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ashtonnyte byToddDavisInterview with

Ashton Nyte (Solo musician and front man of The Awakening)

Dazzling an audience with nothing but a voice and an acoustic guitar truly is a rare gift. And ASHTON NYTE did just that while supporting WAYNE HUSSEY on his tour on no less than 36 shows in just six weeks where he presented songs from both his projects - THE AWAKENING and ASHTON NYTE - in a wonderfully intimate and intense acoustic setting.

But tireless as always, he did not rest long after returning home. Instead he started writing his 8th solo album, ‘Waiting For A Voice’. And as always, the multi-instrumentalist is doing everything by himself, not just the writing and recording, but also the whole organisational process, including a remarkable pre-order campaign ( So, I was more than delighted that he took some time to talk with me about the writing process, his many other projects, the changing world of music, touring and theatre.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Welcome and thank you very much for taking your time. There are many exciting things happening in your musical world right now. You just announced a new album called ‘Waiting For A Voice’ which will be released on 20th of July. It was mainly written between October last year and this February, so basically after you returned home from touring Europe with the acoustic set. And I remember you already mentioned last year that the next album would be a lot closer to the acoustic performances we saw on the tour. So how much did this tour influence your writing process?
Ashton: Thank you! I think it had a significant influence. I’ve played many acoustic shows throughout my career but I’ve definitely never done an acoustic tour as long and as involved as the one I did with WAYNE HUSSEY. 36 shows. That’s a lot of shows. You develop a new relationship with your work in that context. It was encouraging and it gave me a lot of joy to see how people responded to the songs in that context, to literally just guitar and vocal. I’ve been sort of leaning in that direction for a while. I think some of that started creeping in on ‘Chasm’, where ‘Other Ghosts’ and ‘Shadows in the Dark’ and ‘Gave up the Ghost’,are acoustic-based songs that I snuck in there. The idea was to create kind of a bridge to do what I’m doing now. To introduce people, existing fans, to where I’m headed. The tour gave me the confidence to continue - seeing how people responded to the songs in that format. I guess that is how it influenced me. It just gave me the confidence to actually do this. It’s been something that people - fans and family and friends - have been asking me to do for a long time and it feels good to finally be putting this work out there.

RoD: Your last album ‘Chasm’ with THE AWAKENING was written over many, many years and this time ‘Waiting For A Voice’ was written in just half a year, mainly. So quite a different approach. How did this writing process differ for those two albums?
Ashton: Yes, with ‘Chasm’ what basically happened is: So much had gotten in the way of putting out a new THE AWAKENING album that it seemed like each time I was about to get there, some other project or a life event would happen. And I try not to force things. I try to be respectful of what the universe is trying to tell me [laughs]. So, in doing so, all that time went by between ‘Tales Of Absolution + Obsoletion’ and of course ‘Chasm’ which was nine years later. In the past, I used to put out an album almost every year, so that was quite a change of pace.

So, essentially, when I sat down to finally assemble what would become ‘Chasm’ I had so many songs to choose from - many albums worth of material. But what tends to happen is you become less enamoured with certain parts, or certain styles, or certain applications of your work and become more excited about the newer incarnations. So, even with ‘Chasm’ I had the ten songs that would be ‘Chasm’ and then, at the last minute, I started squeezing in all those acoustic songs I was mentioning earlier. So that’s how that evolved. I mean, songs like ‘Shore’ dated back to I think - Wow! - more than ten years earlier. Whereas ‘Gave Up The Ghost’ was written just a few months before the album came out, similarly ‘Shadows In The Dark’, ‘Savage Freedom’...

With this album, I tried to avoid that. I do have a huge collection of acoustic-oriented songs that I’ve written over the years, and three of them are on this album. They didn’t have a place before and it feels like the right time now. But the other eight of the eleven songs were all written in the period you mentioned since the tour, in October. Honestly, it is very liberating for me to feel like I’m putting out something that is genuinely new and fresh to me and very much where I’m at, instead of feeling obliged to put songs on an album simply because they’re not out there yet and I’ve been hanging on to them for years. It is an exciting and liberating feeling to be doing something that is very much where I’m at now. In fact, I’m still writing. I might end up replacing songs too, before... [laughs] which is why I wanted to start the pre-order campaign a little earlier this time and allow fans and friends to interact and just to be more involved in the full process this time. Because, yes, there may well be another new song or two written before I release the album. [laughs]

