"You could search the world for the finest musicians and not find what you're looking for, when instead that music is in your own backyard. Ashleigh Antolini captures the soul of what it means to be an artist. She is the embodiment of today's new Electronic sound, coupled with DreamPop, Witchhouse, Experimental, Jazz and Avant-Garde. We were most pleased to have a moment with her. She is also an up-in-coming musician to the indie electronic scene in Florida."
Hello, how are you today?
Ashleigh: I'm great! Super excited, how about yourself?
Good to hear that, thank you, great here, and thank you for having this interview today.
Ashleigh: Of course, thanks for wanting to interview me!
I would like to introduce your music properly to #WEATNU. Could you say what you do musically?
Ashleigh: I am a singer, songwriter, recording and performing artist. I also play guitar, not a lot of people are familiar with that, because the majority of my music is electronic.
You have a very unique sound, certainly pushing the envelope on the avant-garde pop.
Ashleigh: Why thank you!
I must say, that you are a fantastic vocalist. Was this your first love?
Ashleigh: It was! I fell in love with the whole artistic concept of expression through music. I have been writing songs from as early as I can remember, when I was about 7 or 8 I would wait for everyone in the house to leave and set up my stuffed animals on my couch and perform for them. (ha-ha embarrassing fact).
Great story. [laughs] I understand that you are working in tandem with Shark Anthony, do you and he write music together or does he produce alone?
Ashleigh: Shark Anthony is the main producer I work with. He is someone who has adapted to my style so perfectly, I can always count on him to create something exactly what I am looking for. We have a lot of songs together, (on both of our soundclouds) and a lot more coming out. We are actually in the midst of discussing an indie type project to work on together very soon. For the majority though, I write and sing and he produces.
It's always good to find someone whom you can fit well with musically. It is amazing work, as I am more impressed with your latest EP Vicious Cycle, and this is my 3rd time to listen.
Ashleigh: Thank you! It was just a short something I wanted to put out after going on a sort of hiatus in music for a couple months.
What kind of music are listening to these days?
Ashleigh: I can pretty much listen to anything, besides country haha. I just can't seem to listen to that. Some of my favorites are, Bon Iver, Pink Floyd, Phantogram, The Xx, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake,The Black Keys, Explosions in the Sky, Sylvan Esso, the list goes on haha.
How long and how did you get into writing Electronic?
Ashleigh: Well I have never imagined myself singing on this type of music. It has always been just me and my guitar, I have Shark Anthony to thank for this. We have known each other for years and we both knew we each made music and one day I went over his house and he wanted me to sing on one of his tracks called "Hey" for his album "In Depth" (which is out now on his Soundcloud). Long story short, he has kept making beats for me after that, and I just fell in love with the whole dark electronic ambience of what he has created for me, it can really set a perfect scene in your head, other than just playing with one acoustic instrument. He has really helped me come into the local music scene, and I owe a lot to him.
A match made in Heaven.
Ashleigh: Literally haha
I hear a lot of Jazz influences in your music, do you have any faves?
They are. Do you orchestrate the chord progressions in the work between you and Shark Anthony? Lunar Leaks B-Side is catching my ear at the moment. Just amazing work.
Ashleigh: Thank you! The song I have on the Lunar Leaks album, "Running With Wolves" (an acoustic track) the guitar on it, is all played by me. The majority of music there I have sung on, with production by Shark Anthony, has been me just going crazy looking through all his Ableton files and I would say to him "I need to sing on this! Sometimes I'll play something on guitar or make a weird sound, and he'll say "I need to sample this!" and we'll just create from there!
Also, on Lunar Leaks B-side, not only has production from Shark Anthony, but there is also production from my friend TheHighStreet, on the track, "Midnight Walker"
Though you might be modest about this music,Â it is without a doubt, real talent.
Ashleigh: Thank you, there is a lot of talent musically down here in sunny South Florida. #FRIENDLAB
You're welcome. You may not realize this but #WEATNU works with artists from all over the world. Have you heard any thus far?
Ashleigh: I have just been coming back into social media really, so I have just recently discovered #WEATNU and what it is all about. I have been enjoying the 24 hour radio #WEATNU [OUR]. Some songs on there are very impressive. There is such variety, it really cleanses the mind pallet.
Glad to hear that J Did you find someone you like through #WEATNU [OUR]?
