Check out our interview with Chicago DJ & producer Ashton who is bringing a unique style to the music scene producing bass, tech and experimental house delivering a 4-track experimental house EP “For The People.”
Follow Ashton @ashtonthatsme
Hi Ashton, Please tell us a little about you!
I’m a producer and DJ based out of Chicago. My style of production ranges from tech, bass, and experimental house. I also bring up a saxophone player or vocalist to perform with me during my sets. I strive to give my audience a unique experience that they will never forget.
Describe yourself in 3 words? Your sound in 3 words?
Creative, friendly, and energetic. Catchy, unique, and fun.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
It all started off by going to open decks at a local venue in Chicago. That night I met friends there that I am still close to today. From that night I continued to play shows and meet people in the scene. Eventually, I made a name for myself in the local scene. Now I have played many shows and festivals across the US.
Do you ever get nervous?
When I started out I did get nervous but now It feels natural to be on stage during performances. I cherish the moments that I get to express my art to an audience, there’s nothing else like it.
Which artists and styles inspired and influenced you?
I’m in love with Night Bass. They are the first label and group of artists that I fell in love with. The bass lines, the energy in each song that comes out from them, and the overall vibe that Night Bass has, it’s remarkable.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
At the core of myself I’m not gonna lie I’m a nerd. I love to play video games and watch movies whenever I can.
Best stage you have ever played?
My favorite so far has to be playing at Electric Forest. I played a stage created by Evol Chicago, Ronin Productions, Wub Life, and Bass Station. The stage was in front of the entrance of Electric Forest. It was designed as the backdrop of the Chicago SkyLine.
Funniest/Crazy thing that ever happened at an event?
In 2022 I was at a festival called What Fest in Ohio. I heard a group of people talking about my home town Erie Pennsylvania. We started talking and they said they created a festival out in my hometown called Fire Lights Music Festival. A year later from that conversation, I was booked to play at that festival. It was an amazing feeling to be back home and I got to express my art in front of all of the people I grew up with.
What’s your favorite club to DJ in?
I’d have to say Bass Station. It’s a venue in Waukegan, Illinois. It’s the first venue I ever played at. The vibe and energy at this place are something that most clubs and venues don’t have. Everyone there makes it feel like we’re all family but also have the most creative group of artists I’ve ever been around.
Tell us about your debut EP For The People?
This EP is very special to me. I’ve only released singles so far in my music career and I really wanted to give my following something big. It’s a four-track EP and each song has its own style for any house listener to love.
What’s the story behind the tracks? Do you have a favorite track?
As mentioned before, each song has its own style. The first song “Lose Control” is a collaboration between my two good friends Qualowkey and Saxogene. This song is a saxophone-style house song with a vocal. The second song is “The One”. This is my favorite song on the EP. I like this song so much because it’s about a girl who doesn’t want to fall in love at first but eventually does. The third song is “Drop”. The style of this song is what I truly love producing the most. It’s weird, it has energy but still makes you want to dance. The last song is “Thirsty”. This song has a catchy vocal and will make you want to dance the night away.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
Overall I love being able to express my art to an audience or a listener. It’s an amazing feeling seeing the experience I can bring to people and it makes them happy. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. The least fun part about doing what I do is the grind day in and day out but honestly I’ve learned to love the ride that music has given me. It’s an awesome journey.
What was the first record that you bought?
Enema Of The State by Blink 182. Before I ever listened to EDM I loved and still do love that genre of music. It’s what I grew up listening to.
What’s next for Ashton in 2023?
In 2023 I have many shows coming up and I will also be releasing more music every month. This is going to be a big year for me.
What advice would you give to aspiring producers?
My advice would be to enjoy the ride and never be too hard on yourself. It’s hard at first and in my experience of being around other producers, no one has mastered it yet. You’re expressing your creativity for everyone to hear, there’s nothing better than that.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would have to say to don’t waste your time as much and pick up a skill or hobby to master. I definitely wasted a lot of time in my life and I wish I had the motivation I do now. I’ve grown up a lot and I’ve found what I’m meant to do.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
You’re A Badass by Jen Sincero. It’s a very motivational book. It will help you realize your flaws and give you the advice to change your routine in your daily life. I’d suggest it to anyone.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Manifestation. Everything I’ve done in my life I’ve truly believed in and manifested. The power of believing in anything and speaking it into existence will make it a reality.
How would your best friend describe you?
Loving, fun, and supportive of others.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
AC Slater. I can’t wait to meet him because he created my favorite type of music. He is a pioneer in the music industry and I can’t wait until the day that we meet.
Best advice ever given?
To stay connected with your inner child.
Name one your strengths?
One of my strengths is being outgoing. I’m not shy at all and it has helped me meet many people in the music scene. I love meeting new people and creating friendships.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Doing nothing at all and vegging out all day. Ordering my favorite food while watching football with my girlfriend.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness to me is not having a care in the world and knowing everything will work out if you believe in it.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
I’m obsessed with chocolate.
Where we can follow you?
All my socials are @ashtonthatsme
RAPID FIRE Q’S
Quote: “Keep the change you filthy animal” – Home Alone
Movie: Happy Gilmore
Travel Destination: Japan
Sports Team: Cleveland Browns