RoD: On ‘Chasm’ you also included live drums played by Sevven [live drummer of THE AWAKENING] while everything else was done by you. Were any other musicians involved in the recording of ‘Waiting For A Voice’?
Ashton: No, it’s all me. [laughs] This one’s all me. The instrumentation isn’t just me and an acoustic guitar though. It is… I don’t want to give the game away because we haven’t put it out yet... but the songs are... they do vary in arrangements and presentation. In my mind, it’s a very cinematic approach on this album. So, it’s less about the big catchy chorus and more about telling a story and capturing an atmosphere, or emotion and painting pictures... Which can be a little scary to do because I do like writing songs with big, catchy choruses. I’m reluctant to say „new approach” because I have written songs like this throughout the years and some of them sneaked onto albums... But, the focus of this album is to tell the story, to focus on the voice and the words more than on whether you can dance to it, or if people are going to be singing along and waving their arms at shows necessarily. Yeah, it’s a different headspace to be in.

RoD: You have already mentioned like some acoustic parts sneaking into ‘Chasm’ and... As already said, you’re releasing music with two different projects - as THE AWAKENING and as ASHTON NYTE - although THE AWAKENING also is basically just you. And originally, they had a very different musical style which seemed to become closer and closer. I noticed that, a few months ago, you still seemed to be unsure whether this would be a THE AWAKENING or a solo album. So, are you still able to draw a clear line between those two projects or is this line slowly vanishing?
Ashton: Yes, I think the lines started blurring with ‘Some Kind Of Satellite’ really. I think what separated that was probably more the aesthetic than the music itself. I think there are certainly songs like ‘Now That You’re Loved’ and even ‘Dressing Like You’, to a certain degree, that probably could have been at home as THE AWAKENING songs. I actually wrote ‘Other Ghosts’ as an ASHTON NYTE song. Originally ‘Other Ghosts’ was going to be the title of this album [laughs] but I couldn’t wait, you see. So, ‘Other Ghosts’, obviously, was written a few years ago and it just felt like the right opening for ‘Chasm’, especially with ‘Chasm’ being the first album I ever put out on vinyl and I was doing the whole pre-order thing, which I had not done before. It just felt like the right song. And again, I am trying to pay attention to this. I try not to be too, you know, too precious with things. I try to allow the music to breathe as it needs to and find the right home for its voice.

So yes, to answer the question: The lines have definitely become more blurred. I think especially as I did this recent tour as ASHTON NYTE and of course sang predominantly THE AWAKENING songs… but it seemed… It just made sense. I was touring with WAYNE HUSSEY who was doing a mixture of THE MISSION and solo tracks and I wanted my set to kind of complement his. As I said, it inspired me to see people respond to the songs in that form, without having to have the big band behind you and all the noise. I do love all of that too. It’s great to do big rock shows but there is something very special about bringing it all down just to one person on stage. There is an intimacy and an immediacy that is very important to me. It has certainly become increasingly important to me.

I think the lines continued to blur because I am not as concerned about the separation and all of that. I am more concerned about a direct connection and it just seems like it makes sense to say that it’s me rather than calling it THE AWAKENING. You know, if it’s just me and my guitar, that is ASHTON NYTE. It doesn’t really matter what I’ve done, or released before as ASHTON NYTE in a solo capacity. I think, people who have followed my career realize that the ASHTON NYTE solo albums vary, vary a lot. You know, I’ve done albums that have been kind of Ziggy-era Glam music and electronic stuff, I mean all sorts of things and I’ve enjoyed the freedom to do that. And now I enjoy the freedom to blur the lines with THE AWAKENING. You know, “Hey, it’s my record and can do what I want, right?” [laughs]

ashtonnyte waitingforavoice harcoverbook signed

RoD: And there is other news. For the first time you will also release a book. How did you get that idea?
Ashton: Again, it is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. It’s something that my wife, Rose, has wanted me to do for a long time as well. I think we started speaking about it last year when I started writing the album and it became apparent that the album was so very lyric-focussed that I wanted to expand on that idea with some kind of accompanying book. We were talking about whether it would literally be part of the CD or… You know, there are various options… And the more we spoke about, the clearer it became to me that I wanted the book to be able to stand on its own as a piece of written work. It has poetry, it has the lyrics from this album but it also has unreleased short stories and thoughts and anecdotes and other things I’d like to share.

