Ashleyi is a recording artist and movement instigator from West London, and one of the hardest workers in the game. With his own up and coming record label Do It Yaself Entertainment, Ashleyi has garnered over a million views on Youtube with his memorable Hip Hop refixes (listen to our favourite below). Ashley has just released a fresh mixtape entitled 12 Days Of HipHop, which utilises reworks of classic 90s instrumentals to showcase his unique London sound. Give it a listen above!
We spoke to Ashley about his current situation and projects – read more below!
Tell us a bit about yourself – What ends are you from? Where did you grow up/ where are you based now?
I am a recording artist that creates musical experiences for the world to enjoy. My goal with my music is to motivate, inspire and entertain people. I started doing music at the age of 12, and have always had a passion for music. I grew up in a area called Hayes which is in West London.
Tell us about the name – where is Ashleyi from?
I got the name Ashleyi back when I was in year one (infant school) – there was two Ashley’s in the class one being me and another one who second name began with P. Now he was white and I was black so how my teacher would depreciate us was by calling him Ashley P and me Ashleyi which is first entitle of my second name.
Give us a basic outline of your journey through music so far – when/how did you come into being an artist, and what has happened up to this point?
I started rapping when I was 13 – at that time most people my age and older where doing Grime music. I had a lot to say even back then and I was very comfortable on HipHop beats. When I was 16 I went on a one week music course at Westminster University – during this course I got my first proper introduction to how the music business works. I had some knowledge about the business but what I learned in those classes changed my life. From that day I wanted to start my own record company and pursue music as a career. Since then I have gone through my ups and downs, struggled to get support from the gate keepers in the uk urban/Underground scene. So in 2009 I started my own independent label called Do It Ya Self Entertainment. Although I founded imprint in 2009 I did not start building the imprint until 2012 after I graduated from University. Since then I have had a quite successful YouTube campaigns generating over 1.1 million views. I have just released my third official project called “12 Days Of HipHop”
And I’m just trying to find creative ways to get my music to people.
Are there any crews/ collectives you’ve worked with in the past and/or work with now?
Are there any particular artists from back in the day that particularly inspired you?
Yeah of course I was inspired by Tupac Shakur, 50 cent and G-unit, Cassidy, Sway – I could go on for years!
What are your plans for the next year and further? Are there any upcoming projects you want me to shoutout?
My plans is to put out a EP and push my single off 90s Flow and to try take my brand and imprint to the next level. As well bring change to the music game.
If you could work with any UK MC or producer right now that you haven’t already, who would it be?
I would like to work with Ed Sheeran he’s a true artist That’s about the art! And I’m the same I think me and him could make something timeless.
UK urban seems to be going through a very healthy patch at the minute – are there any artists nationwide that you’re particularly feeling right now?
I’m feeling Ed Sheeran and Disclosure – even through they are not classed under the “urban” category, they’re making great music that’s culturally connecting. I’ve always been a fan of Giggs; I think he done it the best. He had a big buzz! Hot mixtapes and he made a freestyle that became a hit in the clubs! And it was over a Dre beat he took a Stat Quo track and turned it into something that no UK rapper has been able to do – took American song and made it better than the original.