Ashley Alexander is a singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Auckland, whose arsenal of funk, jazz and soul influences, alongside his trademark falsetto tones, have made him a formidable newcomer on the New Zealand music scene.
CHECK OUT OUR LITTLE CATCH-UP WITH HIM BELOW:
1. Happy NZ Music Month! How did you initially get into creating music?
Woohoo! Music month, how lucky are we!
I was around four years old when I started harping on to my parents about wanting to play the guitar, by five they had rallied the family to all chip in towards my first acoustic guitar. I ended up inseparable to the guitar and knew at that early age I wanted to create music.
2. Tell us about your inspirations and motivations?
Ever evolving. Those two things go hand in hand for me.
I’m heavily inspired by everyday folk, and the stories that come along with them. I’m not a big idolising type or give into the hype, but my community is humbling and inspiring as hell.
Musically, my motivation has always been my need to venture deeper, to paint with different colours and to challenge my own capacity. Selfishly it’s kind of an adventure in finding who I am and what my identity is sonically, and that every pursuit is like a drug for me.
3. What have you been up to in this lockdown and how has it affected you?
In all honesty, lockdown had me locked up mentally and emotionally, so I kind of came to a halt. I focused on other things to get me through, shooting hoops in the backyard and listening and reflecting on my mountain of music I’m yet to release.
4. What do you think of the NZ music scene?
It’s amazing, underrated and full of super hard working creatives. I love it. I want to see people take more risks creatively, do stuff that isn’t “cool” and shake it up a little and that’s what’s starting to happen.
5. Goal board time – where would you like to see yourself in a year’s time?
Album out, playing festivals locally and abroad and looking after my family. I just can’t wait to find my community and keep pursuing amazing music, wherever that takes me. Who knows!
The effortlessly cool, self-produced ‘Lunar Phase’ strikes the perfect balance between chill and catchy pop hooks. The song came to life on a mid-winter escape to the tropical island of Bali, where Ashley was armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar he’d found lying on the side of the road.
“It’s funny that we wait all year to clock out, cash out that annual leave,” says Ashley. “It’s a blow-out culture for sure but for one weird reason or another, that’s what makes it so damn good. Some things are only good in the heat of the moment, that’s what ‘Lunar Phase’ is all about.”
Ashley has made fast work of making a name for himself locally and abroad since the release of his 2019’s singles ‘Best Song’ and ‘Nicotine’, which will sit alongside ‘Lunar Phase’ on his debut EP, STARING AT THE SUN FOR TOO LONG, out in May.
The self-produced record is a coming of age, in which Ashley explores facing the realities of being an adult in a not-so-nice world and appreciating the bittersweet nature of existing.