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Fast Five: Johnny Ashby



When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?

I first started making music when I made a guitar out of a tissue box with rubber bands in school. I took it home and danced around my room for hours singing along to various records in my parents vinyl collection. I caught the bug and literally soaked in everything I heard. My parents started me on piano lessons but it wasn’t until I started learning guitar that everything clicked and I was like “Okay…so this is how this works”. I’ve been writing songs the last few years and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I had worked as a gardener and in a hair salon and a shoe shop before I started working full time as a songwriter.

How would you describe your music?

My music seems to be a strange mix of my British roots and my love for Americana. It’s like a cross between Oasis and Ryan Adams.

What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?

I moved form London to Los Angeles earlier this year. It probably sounds like quite a scary move to some people because it’s such a long way from home but I’m beginning to wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. I’ve been writing around the clock and I’m really happy with the stuff that’s coming out. The move has given me loads to write about. I like uncomfortable situations… they always help with writers block! So I’ve just finished writing a batch of stuff and I’m about to put out a single and then an EP and get back out on the road. I can’t wait!

If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?

Living or dead? Dead… without a doubt it would have to be Johnny Cash. That guy was the King. He defined cool. You can’t get more rock n roll than Johnny Cash. If we’re going for living it would have to be Meat Loaf. There’s not many artists that can release a single at nearly 10minutes long and get away with it.

What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. It’s been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve listened to it over and over and I still don’t get tired of it, I could be on a desert island for life and so long as I had my iPod, that album and a solar powered battery I’d be alright.