We had a chat with Paris-born, London-based newcomer Ashley Iman about her new single “EAST SIDE” and more.
Our direct messages on Instagram is usually filled with artists submitting their music, asking random questions or managers asking for submission details. A few months ago, and on a rare occasion we opened a direct message sent by an artist named Ashley Iman, who had just released her debut single “ARIZONA” at the time— a breathtaking debut single which instantly connected with us.
She’s spent the past few months working on her upcoming debut EP, and today she’s released another brilliant single titled “EAST SIDE”— which is our song of the week. She exudes confidence throughout, her alluring vocals flow beautifully over the gorgeous R&B production by Mark Evich. Collected, self-assured and wise beyond her years, it was only right to get to know Ashley Iman before she becomes a superstar. Read our conversation below:
You’re based in South London, but you were born in Paris. Do you consider yourself more British or French?
Although I am French by blood and speak French every single day I will always consider myself to be more British than anything else, as I grew up with the culture, the music etc, but I will forever remember/treasure where I’m from.
What was life like when you first moved over here?
For me since I only moved to London at the age of three I would ultimately say life was great but obviously when growing up I had to switch schools a couple of times which led to me being bullied when being the new girl which was one of the hardest and painful moments for me in life, but definitely changed as soon as I turned 15 and from then on had nothing but bliss!
So, how long have been singing and writing music for?
Music for me was always apart of my life from very early especially, for me having a mum who’s a visual artist. She would always introduce me to new genres and singers, and I would love every moment of learning about them until I one day when I was 14 years old, I started doing covers of Adele whom I was obsessed with at the time. I knew then and there that I had to sing for the rest of my life, it was almost like an epiphany for me at that point on so I started singing almost every day until my voice became mature enough and as soon as I finished my A-levels I went on and had actual vocal lessons every week which led partly to how my voice is at the moment all due to consistency. As for writing I would never sit down and write a full song I always used to do random vocal notes of me harmonising or singing whatever comes to mind which would make a song, it’s only as of recently when I started putting my own music out with “Arizona”, I started getting inspired with the beats my producer sends me and would get the vibe I’m going for and write to it or have it.
What artists inspired you to pursue a career in music?
There are so many but I would say my four main ones I would say would be The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Sade and Lana Del Rey. These four which I call the “The Ultimate Quad” are definitely the ones who inspire me the most when I’m making music or just having the essence of an artist. I try to learn everything from them.
Love that.Describe your music in your own words?
Sexy, mellow and also unpredictable because every time I create a song it always turns out something completely different to what I or others except it to be, which I guess is the magic to being an artist.
You’ve just released your stunning new single “EAST SIDE”, great song, talk us through the creative process.
“EAST SIDE” is for me definitely so far my favourite song on this EP that I’m in the middle of creating. The song itself took about 7 months for us to wrap up because we had so many ideas for this specific song, and ended up with multiple demos. The song is actually a 2 part song with the original title being “Mike Away” which is the beginning of the track then gradually builds up until becoming “EAST SIDE”, which was taken out of inspiration from Ariana Grande’s song “Westside” based on the overall vibe and cadence which heavily influenced this song.
What’s the message behind the song?
The essence of the song was to actually be forward in our emotions especially as a woman even though we know it could be bad for us mentally, because I think the worst thing as humans is lying to ourselves regarding our feelings.
Powerful!The song has an old school R&B vibe, is this something you were going for?
No, not all in fact for me I wasn’t trying to have the song fit any genre I ultimately just wanted to create a song which is easy to vibe with and listen to at all times especially late nights because I love listening to music very late at night, which is why I also think most of my songs give off that late night feel.
Have you set yourself any expectations for this release?
Nothing but the best, I wish for “EAST SIDE” to reach its endless limits and spread around the world and most importantly do the unexpected by the Grace of God.
Can we expect visuals? Or do you plan on releasing some in the future?
As of now I haven’t got any visuals unfortunately, but I do have a lot of new sounds and feels for you guys which are completely different to my previous releases. As for visuals I’m still figuring out as an artist how I would want my music to come visually alive but it will definitely be worth the wait!
What’s next for Ashley Iman?
MORE MUSIC!!! Along with surprise visuals hopefully!