An Interview With The Tel Aviv Based Singer-Songwriter, SHLOMI ASH On His Latest Music, Dream Music Video and More!
Posted On 22 Feb 2019
Meet the Tel Aviv-based musician, Shlomi Ash! He is certainly one of the most interesting artists to rise from Tel Aviv’s burgeoning indie music scene. Ash is musically inspired by such legends as Johnny Cash, Jeff Buckley and Robert Johnson.
He has worked with producer Chris Potter (The Verve, The Rolling Stones, Blur) on his newest single “Taking Me Over.” The track has been compared to the likes of Oasis, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.
Shlomi has been featured on Hype Machine, Glamglare, Little Indie Blogs, Music Musings & Such and Variety Magazine.
Check out his newest single, “Taking Me Over” on Spotify!
Connect With Shlomi Ash Online Here:
Learn more about Shlomi Ash in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Chilling at home actually. Winter is at full speed now in Tel Aviv with rain pouring hard throughout the weekend, which is really rare and beautiful. So it’s a great time to just stay home, cook a stew and watch some TV, which is what I’ve been doing.
Now that 2019 has started, what musical goals do you have for yourself and your music this new year? Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
Oh yeah, tons of goals. The main thing is to get the music in front of as many people as possible. I’ve been quite amazed by the support we got so far from all around the world, from Australia to Pakistan and California. My band & I believe we have something really special with the music we’ve been working on, and we can’t wait to share it with as many people as possible, so performing in a festival or two and releasing new music are the main goals. I’ve got so many songs I wrote over the years and never released – it’s really time to start sharing it all.
Growing up, how important has music been in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make? Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what could you see yourself doing?
Up until I was about 10 or 11 I couldn’t care less about music. I mean, it was always around, on the radio at home or in the car while driving with my father, but it wasn’t a big part of my life. It all changed though when I heard the Beatles’ blue album. I was just blown away by it, I had no idea music could be so strong and uplifting. It was something else, even for 10 year old me. Ever since then I started to play any instrument I could get a hold of – guitars, pianos, harmonicas, ANYTHING to try and imitate the feeling I got listening to that album, and the tons of music I listened to ever since. It took me a lot of years though to feel like I really belonged in this world, I probably wrote dozens of songs until I decided to make it a main thing in my life, which is why I come to music from a different place than many younger musicians. I did quite a lot of things before music, worked anywhere from a gas station to the 40th floor of a big business tower. I also traveled all over the world before I began recording and performing. That is also the answer to your last question I guess – I did other things, but nothing ever came close to writing music, not for me anyways.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest surprise was that there’s hardly any more drugs in rock n’ roll! what’s up with that?? 😊 on a more serious note, though, what surprised me most of all is that most people in the music world really care about music. It sounds obvious, but it wasn’t to me. I thought show business was full of, well, business people making decisions that had nothing to do with the music itself, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Almost everyone I worked with in the past 2 years have been obsessed with music and everything it represents. The truly talented people always put the music first. As to an unexpected challenge, I think it was finding the right musicians to play with live. I thought it would be easy but it really takes time to find the right people, it’s really like a marriage and you have to make sure you have the right chemistry, or at least that you love the same basketball team or something
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live now?
That’s a good question. I grew up in a suburb of Tel Aviv called Rishon, which means I was close to the big city on the one hand, but also extremely far from it mentally at the same time. I didn’t have the “exciting” childhood that my friends from Tel Aviv had, and I also didn’t come from a particularly wealthy family or anything, so I had quite an ordinary childhood, going to the small cinema at the center of town, playing music at my friends’ house after school, falling in and out of love, these sort of things. In a way that’s what my music is all about, the simple stuff, these moments when you learn what friendship is, or what love is. This is where my fire comes from
Let’s talk about your single “Taking Me Over.” What was the inspiration for it? What was it like working with your producer Chris Potter on it?
For me it’s all about getting your shit together and doing what you know you’re meant to do – getting back on the horse. It took me way too long to realize music is my main goal in life and do something about it, and this song is all about that urge that YOU know exist, but no one else really does. As to Chris, well, the guy is a legend. He has the tenacity of a bull and the tenderness of an old friend. He’s also a genius, so it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him. My only problem was that he wears the same pair of Adidas shoes every single day, everywhere he goes. But that’s an English thing, I guess.
When do you hope to release more music a full album of new songs? Is that something you are working towards this year?
I recorded 11 songs with Chris that we’re really proud of, so there’s a lot coming. We plan on releasing my 2nd single, Wake Up, globally in the coming months, and another one after that, so stay tuned. I also have dozens of other songs I work on all the time, every chance I get ,so you’re going to hear from me for quite a while now..
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
It started out being very weird and unnatural to me. I was born in the late 80’s so I can still remember a time people used payphones to call home – I definitely wasn’t an Instagram or Twitter addict before starting to make music. I do, however, feel that Instagram is a pretty cool way to interact with people. I’m not a male model and I’m not gonna share my 6-pack anytime soon, but I do love photography, and also stories are a very creative platform if you learn how to make the best out of it.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
There are several musicians that never cease to amaze me, every time I listen to them. Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, Robert Johnson and Springsteen are just a few examples of singer-songwriters who posses an eternal quality in their music – their songs will always be relevant, no matter the time or the circumstances, and that’s what inspires me most of all. I also think there are some great musicians in the UK and the US at the moment. The 1975, for example, are quite brilliant in their own unique way, and Maggie Rogers is a great new singer-songwriter in my opinion. I’d love to work with either of those.
Where can fans see you perform next? Do you have any kind of a 2019 tour scheduled yet?
I currently have some shows planned in the Tel Aviv area, and plan some shows in Europe towards the end of the summer. So stay tuned for that!
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
That’s a brilliant question. I always had this idea of doing a huge video production where thousands of people do a marathon across different locations, kinda like Forrest Gump, all while singing a song, as the camera cuts to a different person every other line. Something even crazier would be shooting a video from a spaceship looking down on earth, as I always been a space aficionado – that would be splendid. One day 😊
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Definitely my acoustic guitar. It’s the obvious answer, but also the only one as far as I’m concerned. My guitar has always been there for me, since I was maybe 10 years old. I picked it up after every important event in my life, good or bad, just trying to make sense of it all with some chords and a melody. I imagine that’s what I would do while stranded on an island as well, even if it means writing songs about monkeys and coconuts and stuff for the rest of my life.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Another brilliant question, but also an extremely difficult one. It is the golden age of TV shows, isn’t it? So much to choose from. Well, I equally enjoy extremely dark shows and Kitsch teen dramas, so something like Fargo, The Rain or Black Mirror would be great, but also teen comedies/dramas like The End of the Fucking World or Stranger Things would be a really good fit for some of the tracks I believe.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
All I could hope for is that people learn something from it or get some comfort and fun out of it. That’s what music always did for me, in ways I can’t even explain, and I would be grateful if even one person would get that same feeling from listening to my songs.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Just that singer-songwriter guitar music is here to stay, it’s not going anywhere. I hear too much talk these days about it being a thing of the past, but there are still great singer songwriters who aspire to make something true and eternal, and that’s never going away. I personally have tons of things I want to say – about my childhood, the place I grew up in, the things I learned through life. There’s a lot more coming. The train only just left the station.