Ashleigh: I'm still discovering all the talented people that are a part of #WEATNU. I think everyone what I've heard so far has been great. A song that really stuck out to me while listening on the radio, was called "Pack it in America." So different, such a dark creepy like vibe. It was amazing though. You can tell they really put a lot of effort into it!
That would be Lightfarer. That song chills me to the bone. It is indeed haunting. He speaks the truth.
Ashleigh: Indeed it does!
You'll be glad to know that you we'll be releasing that album to WeatnuÂ Records in the next month or so.
Ashleigh: That's great, can't wait to hear it!
About your song writing once again. Are you learning or mixing your own tracks as well?
Ashleigh: I have dabbled here and there with Ableton, I am definitely learning more and more about mixing and mastering, but honestly that stuff takes years. Props to all these producers out there because this stuff isn't easy. You can't just jump into it, it takes a lot of time and practice.
I've been mixing and mastering for 15 years, and you are right. No tool in existence can give you golden ears. Takes years. But I believe you would do well.Â Do you write keyboard parts etc, play with VST's and make your own rhythmsÂ as well?
Ashleigh: I have created a couple things using Ableton, with a plug in MIDI keyboard, some conga drums, guitar, and other plug-ins. I love to mess around with all of Shark Anthony's toys. There are actually some hidden files on his computer that he doesn't even know are there that I have created doing all that stuff while he wasn't around! I guess he's going to find out after reading this now though [laughs]
Ha-ha, sneaky. You could call the next album, 'The Hidden Files'
Ashleigh: Haha very true!
Are you playing in venues around Florida?
Ashleigh: I have played at places like The Funky Buddha, a music festival called Moonfest, and a lot of bars. I am hungry for more shows though! It's been a little tricky for me to network in this area. I am still semi new to this music scene around here so I am still trying to be respected and make a name for myself. I'm showing people that I am serious and confident in the sound I can bring.
That's all that matters, but with your drive and talent, I'm sure you indeed go far. Your music rivals with the likes of FKA twigs. I hear something new coming to the world of avant-garde indiepop, this is new and fresh music for the next generation. The hip-hop attitude is also quite impressive on these EPs and albums, very underground. Listening to Lunar Leaks, another highly impressive album.
Ashleigh: Wow thank you, she is indeed talented so that is a compliment. Those are the songs that I introduced coming into this music scene. The first songs I've ever created with Shark.
It's all amazing work! Are you self-taught?
Ashleigh: I took singing/ guitar lessons when I was about 14 only for 2 years at most, then from there I mainly taught myself everything I know now.
What influences you as a musician?
Ashleigh: My life has influenced my music. My life, my experiences. Everything that I have gone through in my time on this planet, all the pain, all the joy, I have and will continue to put that into my music.
Ashleigh: Some people say the majority of my music is a bit melancholy and dark. Maybe that is the majority of emotion I have been feeling lately. I can't fake an emotion for a catchy song. If I'm going to feel sad for a year, I'm going to write 50 sad songs instead of trying to fake an emotion for one happy one.
How are you writing music with Shark Anthony, just picking up the mic and singing while he produces? - The mic quality is amazing btw!
Ashleigh: A lot of the things I record are already written. Some of the songs I have released though are actually free styled, (like the song Retrograde) I just picked up the mic and just started singing and we ended up just keeping it because it was sang off pure raw emotion. His mic is a Shure Beta87a, that is the one we mainly record with.
A very clean sound.
Are you working toward another album?
Ashleigh: I am in the process of recording new songs for a potential EP. I just put out a new song called Defeat: Imminent, which is a little teaser of my newer sound and what those songs are like. A new EP is definitely in the near future!
Great to hear that and we've also heard Defeat: Imminent just recently.
Any future plans?
Ashleigh: Potentially put out an album, maybe host my own showcase of local talent, get signed, moved to LA became a millionaire. You know, the little things ha-ha!
And a final question: What is your favourite video game of all time?
Ashleigh: Call of Duty: EXO ZOMBIES ha-ha, I don't know. Mario Kart!
Ashleigh: Two completely different games!
Thank you Ashleigh for doing this interview with #WEATNU DM today. Good luck to you and your future in music.
Ashleigh: Thank you so much!
#WEATNU Digital Magazine - Interview and intro by Almark