At age 44, Reggae / Culture artiste Neil Sampson is releasing his first extended drama album (EP) called ‘The Journey’, but delighting in the glory of doing so is certainly sweeter for him after the journey long time he had on arriving here.
A slate for ‘The Journey’ is to be released today on 101. FM. Neil explained, and his stage name ‘Ash’ is that the name of his EP comes from the harrowing journey that took him to get to the position today. “It was a long journey getting here; long journey. Hopefully, that journey is not as difficult for any other artiste coming up, ”he said. ‘The Journey’ was recorded and produced by three music studios, Sycamore Studio, Bomb Squad Studio, and Yah Yah Production.
There are seven songs on the EP: “Sing Guyana,” “The Right Thing,” “Rise Anthem,” “History,” “Sunshine,” “Ole Heap A Wish,” and “Hail De King.” Sampson expects “Sing Guyana” to be very popular in the album. The song details Guyana’s rise from poverty to wealth as it relates to his oil discovery.
An artisan by profession, Ash spends all his free time writing songs. To date he has written on average 100 songs or more.
The EP is not the singer’s first musical release. He had dropped his first single “I Love My Baby” almost a decade ago. At that time, he lived and worked in Barbados and recorded the song there.
The Grass Friday team took the singer’s impetus to return to music. He joined the group about a year and a half ago. It was through the team, he said, that he gained recognition for his music and was pushed to keep pursuing the art. Although seven songs are set to release today, Ash has recorded some 22 songs to date.
“It took us a month to record the EP. Most of the evening songs were recorded since her quieter then, ”says the singer.
Ash, who is from Corentyne, spent Berbice some of his boyhood days there before moving to the city. As a boy, he wasn’t too enthralled by music and instead spent most of his time playing cricket and football. He later came to love the art and found he was interested in music somewhere around 1994. Back then he loved Tupac Shakur’s songs and would make remixes of the lyrics to the rapper’s songs. That’s where it all started.
“Music is life. It’s refreshing. It’s an inspiration. It’s a reference. It’s something you look forward to when you’re down or up, ”the singer said.
In terms of musical inspiration, Ash is not overly selective; he said
listens to music by all artistes. What, to him, is more important is the content he listens to. “For me it’s not who’s better or who’s better but what’s better,” he explained.
However, he draws inspiration from insightful music and as such, he sings music that can also be an inspiration to others. Whether by including his songs or the time he uses to write songs for other artists, Ash hopes it helps build other artists.
The artiste is currently working on some other projects that include the release of several other singles. The singles have already been recorded and are only left mixed and include backup singers. However, it cannot yet say when these will be released. Two of the upcoming songs are said to be collaborations between him and several other singers. “Wan Fi See Me Fall” is a collaboration between Ash and Dravinin while “Rise Again – Frass Squad” was made by Ash, Glyon, Kishon, and Nation.
Ash can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Ash Music Official.