When I first came across Theo Parrish's Flowers EP it was my initial introduction to Andrew Ashong. Gordon Mac, Kiss FM founder, now managing director of Mi-Soul Radio handed a copy of the track to play on my show and said "Ed you need to check this out". After I played it I was buzzing with excitement and mentioned to a DJ friend who described Andrew's sound as "just incredible". There was a mutual connection as my friend explained that he has known Andrew for quite some time and bumped into him at a friends wedding. A spooky but well justified connection.
I listened to Special and other forthcoming tracks which were featured on a promo sampler and was blown away by Andrew's authentic and contemporary sound. His story is organic and unique in every sense. Originally from Forest Hill via Ghana, Andrew and I have a bona fide connection through Ghanaian family roots. Andrew defies the status quo and general Black and Urban Music stereotypes by not delivering a fast food watered down expectant "R'n'b, Hip Hop or Bashment" sound. It's the complete opposite as Andrew explores the world of eclecticism through Funk, Soul, Folk, High Life and acoustic sounds. It would be unjust and inappropriate to place Andrew's sound into a particular genre or definition.
I was keen to interview and find out more about Andrew so I contacted him directly through his personal Facebook page and asked if he would like to join me as a guest on my weekly daytime Mi-Soul Radio show. I wasn't expecting a prompt reply as Andrew's diary was crammed with lots of engagements and forthcoming shows across Europe.
So I was honoured and stoked when I got a reply. Andrew agreed and I had to liaise with his manager and publicist. We finally got a date booked in. Andrew headed down to Mi-Soul Radio HQ based at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in South East London. At first he got the dates muddled up and tweeted to inform me he was enroute. When he arrived we got into mid conversation about a number of topics then Andrew mentioned my geeky obsession about London Buses "You're a bus geek aren't you?" which completely shocked me as he listened to an interview I did on the Robert Elms Show about my obsession last year.
Inspired by the love of his Dad's music collection and Ghanaian roots I began to get a clear and deeper understanding of Andrew. A modest character, with an enriching manner, very humble, laid back, eloquent to say the least and respectful for the opportunity to get his music to a wider audience.
Andrew Ashong's self titled EP is available now from most outlets. You can listen again to my Radio & TV interview with Andrew broadcast on Mi-Soul in full by clicking on the links below.