(Foreword: Written as a friend, like an older brother)
I love music, and I have a very very personalized taste in music. Alana has started to get used to it. I’ve assimilated her to K-Pop already! While my favorite genres are probably R&B, k-pop, and soundtracks (video games, anime, and movies) there is tons of other stuff I like to listen to. I have my favorite artists like everybody else and then there are tons of songs that I can just listen to and never need to know the artist, such as all those easy-listening-natural-waves-in-the-background ambiance tracks. Eventually, I’ll do some posts on favorite workout songs and favorite artists in more detail, a introduction to k-pop so that people new to it don’t just associate it with PSY, and who knows what else.
In the meantime, I would like to introduce to you an artist on the rise, a truly talented vocalist whose passion for music cannot easily be matched. When you watch American Idol, X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, or the Voice, you see countless passionate individuals that just unfortunately don’t have the vocal prowess or musical skills to live up to their desire to succeed in the music industry. Nowadays, it’s hard to support yourself as a singer. Even if you have the vocals, the skills, the ability to write, the ability to play an instrument, and even the charisma to get up in front of a crowd… you need a lucky break. There are tons of deserving individuals that are far more talented than successful artists in the industry because they haven’t had that break. And then you have individuals that work endlessly to create their own lucky break. More of less, that is what I see when I think about my friend, Ashton Parson.
Ashton grew up in Cheraw, South Carolina, raised by his absolutely amazing and loving mother. Ashton was born with raw talent in the form of an unexpected voice that you would never see coming. Ashton’s love for music and ability to stand in front of a crowd brought him to various competitions as he grew up in the South. With a vast interest in the music industry and artists from all genres, especially those from Great Britain (Ashton knew who Jessie J and Adele were before anyone else), Ashton sought to live his life doing what he loves.
With that, Ashton came to the Bronx and attended Manhattan College, hoping that being in New York City would lead to his lucky break. While at Manhattan, Ashton’s vocals were featured at countless sporting events, as the school’s go-to-guy for the National Anthem. Ashton sang everywhere, making sure to maintain and improve his ability. Ashton even entertained one of his RAs, me, with some amazing sessions in the residence hall. We spent hours singing, making acoustic versions of every good British and American r&b or pop songs. I felt lucky enough to be able to sing with him, since we were in totally different leagues.
And I knew, that one day, he would be famous.
Ashton left Manhattan and the Bronx to attend the New School. He found himself in Brooklyn, a great place for aspiring artists. Ashton is one of the most likable people I have ever known, and he used his charm and well-mannered self to gain friendship’s with prominent individuals in the music industry. Nevertheless, Ashton kept grinding, working shows downtown and in the Village, performing every week whenever he could to do what he loved and get his name out there. Ashton started loading his Myspace and YouTube channel with amazing new videos and track recordings. Some tracks, that I thought were pure gold, were never even released. His Twitter never stopped… tweeting.
And finally, I was relieved to find his tracks on iTunes. I have studio versions and raw recordings from our sessions and his professional sessions, but these are mastered and top notch. You can find his first single, Rolling Stone, and his first EP, a four track classic entitled Walk on the Water, on iTunes now. It’s a well spent four dollars. The songs are all different, unlike some of the recent platinum albums that feature recycled beats, like Kanye’s 808&Heartbreaks. His vocals are rich and his range is grand. The lyrics are meaningful and honest, the beats are catchy, and the feeling is good.
He should record the next soundtrack for True Blood. You can feel the South in his music. Hopefully, this album can pick up some steam, months and years after being recorded, like many greats in the past. And hopefully, Ashton can find himself signed to a label that can support him in the near future so that we have the opportunity to listen to his amazing voice.
Please consider watching his YouTube videos and buying his music on iTunes. It’s well worth it, especially compared to the garbage on the radio now.