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Interview with dj & producer Ashley Wallbridge about his debut album The Inner Me

 One of the finest EDM albums released this year is definitely “The Inner Me” by the dj and producer  Ashley Wallbridge on the most successful global dance label Armada Music in Amsterdam Holland. His album is a proof that this young, cute and talented, energetic and extremely hardworking dj is shaped to become one of dance music's hottest prospects for 2012. This year marks his best so far as “The Inner Me” will reach thousands of EDM fans on a global scale so his chances to get bookings to play all over the world are higher than ever as he will tour the continents to promote the fruit of his passionate work for 1 year and a half.
      “The Inner Me” will change any preconceptions that you may have in mind for Ashley as a result of his unforgettable anthems such as Faces along with Andy Moor and the last summer anthem with the melody to die for, Vision on AVA recordings as well. His tracks are heavily supported by A list djs including his close friend Armin van Buuren who has a major influence in the development of Ashley’s career. His album is a blissful life changing journey that contains tracks that their common strong point is their very strong melodic themes that sound original and deeply emotional and heart touching. “The Inner Me” surprised me positively as is for the unsuspected listener a massive revelation about the abilities of that talented British producer and dj of course. The tracks in the cd are sequenced so there is no gap between them and this will make even more enjoyable your listening experience as the one track is tied up with the other so beautifully that at the end of it you even have the sense that you were listening one track that lasted for nearly 80 minutes. If you expect to get a full on clubbing album it’s better to reconsider it cause “The Inner Me” is what we term as a concept artist album with wide  variety of influences and styles that attempts to translate with sound the “The Inner Self” of Ashley.  It’s an album that is mainly produced for home or car listening. There are plenty of big room uplifting progressive trance moments that his fellow djs would love to incorporate in their sets. They should wait a little bit more to get the extended club versions of the tracks of the album.     
After getting exposed to his album that had an emotional impact on me It was impossible not to request for an interview in order to understand through his answers who is the person that is hidden behind those absolutely stunning tracks. I strongly recommend you firstly to listen to his album and then to read his answers. You are going to feel what I was going through too. Cause when you listen The Inner Me its hard to avoid to start searching in the internet to find additional information about who is Ashley Wallbridge.
I’m very pleased to present you, the dj and producer Ashley Wallbridge

Interview is written and conducted by Dimitri Kechagias, Music Journalist, Radio & Club Dj.

Dimitri: When and where you were born? Are you part of a family that has any kind of connection with music or other arts?

Ashley Wallbridge: I was born on 28th February 1987 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in the United Kingdom. My family are all very musical, especially my father and brother, my father plays the piano and brother plays the guitar, great for when we have family parties!

Dimitri: Do you have the support of your parents to pursue your musical career as Dj and producer or do they wish to see you doing a normal job such as bank clerk for example?

Ashley Wallbridge: My parents support me with my career choice and always have done, DJ and producer is not a job it is a passion for me and they understand this and support me all the way, they think it’s great that I am so passionate about music.

Dimitri: Can you recall for us the 3 classic EDM tracks that have shaped you as an artist and you believe that have the major influence upon your productions and sound?
Ashley Wallbridge: I wouldn’t particularly choose a certain track, I have always been a massive fan of all styles of music not just EDM, I feel my sound is a fusion of the sounds I love, I like mixing it up and crossing genres.

Dimitri: Is it possible to list for us the Top 5 djs or EDM producers that have the major impact  in your style of your productions and your general stance in the EDM scene? Please provide  a short comment about each of them and particularly if they have helped you personally to open the possibilities of your career?

Ashley Wallbridge: Again I can’t really choose top 5 DJS or producers as there are a lot of talented people out there. Most of the time an idea for a track will pop into your head when you least expect it, when I make music I try to keep things a little bit different but also enjoyable at the same time, you are never going to please everybody with what you do, but Eric Prydz is a massive inspiration for my self and a mentor.

Dimitri: Do you have professional training in music or are you self-taught? Do you think is very important for a young producer to attend music composition classes or you feel as many people do that formal training kills creativity and innovation and nowadays its easier to learn to produce with amateur video tutorials from you tube?