And that’s how it evolved. With my father passing earlier this year, and then with the state we’re in with the Coronavirus, I think, like many people, I had that sense of “Why wait?” If it is something you’ve wanted to do, go ahead and do it. Because life changes so very quickly and what we think is normal today may well be completely replaced by something else tomorrow. So, I think that was the final catalyst to actually do it.

The only stumbling block I had, which, I know you read about and other people have read about, was whether to do it now with… you know, I had that sense of not wanting people to feel taken advantage of because they are stuck at home. And people are struggling. And people are... Many are unemployed. And people are sick. And people are dying. The conclusion that I ultimately came to is that we always need art. That art is essential and that art has inspired and entertained and enriched and so many other things. It’s done that for me and hopefully it does that for others. I think especially in dark and difficult times, without art, the world becomes even more dark and depressing. So that was the final hesitation point you could say. I really decided to... the album was mostly recorded; the book was halfway written... I just kind of hung on for a couple of weeks, debating whether I would make the announcement or not, just to be sensitive to what people are going through. But having said that, the response has been amazing. It is far exceeding my expectations. The response and the support and the ongoing encouragement is wonderful!

RoD: Yes, I have already said that, but I really think that art helps, also especially those people that are struggling in times like this. You already mentioned the pre-order campaign and already said that it is your second one. And you can order many extras like handwritten lyrics, online pre-listening sessions and also private concerts. So how was your experience so far with this new approach?
Ashton: Yes, as you said, the first one I did was for ‘Chasm’ and that was amazing. It’s a lot of work setting up a pre-order campaign. There used to be a company called ‘pledge music’ that artists were using and they would kind of handle all the backend stuff for you. Fortunately, I did not use them for ‘Chasm’ as they went bankrupt halfway through my campaign. So, you know, I just had to do it myself and just set up the pre-order and learn as I went along. And I’ve done the same with this one.

But the work is certainly worth it. Again, it’s that feeling of connecting directly with people who want to support you and want to be part of what it is that you do. And I’ve said so many times: To be an artist in 2020 and have people still care about what you do in a world where there are literally millions of people asking for your attention every single day... Everyone wants you to click on something, or buy something, or listen to something, or do something, or sign up to something. To have a fan base that is so supportive and really generous in their support is a huge blessing. And one I don’t take for granted at all.

And so, having said that, I was a little tentative with it. Firstly, it’s a solo release and not THE AWAKENING. So that was new. And then, secondly, because of the virus and the timing of it all. So yes, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised to say the least. And yes, it’s interesting to see what people choose from the exclusive items; the lyrics, name in the credits, the various Skype events and concerts and things and... It’s wonderful. And lots of people from Germany…. not just from Germany, from all over the world... but I have noticed I have an ever-growing fan base in Germany which is wonderful. [laughs]

RoD: So, there is also an Art Pass for everyone who pre-orders your album which is like a regular mail with special features. And you even said you’re preparing a download for the next one. So, would you like to tell us something more about those art passes?
Ashton: Yes, the Art Pass is an added incentive to get involved via the pre-order, basically. Some people may think “Why bother pre-ordering? I’ll just wait until the thing comes out.” Well, there are a number of advantages. Firstly, a lot of exclusive items and limited-edition events and whatever else will sell out. And then, of course, the Art Pass is a sort of continual interactive feature where I share things specifically with those people who are already supporting the campaign. And yes, I will be sending out things like downloads, special items, special discounts and various other opportunities and oddities. And as far as the upcoming download... Well, it is still a secret… It’s related to the work but not necessarily part of the work. But it’s something that I’ve been working on for quite a while and it’ll give me great pleasure to finally share it as well. [laughs]

RoD: That sounds very interesting. You already said you are doing almost everything yourself also in organizing your releases, the crowdfunding campaign. So, I’m sure you have a few busy months ahead. How important is it for you to direct everything surrounding your music until the last step of the process?
Ashton: Yes, that is a good question and a very tactful way of saying “Why are you such a control freak”. [laughs] I just, you know, many, many years ago I started my own record label called ‘Intervention Arts’. It allowed me the freedom to present my music exactly as I wanted to and then, of course, work with other artists and represent other artists and help other artists. So, I got involved in every step of the way - taking it literally from a seed to a tree. I think that there is an attention to detail with each element that ultimately has a huge impact on what the final product is going to look like and feel like. And the final experience, not just the product. So, I guess it has always been something I found myself doing. I think I am a bit of a perfectionist. It’s that old adage: “If you want something done right, do it yourself”. [laughs]

I sometimes wish it were otherwise, you know, when I am sitting packing envelopes at two o’clock in the morning, or the other less cool un-Rock’n’Roll stuff that we all have to do. But I think that there is going to be a move to more of this with the current state of music and the way music is discovered and consumed, or enjoyed, or discarded or whatever... I think that the relationship with the artist is becoming increasingly important. You know, in the 80’s, we all liked our bands to be huge and unapproachable and seen from a distance but I think in more recent times, having some kind of real connection with the artist has become more important.

RoD: We have already been talking about how the music industry changed a lot and especially during the last decade, I think. How much did this also change your work with your label ‘Intervention Arts’?
Ashton: Well, ‘Intervention Arts’ - when we started it was 1999 and everybody was still buying CDs and artists were generally getting paid a lot more for their work. We started as a distribution company. We used to distribute CDs which we’d import from all over the world and we’d sell them to CD stores in South Africa. And then we started representing South African artists and obviously, I got to represent my own work and also moved into studio work, recording other artists and so on. But by the early 2000s, it became apparent that there was really a decline in physical sales.

So, to cut a long story short, we went from all of that to essentially just being a record label and publisher. At this point, it’s just a small independent label which I use to put out my own work. It’s just not feasible for me to try and represent others… Doing all this myself, there is certainly little time for me to do anything else. That is the bottom line. I simply can’t. As much as I’d love to release other people’s work or record or remix or whatever... In recent years artistically, as you probably noticed, I’ve also been doing guest vocals and co-writing with other artists and there are usually live commitments that go with that and music video shoots and photo shoots and of course the recording and the writing process. So, I’d rather focus on being an artist and creating my work and collaborating with others, rather than being involved in the administration of a record label. Because it’s just not that much fun. [laughs] So yes, that affected the role of ‘Intervention Arts’. It went from being a conventional record company in the classic sense of the word to essentially just being a label that I use to facilitate my work and to handle my publishing and that sort of thing.

ashtonnyte liveinArlon byDavidRobson

RoD: You already mentioned the guest vocals. You are famous for being constantly active. And just yesterday, Michael Ciravolo from BEAUTY IN CHAOS announced a new album which will also feature a song that you have co-written. This is already the third album on which you worked with Michael. You said, this time it was written in a rather “tumultuous time” in your life between moving house and preparing for the tour with Wayne Hussey. So, what can you tell us about ‘The Outside’?
Ashton: Well, yes, it was a tumultuous time. I kind of half-jokingly wrote that as a humorous recollection of a crazy time. It was however absolutely true. Michael sent me the instrumental for what would become ‘The Outside’ in that time of moving house, preparing for the tour with Wayne Hussey and nearly killing myself by diving into a pile of bricks accidentally. [laughs] But honestly, each time I work with Michael I’ve had a very… almost a visceral response to whatever it is that he has sent me. You know, the first song we did was ‘Storm’ and that one struck me as something that really sounded like it was somewhere between ‘Some Kind Of Satellite’ and what I was doing with THE AWAKENING at the time. So, it felt again like a great bridge to write. ‘The Outside’ with this new album… the song is more linear. So again, less obvious chorus, less... I guess it’s less obvious in structure. They just meander more freely. I guess there is some kind of synergy there in what I mentioned about my own work.

‘The Outside’ is far more in the kind of the classic Gothic Rock / Darkwave vein than ‘Waiting For A Voice’ is, and the song came out really well. I’m very excited to hear the whole project. I haven’t heard everybody else’s contributions. I have obviously heard ‘The Outside’ a few times. [laughs] Michael Rozon once again has done an amazing job on the mix and the production. This time I did a little bit of mixing on my voice. Because I like to hear my voice the way I like to hear it. Again, that control freak thing sneaking in. [laughs] There is a sample up. People can go and have a listen to it on the BEAUTY IN CHAOS website. And it’s a, I don’t know, a 60 second sample or something. Michael has just started pre-orders now for the album. WAYNE HUSSEY is on this one again too. I think Wayne and I have been on every one of the BEAUTY IN CHAOS releases so far. [laughs] Yes, and I was delighted to see that the album starts off with ‘The Outside’. So, things are looking good.

