ARTIST NAME: Ash 

 

 

SONG TITLE: Floating Away

 

 

RELEASE DATE: May 1st, 2020

 

 

 

GENRE: Pop/R&B

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Ash is a lively, 7-piece pop/R&B band. Songwriter Ash McMillan was born in Northern England and is now based in NYC.

 

The band was formed while all seven members were studying at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in New York, and now performing her original music about the pains and joys of everyday life.

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Tell us what your fans are saying about your music. 

I think everyone is pretty excited about this release. I think my songwriting has changed a lot in the last year, and I have finally started to find my sound.

 

We’ve been performing a lot (until we entered quarantine of course) and we were playing all this new music, with this new vibe, and this is the first time some of that music will be out. 

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Tell us the factors you consider in choosing a song as your favourite. 

I really love a song with great groove and an interesting vocalist. 

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Tell us the names of producers you will collaborate with if you have the chance. 

I would really love the chance to work with Mark Ronson, one day. His arranging and productions have really influenced how I hope to approach music, and I really hope to learn and grow enough to create pieces as he did. 

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Tell us the names of the songwriters you will collaborate with if you have the chance. 

I would love to work with Kat Wright or Sammy Rae. They are both such amazing artists, and I’m really inspired by the work they do. 

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Tell us your favourite TV show and state your reason. 

I’m not a huge TV/movie person. Right now, my faves are Great British Baking Show and Criminal Minds, a bit different from each other I know.

 

I watched Great British Baking Show back in my freshman year of college as a show to turn my brain off at the end of the day, but since I’ve gotten home, my family has really gotten into the show, so I’m re-watching all of it with them, and it’s a nice little after-dinner family time.

 

My good friend and fellow musician, Becky Crosby got me into Criminal Minds, and since I have this abundance of free time, I’ve really been a bit obsessed. 

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Tell us your best mood to create a song.

There are so many layers to creating a song. I’d say in the earliest stage when I’m just letting out whatever it is I want to say, the more emotional the better.

 

However, in the later stages, where I’m cementing the lyrics, chord progression, and overall feel, I like to feel a little more disconnected and more focused on the sound, and what my ear hears, rather than what my hands want to play.

 

It’s really interesting hearing how a song changes from when I was letting out my feelings till after it’s gone through a bit of tough love to become more cohesive. 

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Tell us your interpretation of fame or success. 

I have short and long term goals for success. Right now, I would love to graduate college and have enough money from music to pay the bills and do what I love. When I reach that point, it will in so many ways be a sign of success for me.

 

When I finally convinced my parents to let me go to college for music, rather than law or mechanical engineering, which I had spent all of high school preparing for, they agreed with two conditions; Dad wants a Lamborghini Huracán, yellow, with a racing stripe, and Mum wants a ticket to the Grammy’s. To fulfill those promises one day would really be a pivotal point in my career for me. 

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Tell us the names of artists you will collaborate with if you have the chance.

I would absolutely love to collaborate with people like The Dip, Próxima Parada, or Lawrence. 

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Tell us about your experience performing on stage for the first time or recording in the studio for the first time. 

The first time I performed with a band I was 15. My parents signed me up for School of Rock in my town as a surprise. I was so terrified at first, but by the time I was on a stage, I felt this amazing rush.

 

When I first started performing, sometimes the adrenalin would be a little too much, and I worried about playing, so I and my dad would jump up and down outside or backstage, and he would look at me and say “no nerves, no nerves.”

 

Nowadays, I don’t really feel nervous before I get on stage, but anytime I feel just a little twinge, I jump up and down, and remind myself “no nerves, no nerves.” I’m sure at that first show, I stood like a statue and looked terrified, but I just remember how alive I felt. My dad always says I look most like myself and happiest when I perform, and I think there’s a part of me, a really happy part of me, that only exists when I get to dance and sing on a stage.

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Tell us how you approach songwriting. 

Most songwriters I know seem to have their set approach of what works for them, and sometimes I feel like I still haven’t figured out my approach.

 

Sometimes I write three songs in a day or go a month or two without writing anything, and sometimes I get the whole song out in one go, or it takes multiple tries to finish, so I really don’t know what my approach is. 

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Tell us your opinion on blending genres or experimenting with sound. 

I love the blending of genres; I think it’s the way forward. Most artist bio’s now are usually a mix of two or three genres, ours included, because breaking out of the genre boundaries, and mixing the different parts of genres has the ability to make something really cool. 

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Tell us how you deal with rejection. 

I’m currently at university studying audio engineering and songwriting. An important part of that education is brutal honesty. I think I’m quite used to constructive feedback at this point.

 

Some days it may be a little disheartening, but more often it’s quite exciting. I really enjoy when a professor takes the time to rip apart something I’ve been working on so that we can work on making it a better product, and overall make me a better musician. 

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Elaborate on what compels you to sing. 

Singing is one of those things I always have done. I didn’t grow up in a family of musicians, but I did grow up in a family that loved to sing.

 

My mum always sings and dances in the kitchen. Coming from an Irish family, anytime we are altogether and maybe have had a few drinks, everyone starts singing one way or another, regardless of if there is karaoke in sight. I’ve never known a time in my life where I wasn’t singing. I think when I sing now, it is one of the most powerful feelings, and I really hope I can do it for the rest of my life.

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Tell us the comparison between digital recording and analog recording. 

Analog recreates the sound waves, while digital is about taking those sound waves at a certain interval and turning them into digital data.

 

Analog recording has definitely been making its comeback as vinyl and recording on tape becomes more popular.

 

 

We recorded this song straight into a DAW, which is the software we use to record…

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Tell us how you record your vocals.

My favorite mic that I’ve come across for my voice specifically is the MXL 9000 tube condenser. I think it gives such a warm and polished sound. It’s what I used on “Floating Away” and a lot of my other upcoming releases. Sometimes I find recording vocals quite stressful.

 

I co-produced this song with Todd Siesel. He is really good at being honest with me and helping me through when I’m not quite sounding how I want. I value Todd a lot as a colleague and a friend, and I’m really appreciative of his contributions to this record. 

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Tell us the software you used mostly for recording. 

I used to be a full-on Logic Pro X person, and “Floating Away” was recorded on Logic, but I’ve been making this big switch since to Pro Tools. 

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Discuss the selling of CDs and the selling of digital files through digital stores. 

The switch to digital stores and streaming has really changed the business. I think it’s easy to complain about the way things are, but really all you can do is get ahead of the curve and learn how to adapt. 

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Elaborate on the song. 

I wrote this song about feeling like I was losing myself. I was going through a real tough time and was disconnecting from my life and loved ones. I was really lucky to have supportive people in my life to hold on to and support me until I began to recognize myself again. 

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Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album. 

The song is called “Floating Away”. The song is all about feeling like I was losing myself and disappearing in my own skin. I was trying so hard to get back to my normal life, but I just couldn’t get a grip. 

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Share your press release and review with us.

May 1st, Ash is releasing her 3rd single, “Floating Away”. This single represents a turning point for her as an artist. This is the first single where her full band joined her, and the songwriting reflects the influence that R&B and soul have had on her creative process.

 

‘Floating Away’ was written while recovering from a sexual assault last year. “I wrote ‘Floating Away’ to capture the raw emotion of feeling like I was losing myself. I felt myself tearing away from my loved ones and the things that mattered, but I felt helpless. Creating this song with my best friends, and people I love so dearly helped me channel that pain, and bring myself back to someone I recognized.”

 

Ash’s band is a lively, 7-piece pop/R&B band. Inspired by the sounds of Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Alabama Shakes, the band performs her original music regularly around New York.

 


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