Ashley Wallbridge: I am self taught, I got into music from the age of 11, I personally think help goes a long way, but you can not teach creativity that is all down to the producer and it also goes on how passionate they are about music, if you have all this is as a young producer then you will go far and live your dream.
Dimitri: Of course you manage to establish what we term nowadays the Ashley Wallbridge  sound. Is it possible to define that sound and let us know if you are trance/progressive or in more general terms an eclectic EDM artist?
Ashley Wallbridge:  I’m an EDM artist, EDM music is not just one style of music it is a variety of different styles and sounds this is what I love about EDM. I think the best way to describe my sound is a fusion of progressive and trance with a dash of house and electro.. I love creating a variety of styles which I feel comes across in my album.

Dimitri:  Is it possible to pin point for our readers the most important and most decisive turn points in your career that you believe had a massive impact in your  progress and road to success?
Ashley Wallbridge: Hmm, I think it was just making different music and getting it out there. When I sat in the studio I always tried to create something a little different than the normal EDM style out there. My advice to someone who is looking to start producing music would be to be original in your ideas, try and be different and create something which isn’t out there at the moment….

Dimitri: Your album The Inner Me just released on Armada Music. Why you choose this particular title for the album; Is there a special meaning to it; Did you had any other ideas for title of the album and if possible to reveal some of those wanna be titles of the album?
Ashley Wallbridge: I chose the title “The Inner Me” because I am showing my true colors, this means a lot to me as all the tracks on the album have a purpose and a meaning, they have a story behind them, the title “The Inner Me” is perfect to show off the different variety of styles of songs on the album.
Dimitri: How long it took you to complete this album and I wonder if it was an easy task to accomplish it?
Ashley Wallbridge:  It took 1.5 years to complete my album “The Inner Me” it was not an easy task to accomplish as I wanted it to be perfect and show everybody my true colour’s. But I enjoyed every moment making this album as it means a lot to me.

Dimitri: Can you recall for us the most unforgettable moment that you had in the studio while you produce this excellent album?
Ashley Wallbridge: Sending the final copy of the album to Armada my label, as that gave me a great feeling of achievement and satisfaction.
Dimitri: It would be great to give us a short comment about each track of your album and what it means to you. Please recall any incident that may happened while you produce it and influences or life situations that may had an impact on it.
Ashley Wallbridge:

01 Emotions- This track is full of all the emotions I was feeling at the time when I made this track, hence why the name of the track is called Emotions.
02 These Walls (feat. Elleah)- If you listen to the lyrics in this song you will understand what it is on about, it is an emotional track and touches everybody.
03 Kopanang (feat. Kobalt Infusion)- Kopanang is a beautiful place in Thailand, Google it, look at the beach and what inspiration that gives you.
04 Carefull- This is taken from a certain point in my life, so I felt the need to share it and inspire other people with this track like it has done with me.
05 Zorro- Got the inspiration after watching the film Zorro, it’s full of action, fun and romance, so this inspired me too produce a track and put all that into a song.
06 Faces (with Andy Moor feat. Meighan Nealon) (Progressive Remix)- This was the track that kick started my career, it would have been rude not too put this on my album and not to do a remix as I have a history with this track.
07 Soul Seek- I was inspired by my fiancé, she had a lot of bad stuff going on in her life and I tried to help out the best I could so I decided to make a track that resembles her and that soon put a smile back on her face!
08 Vision- I made this after playing in the club vision in Chicago as I had an amazing time there it was one of the best gigs of 2011, so when I got back home I wrote the track as I had a lot of ideas flowing around my head after that gig.
09 Meta4- This was originally a classical piece for the album, I played around with electronic elements on the track and it worked really well so I changed it from soft to a club track and it worked perfect together.
10 Mumbai Traffic- I was on the way home I was stuck in traffic in the back of a taxi in Mumbai in India, and I got the inspiration from that, so I took out my laptop in the back of the taxi and started working on this track, I also had other inspirations for this track while I was in India, this has a great story behind it.
11 Keep The Fire (feat. Elleah)- This track was the quickest turn around I made it in the space of two days, I thought of the melody one morning and it stuck in my head, so I decided to test it and I contacted Elleah with the idea and she automatically knew what she was going to Wright when she heard the demo, within twelve hours she sent me back the complete vocals and within 48 hours the track was completed.
12 Ibiza-  I got inspired for this track after playing my debut in space Ibiza, the day after I played me and manager were on the beach relaxing before my flight home and the idea came into my head, so on the way home I put the idea into my laptop and got into the studio and wrote the tune.
13 Waiting For The World To Turn (with Andy Moor feat. Gabby)- Andy Moor has always been a good mate of mine, I wanted Andy to work with me on a song for the album, it took 1.5 years to make this track and it was one of the first tracks to be completed for the album. I always have fun and a laugh with Andy when we have done a collaboration together, This shows in the track.
14 Bang The Drum (feat. Audrey Gallagher)- Always been a big fan of Audrey Gallagher so I approached her with this track and she was delighted and excited to work with me.
15 Feel Again (feat. Matias Lehtola)- I wanted to do something different from what I have done before and from my other songs I have produced on the album, I wanted to show everybody a different side to my personality.

