28th April 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
Photo Credit: Nat Michelle
Ashley Singh is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from East London. ‘10 Summers’ demonstrates his flair for quietly compelling songwriting that packs an emotionally revealing punch. He first emerged last summer with ‘Keep Me’, which also displayed his heart-breaking exploration of the sadness and melancholy of faltering romance. It instantly connected with audiences as his following on TikTok expanded from 100 to 28,000 in just a week. ‘Keep Me’ has since exceeded 3 million streams.
A vocalist, pianist and guitarist, Ashley Singh developed his talents at East London Arts & Music. He is particularly inspired by artists with a similar skill for songs that make relatable anthems from challenging emotional experiences, including Coldplay, Julia Michaels, FINNEAS, Max Martin and JP Saxe. In addition to Danny Connors (Tom Grennan) who co-wrote ‘10 Summers’, Ashley’s other recent collaborators include Anders Höjer (James Arthur), Mike Kintish (Becky Hill) and Eddie Serafica (Michael Kiwanuka, James Bay).
Thanks so much for talking to ReVamp, how did you get into music, and was it from a young age?
Thank you for having me! I started playing guitar when I was about 15 years old. I was in the music department in my school and heard someone playing. Thought they were really cool so I wanted to learn. It was from that moment that I started watching YouTube Guitar tutorials and teaching myself to play. Once I had learned a few chords, I began writing lyrics to them and haven't looked back ever since.
Growing up, who were your biggest musical inspirations?
There was always a lot of music playing in my house growing up. Coldplay, especially the first three albums, are one of my biggest influences. Listening to those projects always makes me feel something. I also listened to a lot of Sam Cooke, Radiohead and Joni Mitchell and they have all definitely inspired me. Recent influences include artists like JP Saxe, Finneas and Julia Michaels.
Summer is shortly around the corner, the perfect time to release a song called ‘10 Summers’, what is this song inspired by?
10 Summers started from a journal entry that I had made at a time when I felt like I was holding my girlfriend back. I hated the idea that she was wasting her 20's on me and I honestly felt as though she'd be better off without me. I sat down with the journal entry open and my guitar in hand and most of the song just came out there and then. I then finished the song off with my friend, an amazing writer, Danny Connors.
When you are recording and writing a single, what are the most important things about this?
Writing always takes a little time for me. The vast majority of the songs I write come from a very real and honest place that is often quite painful to write from. When writing, as long as the feeling behind the lyric and melody match with what I'm feeling in the moment then the song is there. I think it's important that people can believe what you are saying in order to relate to it. I can't fake how I'm feeling very well so that is why I think it's so important for the songs to come from this real place.
When recording, I have to try and enter into the same space I was in when the song is written, which can also take time. It's one of those things where you just know when you've got the right take.
What is the message you want to give out on the release of this single?
The message here for me is that it's ok to recognise that you may be the problem sometimes. And if you do recognise this, to understand that it may be best to set the person you love free in order to become more comfortable in your own company.
What is next for you in your music journey?
More music! I have loads of songs I want to share with everyone and I can't wait to release more. I'm currently on tour in Germany, supporting Emily Roberts. I've also just dropped an Open Verse Edition of 10 Summers featuring Alfie Jukes and there will be a few more of those to come soon with other amazing artists. Hopefully I'll also have the chance to play some festivals in the summer.