Ash Graham
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Ash Graham

Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Alternative Pop

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Ash was invited to perform at the TedX conference in Auckland in august 2013 -


When just four years old Ash Graham knew that he wanted to be a musician. At age six his family chipped in to buy him his first guitar. He took to it like a duck to water, and ever since Ash has been playing and creating songs as if it’s the most natural thing to do. Raised on the Kapiti Coast, he was immersed in jazz, funk and soul music from a very early age.
"I’ve always been a fan of the home talents,” he says, talking about his influences including the likes of Sola Rosa and Noah Slee. Playing with a lot of jazz musicians has also influenced Ash’s music and he seems to combine this with his own unique RnB flavor, intertwining both rock and hip hop beats.

Wellington-based jazz student Petra Bullock adds to the luscious vocals and soulful harmonies that can be heard throughout Ash’s debut ‘Sixth Street Soul’. The EP is rich with memorable melodies and sentimental lyrics and is stylistically far beyond his 19 years. First single Glamour combines conventional melodies and rhythms with eccentric sonic elements, creating an interesting fusion of soul, pop and RnB that acts as a vehicle for his fresh lyrics that tiptoe around ideas of consumerism and image.

Having studied audio engineering, Ash not only has a creative background but a technical one also. The young musician writes, records and produces his own songs and speaks of how this is significant to his music and sets him apart from other artists. Being both the writer and producer means he can play with the order of how he develops his songs and the creative process. At times he starts with beats or samples and at others with his guitar. Either way he is always looking to push the limits of what he knows and be musically innovative and adventurous.

Recently he set himself a goal to write, record and produce one song a day and achieved it without issue, writing and producing over 50 songs inside of just a few months.

This focus, hard work and creativity have already earned Ash numerous achievements including being placed in competitions such as Play It Strange, the University of Auckland Songwriter of the Year Schools Competition and the Teen section of the U.S. International Songwriting Competition. Now with an EP and single under his belt, playing many more shows and an album are next on the horizon. - MZ Musician Magazine


While this blog mainly consist of young treble singers, we also feature young men in their late teens who’s voice has already broken and has developed a clear sounding mature sound. Ash Graham, 16, from New Zealand is one young man who fills this description to a tee. Not only are his vocal abilities astoundingly pleasant, but his musical prowess is enhanced by his song writing capabilities and composing genius.

I first was introduced to Ash on Tommy’s site, Stars2come.com in November of last year! Following an exchange of letters with Ash’s parents I’m happy to now introduce him here on Rivenmaster’s Place.

Ash’s story begins long before he sang his first note. Being in a hurry to come into this world 6 weeks prematurely, Ash showed that he was going to be special from the start. His mom was told that Ash would be in the neo-natal intensive care unit for about a week and would then move into the neo-natal ward, most likely being in hospital until his due date. However, by morning the doctors were stunned at his progress. He was already in the regular neo-natal ward and was doing so well they thought they may be able to move him to the ward with her. By day 3 and he was in the ward with his Mother and following sounds and people around the room.

Since then it’s been all go. Music clearly moved Ash from a young age, he regularly moved to the music whenever it played. At age 3 or 4 he asked for a guitar, but figuring it was a fleeting wish his parents held off. However the requests never stopped, so his uncle sent money from the UK for him to buy a guitar for his 6th birthday. Before Ash had even had his first lesson he was playing Coldplay songs by ear. When lessons followed the following year, it became obvious that Ash was doing so well that his parents needed to move him to a private tutor. He stayed with that tutor for 2 years and completed London College of Music exams for Preliminary and Grade 1, achieving distinction for both exams. Ash was soon catching up to his tutor’s ability so he was moved again to a new tutor who immediately wanted to put him on the same level as his previous tutor. Ash wanting to maintain his “Distinction” level of passing, said he would do Grade 5, he received Distinction for that level as well, including achieving 30/30 for lead playing which is apparently a New Zealand first. Last year Ash completed level 6. This was a huge worry for him as it was his busiest year yet, having his first year of NCEA and his music commitments which made it difficult to balance with school at times. Even with all that to contend with he still achieved Merit on that exam.

Ash’s first public performance was in early 2006 with his band Hybrid. Hybrid was a band formed as part of Thomas Goss’s School of Rock. Right from the start Hybrid was a band that meant business, having one of the most successful EP releases for a School of Rock band. Here is their old Bebo site http://www.bebo.com/hybridrocks.

Ash didn’t start singing in a public forum until Rock Camp 2009 which convened in Auckland. They held a songwriter night and Ash was coaxed by one of his friends to show off one of his songs. Later in the camp he got to sing in front of Jason Kerrison (lead singer of Opshop) and Campbell Smith (CRS Management and CEO of Big Day Out New Zealand). The feedback he received from them was enough for him to finally start believing he could sing.

In February 2010 Ash recorded an EP singing six of his original songs. He entered one of those songs “Routine” into the Zeal singer/songwriter competition in April 2010 achieving 2nd equal. He then entered Play it Strange national secondary schools song writing competition coming in 3rd Place!



You can purchase Ash’s single on I-tunes! Please go there now and support Ash by downloading this great song!


In October 2010 he entered the Coastlands Star Search talent competition and was awarded 1st place in the seniors. This year Ash again entered the Pla - Rivenmaster


Ash Graham is an amazing singer/songwriter out of New Zealand. No one gets more original than Ash. This young performer plays only originals, no covers. While most are covering the top forty, he is making his mark with all originals, and doing a fantastic job.

Ash only started singing a few years ago, and really not that much vocal training, just a small amount through his local school and a lady Angel Walker, a lead singer for a Auckland band A Beautiful Chaos. For someone with little training he is doing very well, with a good clear sound and great control. Once he got his guitar at age six he has not stopped. He was playing Coldplay songs by ear before he had his first lesson.

Ash is a great performer, his first performance was at Wellington Performing Arts centre with Hybrid. Hybrid is his former band. How ever he just started performing solo about a year ago at Rock Camp, followed by a performance at Zeal in Wellington. One of his most favorite performances was in the Beehive at Parliament. He does love every show he does, and he loves to share his music.





Ash started writing his own songs when he was eleven. He doesn`t really like doing covers, he likes to make the song from beginning to end. He gets his ideas come from many places, but mostly from things relevant to him. Earlier this year he came in second place in a songwriting competition at Zeal in Wellington, then he came in third in the Play it Strange secondary schools songwriting competition. Although he has not made an appearance on TV yet, he has applied for NZ on Air funding in hopes of making a music video of his song "Routine", he is waiting to see if he will be successful. Also keep check at iTunes for his song "Routine", it will be for sale there soon.

For Ash, music is his life, this is who he is as a person. He does not pretend to be someone he is not, what you get from him is just Ash. He wants to put out songs the people can relate to and remember, they must have meaning. He says, when it comes to music, it is like it chose him rather than him choosing music. He is going to be one to keep an eye on, he has the ambition and drive to make something big come out of his music. Ash is quite skilled at writing, and with that great tone in his voice, it is not going to be long before the world is talking about Ash Graham around the dinner table.
- Stars2come


Ash Graham appeared on Good Morning Television for an interview and in studio performance of Streetlights. - TVNZ


Discography

Calling - Single (2014)

Ride - Collaboration - Single (2014) 

Sixth St Soul - EP (2013)

TKM - Single (2013)

Sunday We Mourn - Single  (2012)

EP - These Simple Words

People of Black and White - NZ Olympic Committee Album.

Routine - 3rd in Play it Strange Comp

Photos

Bio

At just 19 Ash Grahams songs show a maturity that is quite beyond his years and his first EP Sixth Street Soul, released in August 2013, shows a developed progression in his music, and saw him working with the likes of Andrew Spraggon (Sola Rosa). The two singles off that EP, Matter of Time and Glamour received great feedback from radio  in NZ.

Its 2014 and hes not slowing down.  In April he released a collaborative Hip Hop track Ride.  This saw him working with the No Problemos and Kaaia Smith and it remained in the top 5 for the entire month of the Auidences charts. 

This May hes released his track Calling as part of the Beck Beer NZ Music Month collection and already the buzz is building.

In June he will be releasing the first track off his new EP with the EP release to follow in August and a tour in late August through September.

Already, Ash has played support for a diverse bunch of artists from I am Giant to Anna Coddington to Shihad and hes played everything from major NZ festivals to back rooms. Ash's music has a hook that keeps you wanting to come back for more and this October/November Ash is heading out on the road to take his music to audiences across the North Island.

Band Members