RoD: You have also worked with Ethan Gold on the soundtrack for the movie ‘Don’t let go’. Was it the first time you have worked on a movie soundtrack?
Ashton: Yes, it’s the first time I have done something on that scale. Like many artists, I have been involved with small independent movies that nobody has ever heard of, and projects that don’t take off, you know, favours for friends and that sort of thing. I’ve had songs get used in movies and TV and that kind of thing, which is also great… But this is the first time that I was involved directly with scoring. Ethan was the composer, so I was literally one of two guys who took his ideas or sketches and kind of made them sound the way they sounded. Which was dark and scary because it was a dark and scary kind of movie. That was a great experience. He’s a very talented composer. And we went and saw the movie at the ‘Sundance Festival’ which was again a lovely experience, something entirely new and certainly something I’d like to revisit.

I do work behind the scenes for placement, you know, to get songs used in movies and television and so on. Honestly, it’s like… it can be like winning the lottery. There are so many people competing to get their work to be the opening credits in the next ‘True Detective’ or something. It’s a very competitive world. I think because I write so visually and I’ve always been rather obsessed with how things feel and what the mind’s eye paints when you listen to what I do, that to me, involvement with film is just a natural evolution. It’s a natural addition to what I do.

RoD: I have also noticed that in your videos you’re using often snippets from older movies in your videos. And you’ve already got in touch with the theatrical world when, many years ago, your solo album ‘Sinister Swing’ was adapted as cabaret and performed at the theatre department of the University of Pretoria - starring you. Do you have an affinity for acting or the theatrical world in general?
Ashton: Definitely, yes. I think the first time that I experimented with that was with the ‘Slender Nudes’, my first solo album. Of course, just the presentation of the Glam Vamp and various characters was theatrical. I mean, THE AWAKENING was always theatrical in presentation and then of course three years after THE AWAKENING debut I did this solo album. My first theatrical presentation for that album was at a small theatre called the Teaterhuise in Pretoria, South Africa, which was like a small black box theatre.

It was a kind of a stripped down three-piece theatrical version of the album with spoken word parts and a few additional songs that weren’t on the album. And I really enjoy, again, that immediacy of being in a small space with people and still being able to be theatrical. The following year, I was in a play that went down to our ‘National Arts Festival’ or whatever it was called. That was quite fun actually. And yeah, various bits and pieces over the years. It’s an element that I think ties in with my cinematic interests. You mentioned that there are movie clips in some of the videos. That was definitely something I was experimenting with for ‘Some Kind Of Satellite’ and ‘The Crying Game’. I’ll try doing something different for this one. [laughs]

RoD: Let’s look back to the times when touring was still possible. Last year - you already said it - you supported WAYNE HUSSEY on 36 shows in just 6 weeks all over Europe. Quite insane. So thinking back with some distance and maybe even more importantly with some sleep, how did you experience the tour?
Ashton: Aw, you know, it really was wonderful. I know it sounds like you’re reciting a press release or something when you have nothing but good things to say. And there were a few challenging shows but honestly less than 10% of the performances were difficult. You know, the rest of the time the difficulties were getting sleep and trying to find a place to wash your clothes [laughs]. You know that’s sort of the hard reality of being on tour and being away from your normal world for so long.

But you get into the mindset usually by the second or third week. It just becomes a new normal. And I think, much like we’ve had to adapt to a new normal now with this virus situation, I think, when you’re touring you just adjust. It’s not for everybody. Not everybody adjusts. A lot of people get very upset when they’re on tour [laughs]. But fortunately Wayne and Tim and Mark and Sarah and everybody else involved were seasoned veterans, all people who do respond well in that environment. And they were honestly a pleasure to be around and to work with. So, that really helped.

And of course, the cherry on top is the audiences. Because without the audiences, none of this other stuff matters. Much like the previous time I supported Wayne with THE MISSION it was really wonderful just to see new faces and old faces. To see that some people had continued to support since the previous time and of course to introduce your work to new people. It’s always rewarding. I’ve been doing this for quite a few years and it’s always rewarding on so many levels. I always get something out of the show. Even the worst shows. You know, even a show with really bad sound or a really weird crowd, you can always take something away from it. Even if it is “I’ll never play that place again.” [laughs] Or whatever it is. But it is usually a positive thing.

And there is a moment… There is usually at least one moment in the show where the sense of community is very strong. Where you just feel that everybody gets what’s going on and you can feed off that and that’s... Sometimes that’s an entire show and that’s wonderful. Sometimes that’s just a brief moment. But that’s still - in my opinion - worth doing it for. And yeah, it’s just always been a massive part of my life, the live performance part, and that’s obviously very challenging right now with the state of the world at present.

