a photo Sarah took while at the botanical gardens in Amsterdam today (or yesterday i guess)

a photo Sarah took while at the botanical gardens in Amsterdam today (or yesterday i guess)

Today was awesome. In fact, this whole week back home has been mostly tremendous. It’s taken a few years, but I’m learning how to approach my visits. I feel good about how I’ve spent my time and who I’ve spent it with. I didn’t feel pressure to over-commit or insert myself into stressful or awkward situations. I was a little stressed about the trip for a few reasons, but again, I feel good about the outcome.

Aside from uneasy feelings about seeing family and friends, I was anxious about my time in the studio. My songs were written and arranged ahead of time, but they weren’t conceptualized, so I was approaching the studio with very little idea of what I wanted my songs to actually sound like. This leads me to a breakthrough I feel i accomplished this week.

Style. Sound. Production. Branding. What does Ashton York sound like?


I think largely, I haven’t really defined my sound and because of that, I haven’t been sure how to brand myself. It’s also really difficult to make a record when you literally have no idea what direction you want to go in.

So I’m starting from the bottom. My voice. I don’t believe I have yet found a way to produce my vocals in a way that is complementary to my range and tone, as well consistent and definable. If you’ve listened to my last full length project, this might make sense. I feel like that record doesn’t compliment my voice. It’s like I’ve been trying on different outfits for my voice, but I just haven’t surrendered to it’s naked vulnerability and beauty. So that’s what I’m doing now. Defining my sound.

My quick thoughts on a popular word called branding. Don’t start with the brand Ashton! You can’t fucking conjure up an idea of your image, sound, brand, etc. BRANDING STARTS WITH THE CRAFT. CRAFT DOES NOT START WITH BRANDING. In other words, have something real and honest and natural to offer, and that will define your brand. It starts with the music, not the image. You’re welcome. It took me like five years to realize that. But I finally did. This last week.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Don’t forget who you are, where you came from, and how special you are.

Ashton York