News RnB 11/10/2017

Introducing ash.Øk

Introducing ash.Øk

New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Philadelphia producer ash.ØK weaves disparate threads of genre - electronica, trap, hip-hop, folk, blues, and ambient - into a fine tapestry of sonic innovation. Straddling cultures as a first-generation Indian American hailing from Philly, ash.ØK (Ashok Kailath) was as influenced by gritty boom bap of artists like Nas, Pharcyde, and Notorious B.I.G. as by the ancient music of his parent's Indian Catholic heritage. The incongruity of continental divide and generations is what forges ash.ØK's distinct sound, merging traditional Eastern themes and chord progressions with rich urban compositions of layered complexity.

As a diligent student of music theory, piano, and guitar songwriting from a young age, ash.ØK later organized his church choir and covertly buried melodies by 2Pac and Wu-Tang in musical interludes between hymns. While adults in the congregation were oblivious, ash.ØK and his church peers reveled in the incongruity of East Coast hip-hop infused seamlessly into solemn Antiochian music separated by continents and decades.

As a young teen, ash.ØK scraped together money to take his junky Casio keyboard to an analog recording studio primarily servicing heavy metal and rock musicians. He and a drummer friend recorded a four-track demo he describes as "sappy love songs from a teenage brain." The process was transformative for ash.ØK: he was entranced by the meticulous inner workings of the studio and began methodically studying music theory, production, and song development while building out a full recording workspace that housed a soundproof recording booth and equipment dedicated to further honing his skills as a producer.

As a diligent student in the craft of production, sound engineering, and sequencing, ash.ØK debuted his first self-recorded full-length rap album on iTunes while still in college. The album featured multiple collaborations, including renowned Philly turntablist Onedependent, Brandon Young from HBO's The Wire, and Naledge of Kidz in the Hall and set him apart as a melodic producer with a keen mastery of live instrumentation and samples.

His latest album, The Unraveled, examines themes of melancholia and the dissolution of love within intimate relationships. Through the use of opposing perspectives, ash.ØK embraces polarized storytelling of different factions as relationships shatter at pressure points and deteriorate from internal conflicts of the individual and their character over time. This theme is brought home in deftly crafted, artfully arranged, and lushly layered textiles of sound. With lost whispers, harmonies, and artifacts from the recording process buried deep in the mix, ash.ØK produces with this sense of discovery in mind: there are layers of complexity in the repetition.

The Unraveled begets critical mass in its fusion of disparate genres with orchestral elements, instrumentation, and synth production. The album, which ash.ØK produced over a period of two years, features collaborations with notable artists from Los Angeles, New York, Peru, and the Philippines, some of whom have performed with Hans Zimmer, A.R. Rahman, Ariana Grande, and Foo Fighters. The Unraveled was engineered by Grammy-winning Jeff Chestak (Kanye West, T.I., Linkin Park, N.E.R.D., Justin Timberlake) and Ryan Schwabe (King Britt, Baauer, Ellie Goulding, RJD2).

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