I'm v. honoured to present to you an interview I've done with a Canadian Pop Duo who simply have been unavoidable of late. They're everywhere from Commercials, to The Olympics, Music Television and Radio. Sony Music's Ash Koley (Ashley Koley and Phil Deschambault) who originally hail from Winnipeg, are already creating a splash across the country and just may be Canada's next big Export.
Mr. Will-W.: Hi Ashley! Thanks for taking the time to chat with Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven readers. Firstly congratulations on all your recent success. Your track Don't Let You Feet Touch the Ground is something I find myself humming often and only after watching your interview on CTV's eTalk a couple weeks ago I was able to put names to the faces.
Now I know that both you and Phil Deschambault were introduced to one another in 2004 via a mutual friend as Phil was looking for someone to collaborate with. How did you both know that you were a musical match? Also, describe for us how different your sound was as a solo act versus to now having worked with Phil.
Ashley: When Phil and I met, I suppose both of us were always looking for someone to collaborate with. I don't really remember a moment where I "knew" per say, but looking back, I did know that I was really enjoying working with him because he is very talented and I was loving his writing style. We share a similar work ethic and love for a lot of the same kind of music.
It also helps that we get along great as our personalities are both laid-back and silly at times. I wasn't really writing anything on my own besides a little poetry when I felt inspired so my sound was just my voice. I sang in numerous cover and tribute bands as well as choirs and vocal groups performing all covers. I guess you could say, I found my sound with Phil.
Ashley: The most memorable part of Lilith for me was performing in front of thousands of people with some mouting our words. We didn't think people would know them yet on our first tour! I will always remember that. It was a great audience in every city. The process of going from Indie to signed stemmed from Terry McBride seeing our videos for, Leave the Rest for Dead and, Bugs! on YouTube. From there, he flew us to Vancouver to discuss partnering up. We are extremely lucky to say that not much has changed for us creatively from before we were signed. We have labels who embrace who we are and what we create as artists. No one wanted to change us and we are getting to do everything we want and be ourselves the whole way through. We signed with Nettwerk and Sony for that very reason.
Mr. Will-W.: The whole process of marketing music is ever-changing in this Digital Age. More and more acts are finding success virally or more through channels like through Soundtracks, Commercials, Trailers and YouTube. I believe that Ash Koley is very indicative of where we are in this day and age. What's next on Ash Koley's agenda to further gain a spot on iPod Playlists of Canadians?
Ashley: We are going to keep writing songs and making videos! In a couple weeks we are shooting the video for, Brighter at Night our second single. The synchronization team at Nettwerk and Sony work hard to get our songs in those media outlets. It's the new way to find music, I suppose, and why not go with it. If someone wants to use our song in a commercial or soundtrack, that's awesome news to us. The more ears, the merrier!
Ashley: Our first album, Inventions, is out now. This album has nine songs, and we feel it is a true representation of who we are. We are proud of every note on it. We have never felt any pressure to be consistent with Don't Let Your Feet Touch the Ground because that song was written amongst all the others so to us it didn't sound any different than our others, stylistically. It's an upbeat positive song, which is what we like to write!
Mr. Will-W.: Tell us about some surprising musical influences we'd never guess have inspired Ash Koley's sound.
Ashley: Phil loves Yann Tiersen, a French composer who is most famous for scoring the film, Amelie. It was even his wedding song. I am a huge Garth Brooks fan. His songs put me in a very good mood! I am not sure how these artists inspire our sound but you can never tell what or why something musically comes out of you when you're writing. Some people hear some influences that others don't. That's the beauty of music, everyone hears it differently.
Mr. Will-W.: Some surprises there. Surely your music has brought you out to Toronto more of late now that promotions are in high gear. Tell us some of your favourite hotspots in the city.
Ashley: I moved to Toronto two years ago, while Phil and his family still live in Winnipeg. My favorite places to eat have become: Foxley, Pizza Libretto, Edo Sushi and Lee. Not in any particular order!
A woman of taste. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, Ashley and behalf of my readers, all the best with Invention!
Listen to Ash Koley's new single Brighter at Night below, courtesy of Sony Music Canada: