After the recent release of his debut solo project, 1991, Golden Age Babies producer, Ashcon, took the time to speak to me about the process behind its creation and how he wants the use it as a platform onto bigger things…
- What was the main inspiration behind creating 1991 and how long has it taken to complete?
“Listening to instrumental albums like ‘Petestrumentals’ by Pete Rock, and all of J Dilla’s unheard beat tapes just made me want to make an instrumental album of my own. The idea behind this project was to make beats that weren’t only a good listen, but would also inspire rappers to write too. Some of the beats I made about a year ago, back when I didn’t know I was making an album, but once I knew I was making it for an album it only took a few months to complete. So overall probably like a year, I guess.”
- Did your creative process differ when putting the project together knowing you had the intention of the tracks being part of your first official release?
“To be honest, the creative process was very similar to how I usually work; just listening to samples, recording them into my MPC, getting the illest drum patterns going and then finally completing the beat in Logic Pro. This was the way I worked for this album, but sometimes I do like to make beats in just Logic and not even touch the MPC, but I felt like I wanted to try something different with ‘1991’ and have an entirely MPC made album. I do think because this is the first release, that maybe was why I wanted it to be more Hip Hop, because no matter what music I end up doing in the future, this will always be what got me into making music.”
- Why did you feel an instrumental project was more appropriate than one with featured guests?
“I felt like an instrumental album was a great way to start my discography, as I am a producer after all. But, I wanted to use this project as the gateway to a guest featured album/EP, so the next project I release will be either an EP or album with featured guests. I don’t want to start naming artists, but I think the majority of the people on it will be people I have a relationship with. However, I might get a surprise guest feature or two, so be on the look out for that. And the next project might have more of a modern edge to it but still with my own sound.”
- Do you have a favourite track on the project?
“I like all the tracks just as much as each other, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be ‘The Mazda’. There’s just something about the sample on that track, the way the vocal sample just goes up and down in pitch and I captured a perfect swing on that too with very little editing having to be done. Saying that though, I do really like ‘Jazzy Vibes’ and ‘Birds Sing’. So, they would be a few of my favourites on ‘1991’.”
- What are you hoping listeners can take from this project?
“I purposely made the album quite short because it’s a instrumental project, so I hope people can listen to it without skipping tracks and just enjoy it from a listening standpoint. I also wanted it to be something that emcees could easily rhyme over despite the length of the tracks. I also hope people can hear the influences of the mid 90’s boom bap sound and I hope it gives them a wave of nostalgia. If it does all those things then I think I did my job on this project.”