INTERVIEW: Ashley Iman and “EAST SIDE”
Review by: Hollie Duffy
Born in Paris and raised in South London, Ashley Iman’s latest release ‘EAST SIDE’ is one for all the R&B lovers, taking inspiration from Ariana Grande’s ‘West Side’ which follows over to her inspiration for her up-coming EP. I had the opportunity to interview Ashley and ask her all about her music and what we can expect from her in the future. With THE silky voice made for R&B, this is someone you’ll want to keep on your radar.
Me: To start, could you let us know how you discovered your love for music?
Ashley: I would say I’ve always loved music from a very young age by listening to multiple genres but the age I’d say I discovered I had to make music for the rest of my life would be the age of 14.
Me: How do you think the French aspect of your identity works its way into your music? (if it does.)
Ashley: I think as of now my French identity doesn’t transcend throughout my music but I would probably say that it possibly makes up for how my voice has turned out to be in terms of tone/aspect , but eventually I would want to bring it out as it plays a huge part of my identity .
Me: How does a song like ‘East Side’ come to fruition, what was your creation process for that song like?
Ashley: East side was produced over of the course of 7 Months so a very long process but an amazing and unexpected outcome because believe it or not East side had multiple ways of how it would come out that are not even close to the final result which I think that’s what I love about creating music, and what I loved about creating “East side” would be that every time I had an idea for it would be at night which I think is the main reason why the song gives off that late night feel, Which I love! And consider it to be one of the main points of how my sound is.
Me: Were there any musical references which inspired the sound?
Ashley: The only musical reference i would say we used to make ‘EAST SIDE’ would be Ariana Grande’s song ‘WestSide’, which gave the idea of how the beginning of the beat was created which is a reverse of the beat jumping into the actual instrumental and for also giving us an idea of what same tone/mood the song would be set at which is a late night drive by mood which i love ! .
Me: How do you think you changed / developed as an artist between releasing ‘Arizona’ versus ‘East Side’?
Ashley: I strongly believe ‘Arizona’ was the most Raw/Authentic version of me anyone could get from me when creating a song, which I believe was very much seen throughout the song and even in the studio with my producer.
As for when i started working on ‘EAST SIDE’ a lot had changed in regards to the sound and maturity i wanted to bring in to create a contrast between the both of them because i think thats what makes up my sound, every song is going to be different to the last one by having different genres & vibes
Me: Are there any specific albums, songs, artists who have impacted you in a way that’s affected or moulded your sound?
Ashley: I would say the accumulation of so many different genres are the reason why i have made my own sound but the Four main artists which i think have specific attributes which contribute to how my own sound or vibes are formed especially for my upcoming EP would be : The Weeknd, Ariana Grande and Rosalia they all have been a source of inspiration for one of my songs on the EP.
Me: If there’s one thing you could tell a prospective audience you, your music and journey, what would that be?
Ashley: The word to best describe this journey is exhilarating and unexpected. Because already as an artist who loves learning about new things especially in music I tend to always have a mind that creates something but later on want to change by adding something or completely changing which makes my journey in music even more exciting than it could have been.
Me: What’s your biggest goal in terms of your music as of right now?
Ashley: As of now it would be to reach as many people around the world as possible so they have the opportunity to appreciate my music as much as i do and also eventually end up creating at least 2-3 eps with my entire soul & creativity poured into as much as possible and releasing them and eventually then working on album with collaborations with my favourite artists in the underground music scene right now.
Me: What can we expect from you and your music in the future?
Ashley: The unexpected. This next release which will be my third time releasing a song will have a whole different vibe & Genre to the two songs I’ve previously released which is one of the main reasons why I’m impatient in releasing this whole project. In other words i want all who enjoy and appreciate my music to know that my EP which will be dropping by the end of this year will be the start of something New, exciting and epic vibes and i cannot wait to have these creations shared with you all.