Dimitri: Did you had the chance to road test all the tracks or the majority of the tracks of the album? Have you changed for the better any tracks that didn’t perform so well in your dj set or nowadays is more important the feedback you get in the social media?
Ashley Wallbridge:  The album tracks are a lot more different than club tracks I had to get the balance right, so yes all the tracks were road tested I also handed out some of my tracks from the album to close friends, family and DJS. People such as my brother, my fiancé, my mum and dad, my best friend, Armin van Burren, Gareth emery, Andy moor and a few others got to hear bits and pieces here and there. They all gave me constructive feedback and criticism. I took all this on board and made slight adjustments or left them as they were.
Dimitri: Now that the album is out and already part of the digital collections of many EDM fans by looking back at it do you wish to have done something differently? Add or deduct any track from it maybe or you feel 100% sure that you gave 100% of your abilities and creative resources to complete it?
Ashley Wallbridge: No, I am 100% happy with my album “The Inner Me”. I put a variety of different styleson there, I felt this album has done me proud to show my true colors to everybody, I hope you all feel the same.
Dimitri: Are you going to support this album with a club tour as well? Are there any ideas for special club shows with special lighting effects and decorations that will highlight the concept of The Inner Me?
Ashley Wallbridge:  Yes all shows from now on will have an ‘Inner Me’ concept with special visuals the rest is a secret, so come a long to one of my gigs to find out what surprises I have in store ;)
Dimitri: Are  you active and passionate user of the  internet and the social networks? Everyone nowadays talks about the facebook or twitter generation after the MTV generation. Do you believe in the importance of facebook or you feel is a bit exaggerated and overhyped from the media?
Ashley Wallbridge: Yes I am a passionate user of facebook and twitter, this is very important these days 90% of all marketing, PR and communication is done over the Internet.

Dimitri: What is your opinion about the explosion of radio shows hosted by well-known djs and online radio stations? Do you have your own radio show and have you noticed that the radio show  helped you to increase your fan base?
Ashley Wallbridge: Radio shows and podcasts are always helpful in this industry especially if you are from Europe, America and etc because it gets aired worldwide so it brings everybody together and this can also help unknown DJS, for example, when Armin van Burren plays a track on A State Of Trance it is automatically recognized all over the world, I think this it is an amazing way to share music with people worldwide, it makes a lot of people happy and makes there day seem brighter.
Dimitri: What other things you enjoy doing except of course producing music or listening other producers music?
Ashley Wallbridge:  I enjoy spending time with my family, fiancé and friends, as I do not get a lot of free time, so when I do I try to make the most of seeing my family and fiancé as they are also very important in my life. I also like to keep active I love boxing so when I can I try to take part in this sport with a close friend of mine.

Dimitri: Many thanks for the interview, please give us your message to the people who will read this interview.
Ashley Wallbridge:  It has been a pleasure doing this interview, many thanks for your continued support throughout the years I would not be where I am today without all you guys supporting me. If you have not already done so check out the album “The Inner Me” on iTunes and I hope you all enjoy listening to the album as much as I enjoyed making it!!!
Many thanks to Marije de Konink from the Armada Music offices for her great support to organize this interview.

"The Inner Me" Tracklist
01 Emotions
02 These Walls (feat. Elleah)
03 Kopanang (feat. Kobalt Infusion)
04 Carefull
05 Zorro
06 Faces (with Andy Moor feat. Meighan Nealon) (Progressive Remix)
07 Soul Seek
08 Vision
09 Meta4
10 Mumbai Traffic
11 Keep The Fire (feat. Elleah)
12 Ibiza
13 Waiting For The World To Turn (with Andy Moor feat. Gabby)
14 Bang The Drum (feat. Audrey Gallagher)
15 Feel Again (feat. Matias Lehtola)