RoD: Absolutely. Regarding this “presenting to new faces...”, I really like that... When you started with THE AWAKENING in South Africa, you landed a number one hit immediately and started playing huge venues and headliner slots almost from the start. Yet, you did not rest but decided to seek new challenges and explore new territory like the USA and now more and more Europe. Except for the whole Corona situation, do you think it is very challenging to gain attention as an alternative artist on another continent?
Ashton: Yes, I think, it is challenging to attract attention anywhere. Again, especially now with the number of people and social media and all the digital noise hitting you all the time, it’s very difficult to actually get your work heard or get your voice heard. We were really fortunate that people in South Africa responded the way they did, especially considering HOW underground I was when I started. I was really just honestly doing what I wanted to do. I just wanted to make the music that I wanted to make and it just sounded like it did. And it happened to fall into what has been termed ‘Gothic Rock’. It certainly wasn’t a genre that was particularly well known in South Africa at that time [laughs] and there were precious few bands that have ever delved into that sort of world.

I think, if you’re passionate about what you do and believe in what you do and chase it relentlessly… and you’re reasonably good at what you do as well [laughs], I do think that some semblance of success is more than likely going to become a reality for you. Then it is just up to you, how you determine success and what you want from your life and how you measure success. Some people just feel, you know, that if they haven’t sold a million albums, it’s not worth it. They just going to go back to being an accountant or whatever it was that they were doing. And that’s fine if that is their reality. That’s just not my reality. I’ve made albums that very few people have cared about and I’ve made albums that lots and lots of people have cared about. That’s all part of the journey.

And you are correct. I was very fortunate to get such a large and positive response from the start. It definitely enabled me to try so many different things. I think, if it is a slow start, you’re a lot less brave, really. You know, you’re more cautious. If you’ve only got those five fans and you really don’t want to upset your fans. [laughs] Obviously, I still think about fans to this day. I still think about creating things that are going to be important to them. I’ve never put out anything I don’t like. So again, that is very fortunate. I don’t think all artists can say that. I am fortunate that I can create whatever I want to create, which means it is what I like. And if other people like it, too, then that’s wonderful. [laughs]

RoD: Basically, my next question would be like “What are your next steps?” Any plans on a single or a video? Usually I would ask like “Do you have any tour plans”, but at the moment that is very difficult…
Ashton: Right. Yes, I have actually… we have already shot the video for the first single. I’m busy with the editing now. And so, that will go out into the world as soon as I think it’s ready to go out into the world. [laughs] Again, that’s the wonderful thing about doing it all by yourself is that you don’t have a publicist or manager banging on your door, telling you to have the thing ready on Monday because there’s publication waiting or whatever. You know, I have worked in the industry a long time and I do respect the way things are done and I try to make it easy for those who want to share my work and to help promote and all that. And at the same time, I try not to not get myself caught up in deadlines and things that I can’t potentially meet. So, when I make an announcement like a release date, it needs to be a legitimate release date that’s going to happen if all else fails.

So yes, I can’t tell you exactly when the video will be out because I don’t know yet. But I imagine within the next month we will be releasing the first single. Or rather, the first video from the album. “Single” makes it sound like it’s made for radio and I don’t consciously make songs for radios. [laughs] If radio plays them, that’s great but it’s not my intention to... I try to create things that I care about and that I perceive as art. So, we will see. And on that score, I must mention another thing that has really impressed me with this campaign is that people are buying this record without having heard a single song. I think that’s quite unique. Even with THE AWAKENING, we had the first download ready to go - which was ‘Shore’ - with the purchase. So, people got to hear what it was that they were buying.

I can assure everybody: It’s not a Hip Hop album. [laughs] It will still be hopefully something that… well, will satisfy and bring joy and light and inspire and... will also essentially work as part of the catalogue of music that I have already put out into the world. So I must just make a point of thanking people for not only supporting me but having supported me without having heard a single note from the new album. I think that is quite remarkable! But if they’re still nervous there will be something out in the world in the not too distant future. So, they can be confident that they will have something to at least test the waters with.

RoD: Thank you very much for your time!
Ashton: Until then, for those who don’t know, should help paint a picture of sorts. Thank you!

Pictures by Todd Davis and David Robson

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