- Words Louis Rabinowitz
Singer-songwriter, Ashe, opens up to Notion about her new music video for "Another Man's Jeans", her penchant for film and what she's manifesting for the year ahead.
Ashe’s star just keeps rising. The singer-songwriter released her debut album ‘Ashlyn’ last year to significant critical acclaim and a spot on the Billboard 200, cementing the success she had reached in her earlier EP releases and putting her on the map as a key talent to watch.
Her debut album delved deep into Ashe’s personal struggles and emotion, such as her grief over her late brother’s tragic passing, and the complicated emotions following a divorce. However, it’s clear that Ashe doesn’t wish to be kept in a box as an artist who solely writes about pain, as she’s returned with a joyful new song that celebrates confidence and self-acceptance in playful style.
“Another Man’s Jeans” is a perfect example of Ashe’s ability to persist through strife, as she was forced to reshoot the highly ambitious video after the footage from its production in Mexico was lost. Adversity is no match for her, though, and the song is just as exciting and entertaining as before, defined by Ashe’s cinematic sensibility that insists that all of her music videos are shot on film.
On the song, she says, “Another Man’s Jeans’ is about unashamed and uninhibited confidence, loosening up and having a good time. It sounds like what carefree feels like. It’s sexy! And loud! And fun! It’s a reminder to not take life too seriously.”
To celebrate this new release, and her forthcoming show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, we sat down with Ashe to chat about…
Why was it so important to spotlight the idea of confidence on “Another Man’s Jeans”?
I think a “confident woman” can be looked at as *a diva* or it can be perceived as “cockiness” and I just want more women to feel like they can step into their own confidence without feeling vilified for it.
What’s inspiring you creatively outside of music at the moment?
Pulp fiction and fashion, always, right now fashion from the late 60’s and early 90s.
How was the experience of having to reshoot the music video? Did you find any silver lining in the second attempt?
The second time shooting went so smoothly, it was like the universe was on our side. It’s not the way I would have chosen things to go, but I’m grateful that it did in the end. We got a gorgeous video and we ended up using some of the 35mm red *ruined* footage!
What are you looking forward to most about taking your album on tour?
I got a brief glimpse playing 2 shows in London after my album came out and it was the most electric feeling. There’s no way to describe how special it is when a crowd full of people starts singing the words to the same song–your song. I can’t wait to hear this album through their voices.
Why have you chosen to shoot all your music videos on film?
I think film immediately feels nostalgic and timeless. I’m also an avid Tarantino fan and he shoots on 35mm.
You talked about leaving it all on the table with your debut album. How does it feel creating new material in the aftermath of that?
Ultimately, you grow and continue to live life and change and evolve and so every album, piece of music ends up being a snapshot of where you’re at in life at the time. I left it all on the table with ‘Ashlyn’ but now I’m stepping into a new season where there’s more to be uncovered–I’M SO EXCITED.
What does a great collaboration mean to you?
A great collaboration is two souls connecting and coming to the table equally. And hopefully it’s filled with a lot of friendship, because otherwise you’re sitting there doing a lot of interviews with someone you don’t like, haha.
You’ve got a huge list of famous fans! Do you feel a pressure knowing that spotlight is on you?
I put pressure on myself to be *great* but it doesn’t come from the external so much. My friends are just humans like me. I remember I told Camila Cabello that I was going to meet Paul McCartney (which I didn’t end up meeting haha) but I told her I was so nervous and she goes, “just remember he poops and cries just like the rest of us!” and it was soooo disarming and honest and took all the pressure off.
How do you manage the act of public vulnerability? Has it felt liberating to express those difficult emotions in music?
I think it would be harder to keep it all bottled up. I’m just transparently myself and some people aren’t going to love that level of vulnerability but it’s a lot less tiring to just be open than it is to worry about hiding parts of yourself all the time. I’ve tried that and it’s exhausting. Being vulnerable in life and in your music comes with it’s own sets of challenges but it’s not nearly as exhausting as being closed off.
Your debut album tackled some really tough life experiences. Was the lighter tone of “Another Man’s Jeans” a conscious move away from that?
I wouldn’t say it was a ‘conscious move’ as it was just stepping into a new season of my own life and experiences. I was going through a lot trauma while I was writing ‘Ashlyn’ and while life will throw some more curveballs my way I’m sure, right now, the snapshot of my life I’m living sounds a lot more like “Another Man’s Jeans”– it’s fun and I feel more confident than ever and I feel sexy and I’m proud of who I am and where I’m at in life right now.
What was it like hitting a new level of success during the pandemic? Did you feel constrained by those circumstances?
It was what it was. It went the way it was supposed to go because that’s the way it went, haha. It’s the only experience I have so I’m sure I can come up with *grass could’ve been greener* if my career would’ve reached new levels of success outside of a pandemic, but it didn’t. I think the pro of having my career change SO MUCH in the middle of a pandemic was that I got to experience a lot of the turmoil and excitement from my own apartment instead of a plane or a bus or a hotel.
What are you manifesting for 2022?
A house to call my own and a grammy <3