Special Interview: Salt Ashes

THEAUSSIEWORD.COM goes one on one in a special interview with international artist Salt Ashes.

How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?

I was singing from the moment I knew what singing was so I guess it began there, however it wasn’t until I sang in a school talent show at 14 years old that I knew I wanted to pursue it properly. It was the love of singing that drew me in and later realising how much I love performing. 

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?

Hearing someone tell me that one of my songs resonated with them or got them through something motivates me. That feeling that even if it’s just one person my music has helped in some small way is like no other and is why I continue doing what I’m doing. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?

I want to be able to eat a tub of peanut butter a day and not put on weight hahah. Ok, no, seriously… I want to tour the world! Performing is my number one love and to be able to do that for people in different countries is a dream. 

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

I have a headline show coming up on 4th Nov in London at The Grace which I’m really looking forward as I’m sure it’ll be the last of the year. Then surrounding that I’ll be in the studio getting some more music ready to release; deciding what the next single is going to be; making more crazy music videos. 

Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?

I always find the describing your music part weird. Whenever I hear other artists describe their music it never reflects how I’d describe it so I’m pretty sure I have the same issue. Someone once said I’m if Kate Bush and Depeche Mode had a baby which probably felt more right for my first album… maybe throw some disco in and we’re maybe somewhere close to the latest release.

The latest release is called “Didn’t See It Coming” which I co-wrote with Grammy nominated producer Dimitri Tikovoi. It’s my messed up version of a love song I guess; about a love turning up out of no where and pulling you out of a life you thought you wanted. It’s a disco track with meaning. 

Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?

What gets me writing?… Sometimes a good beat or some weird life experience. It changes all the time for me actually. I’m not the kind of person who writes as soon as their heart’s been broken or someone’s just died… it takes me a while to process shit and then I feel like I can write about whatever’s just happened. 

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music? 

Other than the fact that I have imposter syndrome every time I write a song? I don’t know… Probably. It’s more like, I’ve written a song about something super personally but you guys think it’s all about love. Isn’t that always the way though until you really know an artist and what they’re about?

Success, what is the secret to it?

Understanding your definition of success and not being clouded by the end goal. Enjoy the journey. Live and love the process. Know that sometimes just getting out of bed is a success.

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

Going on a UK tour with Goldfrapp was a total vibe. My first tour and it was epic and so well received. It gave me the tour bug for sure. 

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

Artists that don’t follow the rules like Ashnikko, Sevdaliza, Tove Lo. I feel like they never conform to what is current or relevant. They make music they want to make and visuals they want to make and don’t care if people don’t dig it because they themselves do. 

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

Yeah I’m working on that next single and possibly an EP but I still have my second album in my veins so I might need to bleed that out first before I can even think about injecting another one. 

The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?

Fuck knows. Honestly. This industry is so weird right now and it feels so unstable that I really just live each day and take it as it comes. I hope I’m still making music and performing huge shows… and going on that world tour we spoke about!! Let’s manifest that shit. 

What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?

My least favourite is the social media aspect of it all. I don’t like the necessity to post all the time because “if you don’t you’re not relevant”. I think social media can be great when used moderately and for the right things but I think mostly it’s damaging to mental health and it fucks with our attention span. Now, everyones making music to suit that attention span and I feel like there’s lack of guts and density to a lot of music being made. But, I don’t see it changing so you kind of have to roll with it and try and keep hold of some of your values, do it in your own way and hope for the best! 

My favourite part is that feeling of performing in front of an attentive audience… hearing people singing your songs back to me. I can’t even describe that feeling. Pure adrenaline elation. 

Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.

Sia was my number 1 thought! Ugh, her voice and songwriting skills I’d die for. Courtney Barnett and the band Parcells are some of my favs right now. You guys have some awesome artists making great music tbh. 

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

The industry is constantly evolving but I’m not sure if it’s changing for the better right now. As I mentioned before I think there’s a certain lack of soul in a lot of music that’s hitting top 10. The Tik Tok music making fad is interesting… I actually think that social media is the most important aspect of being an artist these days… the second is making music. Considering I mostly don’t like social media I do ask myself why I want to be an artist when being an artist is predominantly about an online presence but then I’m addicted to it and when one person tells me they felt something when they listened to my music I feel like it’s all worth it. 

How will you continue appealing to the international market?

Hopefully by making good music!!

Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?

Absolutely. I love collaborating with different people as you just never know what direction a track will go in. On my list would be: Sofi Tucker, Tove Lo, Lindstrøm – PARCELLS !

What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Be bold, know what kind of artist you want to be and don’t be influenced by too many people – have your people that you confide in but ultimately make your own decisions and be as authentic as you can be. Also remember that some people won’t ever like your music and that is OK. 

A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?

This is a positive side to social media, being able to interact with fans. Generally I’m best on instagram so come and say hi and tell me what your favourite song of mine is… There’s plenty on Spotify and YouTube to get through!

Any last words?

Peanut butter is the best. 

Website: http://www.saltashes.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saltashes

Twitter: @saltashes