labor of love for the seasoned songwriter, producer, musician and guitar virtuoso is the first time ASHBA has had his fingers on the pulse of every aspect of his art ensuring the music is 100% his dream come to fruition. His appreciation for the support of his vision from the EDGEOUT Team has enabled this project of new rock infused EDM music to hit hard and heavy with listeners across the genres. "I finally have 100% artistic freedom, but I'm just such an artist that I've never been able to truly get the music from myself to the listeners without it being filtered in the process. I think that's the most important thing right now is getting the music right from my heart. I have such a great team over there at EDGEOUT, they have the balls to take a chance on this," ASHBA noted.
DJ ASHBA has written with and for the likes of Neil Diamond, Motley Crue, Sixx AM and artists across many genres solidifying him in the industry as well-respected songwriter. Venturing into EDM, he was fully immersed in educating himself on the genre from writing, arranging, producing and visual elements for about five years. Being himself a fan of EDM, the festivals and many of the artists like Tiesto and Steve Aoki, taking the pulsing dance vibe and putting the ASHBA stamp of guitar heavy shred seemed to be a natural progression for the musician. As ASHBA elaborated, "the production is absolutely different, I mean every aspect I had to really dissect you know really understand it. The difference from the arrangements of songs are completely different. Building that is key to developing the tonality, it's very tricky to get tracked properly. The way I approach the guitar was a lot different. It was a lot of work a lot of learning, and I couldn't be happier with the music."
Having world renowned EDM producer Luca Pretolesi by his side afforded ASHBA the learning experience of producing and seamlessly blending a new hybrid of guitar driven EDM dance music. As Luca Pretolesi noted, "ASHBA brings a new dynamic to dance music with his amazing live guitar element married with an electronic foundation that makes his sound incredibly unique."
In the world of EDM you do not see many collaborations. As ASHBA mentioned, you see "collabs" in Hip Hop, Rock, Country, etc., but it is somewhat non-existent in EDM. So, being able to collaborate with Cali Tucker (Hypnotic) and James Michael (Let's Dance) was just another opportunity to bring a new dynamic direction to his music.
The original thought process for "Hypnotic" according to ASHBA was to collaborate with a big name on the track. However, after hearing about Tucker through a mutual friend and catching her sing locally in Vegas it was clear this was the "voice" of "Hypnotic". As a local Las Vegas performer, Tucker (her aunt is Tanya Tucker) brought sultry, trippy, bawdy vocals that makes the listener feel they are deep within the EDM festival experience. "The debut single is a high intense EDM track with big rock guitars. When I perform live along with my DJ, the futuristic AI visuals will take the crowd on a journey to the unknown", ASHBA mentioned. "Hypnotic" is a perfect marriage of pure EDM dance and guitar shredding rock.
The video for "Hypnotic" is nothing short of a true mini EDM festival, neighborhood Electric Daisy Carnival. Filming at one of Vegas' most elaborate mansions (during lockdown), the visual array of lights and sounds truly embodies EDM and what it will be like when the opportunity comes to perform this track live for the fans. ASHBA's wife was also heavily involved in the creative process for the storylines in all three video releases to date.
ASHBA's musical partner in crime for many years in Sixx AM, James Michael makes his EDM debut on second single "Let's Dance". The chemistry of writing for this project was no different for the two than anything they have created prior according to ASHBA. "James and I can write songs in our sleep and be on the same page, this collaboration was no different. You can easily blend rock guitars, bass driven dance beats." Michael added, "To hear ASHBA's incredible guitar work surrounded by the electronics of EDM showcases not only his skills as an artist but as a producer and writer as well. I was thrilled when he invited me to be a feature on 'Let's Dance'!" The heavy dance beats draw the listener in, surrounded by piercing guitar. The song speaks for itself; it does make you want to dance. The listeners can forget about what is going on for a few minutes, enjoy life, celebrate and dance. "Let's Dance" is an audible head on collision of sound, issuing in a new era of EDM music.
Not only did Michael appear in the video for the track, but countless fans also appeared in the video dancing to the track. Enlisting the fans dancing to the track through video submissions was ASHBA's way to interact and connect with his fans in a time when live music has been put on pause. Having the fans be a part of the video storyline for "Let's Dance" was important to ASHBA, showing people enjoying themselves and having fun during this year of uncertainty. As he noted on his vision for the video, "how can I connect with the fans who have followed me over the years, right now during this time." As evident in the video, the fans reactions were proof his vision had come full circle. Its goal achieved...showing people having fun, enjoying themselves and dancing.
Releasing "A Christmas Storm" single & video to kick off the holiday season, showcases ASHBA's creativity to mash-up classic, nostalgic Christmas songs and melodies and weave them in to electronica and guitar, creating a musical tornado for the listener for the holiday season #holidayplaylist. In conjunction with the single and video releases, the creative and music teams of ASHBA ventures have teamed up with the 2020 Toys for Tots Campaign to make this holiday season bright for children, who this year more than ever need community outreach. You can either drop off a new unwrapped toy locally in Las Vegas at ASHBA Clothing inside The Strat Resort & Casino or click here to ASHBA's online fundraising campaign.
Both fan bases of rock and EDM have fully embraced the new music with ASHBA's Spotify account soaring to over 160,000 listeners to date. According to ASHBA, "it's been really amazing, and I didn't know how the rock fan base would react. I'm staying true to what I do. I just get a little more creative with it as a musician and songwriter to figure out how to creatively combine multiple genre fan bases without having a chance to get out there in front of audiences."
As "Hypnotic", "Let's Dance" and "A Christmas Storm" gain fierce fan momentum, ASHBA is patiently waiting to bring his music to live audiences as the world tries to reset and regain its normalcy. "I really hope to be able to get up on stage and play this (music) for everyone. This music is meant to be on stage and for people to be able to dance and get their groove on."
A Christmas Storm
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