WorldArts January Showcase performer Johnny Ashby sat down with us to discuss his new single “Flowers in July”!
What’s the story behind your single “Flowers in July”?
I wrote it with a friend of mine, Kris Orlowski. Co-writes are a funny thing because you have to put yourself in the same mindset as the other writer. Sometimes you’re lucky because you’ve share a similar experience, or you’re going through the same life experience at that moment. It’s cool when that happens, the lyrics flow and the music and melody flows too. It feels organic. The song is about being stuck in a small town, wanting to break out.
There seems to be quite a shift in your sound since “The Cannonball Days” EP, how did that happen?
I started writing the songs for The Cannonball Days EP in London. I had a neighbour who used to bang on the wall next door while they yelled at me to be quiet! As a result I wrote all the songs on acoustic. I recorded that entire EP in the stock room of a local music shop where I had a small studio set up. I’m really happy how it turned out! Since then I’ve moved from London to Los Angeles, that’s given me a lot to write about and I’ve taken more time on the songs. I have new neighbours too… they’re much more understanding! I’ve been writing more on the electric this time round.
What comes first when you write a song?
It varies. I don’t have a particular place where I write. I always keep a guitar out at home so it’s easy to pick up and strum whenever I feel like it. Occasionally I come up with a melody or lyric when I’m out and about. I used to write them down or record a voice memo but now I don’t bother. If I can’t remember it at a later date then its usually not worth it.
When can we expect another EP from you?
Soon! I’ve been recording it here in Los Angeles with producer Clay Blair. We’ve got a few more things to tweak! He’s amazing to work with, we’re both on the same page which is really cool…the songs sound great and I can’t wait to put them out there!
If you could go on a road trip with anyone who would it be?
Where would you go?
Somewhere off the map.