Ashton talks about his debut EP, Good Company & strengthening his pen
Mississauga, ON – If you love Canadian artists as much as we do, you know that this summer spurred the release of amazing new sounds from Central Canada. Among those notable releases was a debut EP titled, Good Company from Mississauga artist Ashton.
While it may have taken us a while to savour the flavours of the project, we’re fully here to dissect the release a little further. With production from one of dF and Lavendar, Good Company delivers 8-tracks worth of captivating beats and looming vibes.
We recently had the opportunity to speak to the artist himself about the project where Ashton helped us understand the striking vulnerability that we hear throughout his songwriting on the project. It’s lines like “Back and forth, I push and you pull/ Cause why do I feel like this shit just isn’t new/ and shit got messy when I got into you/ Are we nothing else new, are we nothing else new,” that make the listener become emotionally invested on “Old News Interlude.”
Convincingly his most advanced work yet, stream Good Company below and catch our conversation after the drop.
HipHopCanada: Congratulations on the EP and thanks for opportunity to speak about it. This is your first official project – how does it feel now that it’s out?
Ashton: Thank you for that, and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to have a voice and an audience. It feels great to finally pass that milestone as you could assume but unexpectedly there’s a feeling of emptiness and a desire for more. I’ve had my time to celebrate and now I’m ready to go again.
HipHopCanada: What kind of approach did you want to take with Good Company, and was there a goal for its’ collective sound?
Ashton: From its’ inception I wanted something that was revealing and left me vulnerable as I believe art should do to the artist, so lyrically and conceptually that was the goal. Sonically, I wanted something that could bump but wouldn’t jeopardize my artistic integrity. I wanted it to be a smooth listen front to back and that being said we put a lot of time into planning and tweaking the transitions to make the track list work.
HipHopCanada: It’s been 5 months since the release of your last single, “After Sunset.” What kind of things transpired in that time that maybe influenced this project or impacted what we hear?
Ashton: In the months between “After Sunset” and the release of Good Company I was writing for a couple of artists just strengthening my pen and also in hopes to develop some artistic relationships. After witnessing those relationships turned sour it kicked in fast that sometimes there isn’t a grey area between business and pleasure. Learning from that I wanted to strengthen the ties I already had and not take the good company I have for granted.
HipHopCanada: What is the most meaningful track for you on the project, if you had to choose?
Ashton: The most meaningful track to me on Good Company has got to be “All I Ever Need.” From the hook to the verse, from the verse to the bridge, the song embodies the meaning of the project and conveys the message clearly. It just feels right.
HipHopCanada: You had dF bring production or co-production on all of the tracks. He’s a producer that we’ve always felt is one that Canada needs to watch. How was working with him on this project, and what did he add to the experience for you?
Ashton: It’s always a pleasure, and I consider dF family. The best thing about working with him is he’ll be honest with me and he’s not afraid to state if something is wack or could be improved, I owe a lot of my growth to him. Over the years him and I have built a chemistry that not too many people have the opportunity to and for that I’m grateful. That being said it’s a matter of time for that boy to get the recognition he deserves, the clocks are overdue.
HipHopCanada: Do you feel like you found your voice with Good Company, and how has your identity as an artist progressed up until this point?
Ashton: Honesty speaking, I don’t think I found my voice just yet but I did find a comfort level in expressing myself and in allowing myself to be more vulnerable and open in my music. This project has been a tremendous learning lesson and I’ve studied my mistakes and made note of what works best for me.
HipHopCanada: You also brought on Jermaine Elliott for a feature on “Get It Right” as well as co-production. How did that link come about?
Ashton: Well in the process of wrapping up the project Jermaine came up from New York to cut a few records and master his project with dF. For the majority of those sessions I’d be there in the studio helping them mix and even work on a few records with him. We had a dope chemistry and naturally just got along, so I played him the project and the rough version of “Get It Right” at the time stood out to him. It was really slow, almost chopped and screwed sounding, so he sped it up, changed the baseline, threw on some vocals and from there it was a hit. I personally consider that song to be one of my top tiers. Shout out to him, genuinely a good dude and his project is sounding amazing.
HipHopCanada: What can fans look forward to next from you?
Ashton: Visuals coming soon for “All I Ever Need,” the official release of my merch, and a couple of singles dropping before summers end.
— HipHopCanada (@HipHopCanada) September 29, 2017