"I much prefer whacky percussive sounds"
Rising musician, Asha Gold, has been impressing the music industry with her exquisite vocals and sultry sound.
The 21-year-old London native is one of the standout stars of 2021. Experimenting with bass, percussion and melodies, Asha’s music is contemporary yet reminiscent of classic RnB.
Fixated on storytelling through music, Asha wants her songs to be a reflection of her.
It means she is able to be as authentic as possible whilst empowering others who are going through similar events.
This was personified by her 2019 smash-hit ‘Too Good’. The track oozed with a silky tempo, pop hooks and thoughtful lyrics.
Racking up over 107,000 Spotify streams, the anthem cemented Asha Gold as a formidable artist and she has continued this impeccable form since.
Her debut EP, GOLD01, was released in 2020 and provided fans with glossy and catchy tracks like ‘Passenger’ and ‘Debut’.
However, at the heart of the four-track project is the song ‘Faith In You’. The ballad abandons the normal upbeat sequences we see in Asha’s music.
Instead, we see that behind the glamour of the industry and rising popularity, there is a young starlet with a powerfully natural talent.
The sincerity and rawness in the song amazed listeners and artists alike. Particularly capturing global recognition from the likes of BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 1xtra and Rolling Stone.
Gearing up to release ‘Exes’ in October 2021, Asha will undoubtedly harness affectionate piano keys, symphonic melodies and her Indian flair. A difficult fusion to execute.
Although, the singer’s unrelenting passion, infectious persona and delicate voice will surely make the song an instant triumph.
In such an exciting period for the artist, DESIblitz spoke exclusively with Asha Gold about her meteoric rise, creative processes and ambitions within music.
How did your love for music begin?
Music was always present in my life – from a young age, I played classical piano, jazz drumming, and was part of many orchestras and bands at school.
I loved this, but I knew that after finishing school I wanted to turn my attention to singing and writing.
Also, I realised I loved the storytelling aspect of songwriting, so I began to create demos using the instruments I could play, and develop my voice.
I didn’t know anyone in the industry so I had to do a lot of networking to get my foot in the door.
Could you describe your sound and what elements make it unique?
I’d like to think that my songwriting is intelligent and unpredictable.
I never want my listeners to be able to guess the next lyric or the rhyme, and I always write with authenticity and honesty.
“I’d say my music sits within the RnB/pop genre bracket.”
But I resist any sounds, synths, and percussion instruments that are commonly used.
I much prefer whacky percussive sounds and interesting samples pulled from corners of the internet and everyday life!
What is your creative process like when making a song?
I like to write on the spot, in the studio, so I’m often collaborating with a producer.
We bounce ideas around both lyrical/conceptual, and musical – and try to settle on a vibe.
Sometimes it’s a sound or sample that leads us there, a reference track, or there’s something pressing I want to write about.
The melodies come quite quickly and naturally, then I start to shape the lyrics into them, and create some sort of structure to the song.
It’s both an organic and mechanical process at the same time… I always want to push myself for a more interesting melody or rhythm.
Does your music reference your own personal stories?
Yes, mostly I write about my own personal experiences.
“I find that’s how I can be most authentic with my writing and my storytelling.”
Therefore listeners are more likely to understand me and potentially relate.
It’s important that I’m honest, and that I show the different aspects of my personality in my music.
Which artists have influenced you musically?
Lorde and Billie Eilish are huge inspirations in terms of writing.
They don’t ever follow the songwriting rule book and I love that about them.
Beyoncé is a major inspiration in terms of her vocal skill and her performance, everything she does is so captivating.
But I also always keep an eye on new music and new releases – we’re lucky that in the UK scene there are so many talented artists coming through.
How did it feel when ‘Too Good’ got the ball rolling in your career?
Everything felt new and exciting, but also scary!
“I think the first release always feels like a massive deal and it seems like everything has to be perfect.”
But as you say it’s about getting the ball rolling!
I’ve just been growing out loud and developing since that release.
Can you tell us the significance of ‘Exes’ and what fans can expect?
I wrote ‘Exes’ with the intention of striking a balance between vulnerability and self-assurance in a relationship.
It’s fun and tongue-in-cheek, but the core sentiment is something I hope people can relate to.
As an artist, I enjoy writing about those slightly irrational, confused or vulnerable moments we all encounter.
It’s a bit more pop-leaning than usual, so I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions.
Which song has been your most favourite to make?
I’d say ‘Margarita’ because it’s such a feel-good track that paints a strong image and moment in time.
When I was writing it I wanted to play with opposites and pairs – left, right, warm, cold, blue sky, red wine.
“This was to echo the bigger theme which is two lovers in perfect paradise.”
I definitely enjoy lyrical challenges. When Mitch Jones and I were writing ‘Debut’, we came up with the melody for the pre-chorus before any lyrics.
Because it’s so quick and fast-moving it was tricky to put words to! But I loved the end result.
What difficulties have you faced as a musician?
I think it’s very easy to get put in a box and labelled because I’m British Asian.
So people expect me to sound a certain way, or to pay homage to my mixed heritage in a way they’ve seen before.
I’ve been told to ‘use’ my heritage in a way that’s more ‘marketable’ or gives me a USP.
But I don’t ever want to engage in something in an inauthentic way for the sake of ‘marketability’.
What’s your view of South Asian representation within UK music?
I think there are more South Asian artists receiving the attention they deserve these days.
But representation could definitely be better within the UK.
It’s important that people don’t expect a certain sound or look from South Asian artists in the UK, and the music should be appreciated for what it is.
“Joy Crookes, Pritt, Priya Ragu and Sam Nxire are some of the artists of mixed heritage I’m loving right now.”
All of them are bending genres and creating incredible music.
What are the heights you want to reach within music?
The sky is very much the limit!
My goal is for my music to reach as many people as possible, and to perform in front of the biggest crowds in the world.
I want to continue to develop my songwriting and performance skills.
I also want to challenge myself with different genres, visuals and collaborations with integrity and authenticity.
I’m influenced by so many sounds, so I’d love to collaborate with musicians who work within different genres, and I’m certain my sound will change and evolve too.
What future projects can fans look forward to?
Other than ‘Exes’, I’ve got two live shows coming up in November 2021 – it’s amazing to be playing on the live circuit again.
I think we musicians are so grateful it’s coming back.
There might be some more music towards the end of the year, but my focus is on my second EP which will come out next year (2022).
That will be an insight into where my music is headed and what I’ve been working on for the last 18 months.
So stay tuned!
Asha Gold’s healthy obsession and dedication to her artform are clear for everyone to see. Her musical prowess and industry insight is surprising for a young artist but is a breath of fresh air.
With such a quick turnaround in between her releases, the superstar caters to her fans’ needs without jeopardising quality content.
Asha’s thrilling confidence, rhythmic expertise and musical creativity shine through her projects.
The singer mixes a type of British intensity with South Asian finesse that allows her songs to be intimate yet relatable. Although, she does not skimp out on hard-hitting beats and hypnotic tones.
This is proven with her iconic performances for BBC Introducing, BBC Asian Network and even playing in front of 30,000 people at Lord’s cricket ground in August 2021.
Highly supported by established DJ’s such as Annie Mac, Bobby Friction, Greg James and Preeya Kalidas, Asha Gold shows no signs of slowing down.
Deeply personal, accessible, experimental and invigorating, Asha Gold will undoubtedly continue to flourish.
Check out Asha’s impeccable catalogue here.