A Chat with Conrad Ashton (20.04.20)

Described as an “ever-evolving, no-frills singer-songwriter”, Conrad Ashton is a highly original modern rock singer from County Durham. Taking a moment, this young man chats to us about his musical career, upcoming track ‘Time’ (set for release on May 22nd), and what’s most important to him.

OSR: Who or what inspired you to become a musician?

CA: I think hearing ‘Pinball Wizard’ by The Who at a time when I was old enough to take notice of it did a lot for me. I remember the moment hearing it on cassette in the back of my dad’s car and thinking this is it! Fortunately, a month or so later I got my first guitar lesson and a year later I was playing that song spot on myself.

OSR: Did you have any other aspirations in life other than becoming a musician?

CA: Absolutely. I always wanted to be a footballer and play for Liverpool. I supported them growing up as my Dad has followed them since the 70s so I was football mad. I realised about 12 I didn’t really have the ability as much as I loved the game and I retired about 15 with that and focused solely on music.

I still do have other aspirations. I very much want to get into acting somehow; I loved doing my GCSE in Drama at school and got some decent grades and nice things said about me in that. I would love to get back into it. It was slightly difficult choosing between a diploma in drama or music as at the time there wasn’t a combined option.

OSR:  You have an upcoming single called ‘Time’.  What can you tell us about the concept and creative process?

CA: I don’t actively sit with a pen and force myself to write. If I get a decent idea and it wont become a song, I wont force it. I just leave it otherwise the finished article feels forced and not true to yourself. Often though, if I get an idea and it isn’t good enough I may compile it with other ideas of the same nature; three ideas that don’t work on their own may be one song. All I need to write a song or at least attempt is literally one line and I will run with it and see what happens.

For ‘Time’, it wrote itself in 10 minutes genuinely. One of my close pals told me ‘stay strong, let others ride your train’. It was a bit of advice he gave me when I was having a rough time and I thought that’s mint! It turned into ‘Time’ because I tried to make it about my life and how, at 24, I feel no further forward to when I was at 18. The lyrics tell that story.

OSR:  What does music mean to you?

CA: Everything. I’d be knackered without it and there are times when I have been so low it’s literally the only thing that drags me out. It’s the same for a lot of folks and the power of music is insane. Had it not been for my slight talents and ability, I would have checked out long ago. Making music and wanting to write, perform and sing my heart out keeps me going and fuels my fire; it makes me wanna live.

OSR: How does your personal life influence your music, if it does?

CA: All the time, but I write the truth. I try and be as true to life as possible and hope my music will help others. In terms of personal life, there isn’t much about girls or anything that wouldn’t make good songs. *laughs*

OSR:  How would you describe your music?

CA: Meaty, beaty, big and bouncy! *laughs* Hopefully uplifting and does something to people, making them think the world can be the place they want it to be.

OSR: What do you want people to take away from your single?

CA: That The Con is back! Nah, just that I have put a lot of effort into it.

OSR:  You are planning to release an EP later in 2020.  Can you divulge anything about that?

CA: It is a full acoustic EP and it’s gonna surprise a few people. There is the odd softer track, but still very much me and I mean every word I sing on it.

OSR:  What do you do in your free time?

CA: Love the gym, but that’s off for a while so I am stuck with walking and a few push ups at the minute. No football so I am about of ideas. *laughs* It has let me catch up on a bit of gaming; I keep getting hammered online on FIFA though! Most importantly though, I am writing and practicing my instruments in my free time so when I can gig again people can hear some new music.

Credit to Alex Close Design

OSR:  What is the most important thing in your life?

CA: Deep. *laughs*

I’d say my Mam. She’s supported me so much, tells me when a song is crap or good and just so supportive. I wouldn’t have continued this journey without her, I don’t think. In addition, though, my Fender Strat isn’t far behind!

OSR: If you could meet any person, who would it be and why?

CA: Elvis Presley. The man had everything! Would have been great to get some advice from him and learn from The King himself.

OSR: Do you have any message for our readers?

CA: Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the song. If you’re only reading this bit, don’t worry you didn’t miss much! Stream my song on any platform you want on May 22nd. It’s a killer and it’s called ‘Time’!

Thanks to the talented Conrad Ashton for the chat! To engage with him, check out the gent on Facebook, SoundCloud, Instagram, Youtube and Spotify

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