INTERVIEW: Mason Ashley




Mason Ashley


I am ending the week of interviews...

 SINGLE ART: Sophie Mazzaro

by speaking with Mason Ashley about her recent track, Ever Had You, and whether there will be more coming. She reveals whether music provides catharsis and when she decided to follow music; which artists she grew up around and which rising artists are worth exploring.

I ask when the U.S. artist will come to the U.K. and whether she gets time to chill away from music; if she has a standout memory from her career so far – Mason Ashley selects a classic gem to end things with.


Hi, Mason Ashley. How are you? How has your week been?

Hi! I’ve had a great week. I got to do some snow skiing in Utah, so I’m happy. 

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?

I’m Mason Ashley. I’m twenty-years-old and I’ve been writing songs and playing for half my life now. 

Ever Had You is your new track. Is there a story behind it?

I wrote Ever Had You in a matter of minutes after realizing I was in a toxic relationship. There’s a long, dramatic story behind the song...but let’s just say that the song came right as a realized that I had given out my last, last straw to this person. 

Might there be some more material later in the year?

I am currently back in the studio working on new music right now. You’ll definitely be hearing more from me later in the year and I can’t wait!

Is music a good way of getting out emotions and feelings in a healthy way? How important is music in that respect?

I have always used music as a form of therapy. Even as a kid, I found writing as a way to sort through my emotions and figure myself out in a sense. I think music is a great outlet for getting those feelings out. 


Can you tell me what sort of sounds you grew up around as a child?

I grew up on all kinds of music. I basically listened to whatever my parents were listening to. I loved early John Mayer, Van Morrison and Matchbox Twenty. I really just enjoyed music as a kid. I discovered Bob Dylan when I was twelve or thirteen and I think he heavily influenced my writing for years after that.  

When did you realise you wanted to pursue music? Was it quite an easy process going from there to where you are now?

I honestly think I knew from around the age of twelve. I started recording demos and performing by the time I turned thirteen and then really started taking that passion seriously. It’s definitely been a long road of trial-and-error since then. Trying to make a career in music is by no means easy. There are no certain steps you can follow or things you can do to guarantee success. It’s a lot of just putting yourself out there and hoping that the right person, or people, will hear what you have to say and appreciate it. We can’t all have the Justin Bieber story. 

Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?

I have a few big milestones so far: over one-million views on YouTube; someone using one of my tracks in their wedding and attending my first award show. I think my favorite story, so far, is the first time I heard myself on the radio. I was sixteen and had just released my debut E.P. I wrote more Folk/Americana music at the time.

My family and I were in Dallas, Texas at a lake house for a min-summer vacation and I remember getting a tweet from a radio D.J. - IN DALLAS of all places - saying that they would be featuring one my songs the next morning at seven. We all woke up early the next day to listen and I remember feeling so overwhelmed and proud. It was one of the most memorable and monumental moments so far.  


Which three artist albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home 

The first Dylan album I ever listened to from start to finish. My thirteen-year-old self sat there on my bedroom floor listening to She Belongs to Me and Mr. Tambourine Man wondering how anyone could ever want to be anything other than a songwriter. 

The 1975The 1975

Shortly after my Bob Dylan movement, I started broadening my musical horizon. I fell in love with all kinds of music and loved listening to anything I could find. The 1975 released their debut, self-titled album and I was hooked. Thoughtful lyrics with Brit-Rock vibes and electric guitar...the album had me listening on-repeat so I could hear all the little aspects in the production that gave it its sound. Robbers is still one of my favorite songs. 

La La Land Soundtrack 

Because...if you haven’t listened to it, you are missing out. Just the most beautifully poetic and bitter sweet soundtrack I’ve heard. If it doesn’t evoke some kind of emotion inside of you, you might be heartless. 

If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

Wallows or The 1975. French press coffee and/or chai tea. Just tons of caffeine. I can out-drink anyone when it comes to coffee.  


PHOTO CREDIT: @TheMasonAshley

Are you planning any gigs in the coming months?

I don’t have any shows on the books at the moment. I’ve mainly been focusing on getting more songs done in the studio, but definitely stay tuned because I plan to start playing live later in the year.  

How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?

I think performing is so important. It helps solidify who you are as an artist and overall just get more comfortable with your music. I love creating and hearing a song or project come together. I absolutely love being in the studio, but I started on stage at a young age and have a very special place in my heart for performing. I love both for different reasons. 

Will you come to the U.K and play at some point?

I would love to come to the U.K. and play someday! I’ve never been and that would be a dream. 



Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

One of my favorite bands right now is Wallows. Definitely check them out and try to catch them on tour because they are fantastic. I also love James Vincent McMorrow and Jack Garratt.


IN THIS PHOTO: James Vince McMorrow

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

I do have some free time to chill as of right now. I’ve been into yoga for years but I haven’t been good about sticking with it regularly until recently, so I’ve enjoyed that. I love coffee so sitting in coffee shops and people watching is also very relaxing to me. 

Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

She Belongs to Me - Bob Dylan 


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