Interview with Up and Coming Artist Ashni and Mr. Z
How did you come by your stage name?
I think on one of my very first demo’s is did, I needed to rhyme something with “party” and wrote something like your host for the party Mr. Z, the Z is taken from my real name Zahier, and it has been Mr. Z ever since.
My stage and the personal name are Ashni. From the beginning, I thought about a stage but with everything I do, it must resonate with me, and just my name, “Ashni” felt perfect.
However, sometimes on social media, you will see “Official Ashni“ or Ashni Official“. But that is not my stage name. “Official Ashni” is more a brand name. It covers more aspects of me, like my workouts, styling, makes up, health food, modeling, and healthy lifestyle.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I think I was 9 years old when I first listened to a cassette tape with Bob Marley & Mighty Sparrow on it, and was hooked on those riddims of Calypso/Reggae/Dancehall and Soca, started to drum first and was pretty good at it, and at the age of 12 my teacher showed me a Michael Jackson performance and I knew then that I wanted to entertain people, and start writing lyrics since I was 14 (not good back then). I kept all my lyrics to myself, and at the age of 19 going 20, I started doing recordings, demo’s and I wanted to develop myself more as a writer and entertainer.
Since I can remember, as a child I was singing and dancing, performing really. 😉 As I grew up the strong feeling inside stayed with me, to perform but I lacked a bit of confidence. I start to perform as a dancer and was dreaming about singing & dancing. Never gave up though, to believe that it could happen.
I met Brad Grobler (the man behind the hit Sunshine – Dancenation) and Mr.Z. (Bootykiller, Earth Angel). We start talking and collaborating. They saw that I was not afraid to work very hard. Both gave me so much confidence, to pursue my dream and thought me to never give up. So I did, and here I am…
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Mr. Z :
Well, I am from Caribbean Descent a mix of Suriname/Guyana/Trinidad & Tobago and that’s for me my Holy Trinity. Artist like, Supercat, Machel Montano, Shabba Ranks, Red Rat, Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Shaggy just to name a few.
Had and still have so much impact on my style and the way I approach music and entertainment.
My father had a huge record collection with West-Indian music, my mother loved Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson was great to me and going to school I had a teacher that was heavily into Queen and the other one heavily into The Beatles. So music was always around me.
😉 My sense of style!
I love this question so much. Cause I always created (and still create), my own style. What I feel, sexy, sporty, girly, confident, etc. I always try to represent that, in my styling, even my makeup, and hair! 😉
Even if I have to cut my clothes, or dip it in paint 😉 I do that and wear the clothes matched with my inner-power of that day.
On your upcoming project, how did you come up with the concept?
Mr. Z :
I approach music with a Soca/Dancehall mind, I always hold the flag up high for the Caribbean. I dream of crossing over to a huge audience and giving them Caribbean Music, cause these days big artists are using Dancehall & Soca beats but never talk about the heritage of the beat.
The biggest example is Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, that is a Dancehall/Soca Beat. So for our upcoming release „LIGHT UP THE PLACE“ I wanted to infuse „Jump up Soca“ and create that party „Island vibe“ with a twist of EDM/POP, and that’s where Ashni comes in.
Mr. Z and I already collaborated on our first record “Crazy Things”. He is an incredible writer, performer, and all-round artist. Mr. Z also wrote my first single “Heat”. We both thought, why not mix some EDM/Pop with Soca/dancehall?! (Mr. Z being the Soca/dancehall)! Mr.Z. started from scratch with track „LIGHT UP THE PLACE“, but when he made that drop, the song build itself! Mr. Z also wrote the lyrics, I made a few adjustments but he wrote almost the entire song!
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
I think to get Caribbean music to a mainstream audience but in it’s purest form, is still hard to do, and that has always been the challenge, but we get there eventually.
My greatest attribute to my work ethic is that my mind doesn’t stop with melodies and I’m always creating 24/7/365, even on holidays or vacations, it’s really crazy.
My greatest challenges: basically to do al lot in a little bit of time when you record a song. My brain is always exploding with new creative ideas, for example, how to approach a song. I need to stop when something is already good and finished. 😉 That’s the biggest challenge for me, I am a bit of a perfectionist! 😉
My work ethic is simple, I won’t stop till it’s done! Even if we have to work on something for days and days! Killer discipline! 😉
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
No, I think that I am pretty good, but not the best yet. I always want to improve and be/do better, but I do believe that I have been put on this world to entertain people.
I believe in hard work and evolving. With every song, with every music video, with every creation, I give everything I have! So in my opinion, I am not the best, but every single day, with a lot of hard work, I am getting there!
What are your plans for the near future?
Just keep doing what I do, keep making music, producing, writing. Ashni and I have a bunch of great songs in the works, so looking forward to unleashing them to the masses.
Continue doing what I love, making music/dance, perform! Really looking forward to doing a world tour, and getting to know the people who like to dance on my/our songs and party with them on stage! Also, keep recording new and awesome tracks!
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Big Up to you, Muzique Magazine thank you for including us on your platform. Universal Flow Records our musical family really taking care of us and believing in our music, working so hard to make our dreams come true. My entire family, my brothers, and friends. Ashni one of the hardest working females in the biz, your work ethic, drive, and discipline is at the next level and I love your unique voice, mad love.
My musical partner Brad Grobler that has been walking this journey with me from the first day. All the fans in the world, you are the other half of this crazy ride, your energy is the lifeline of any artist, God bless you all, Nuff love.
Definitely! Besides my family, these are the men that I am so thankful to have met in my life, they mean so much for me and my career: that would be Mr. Z, Brad Grobler, and Conrad Stockman. And of course my Record label, Universal Flow Records, a very big shoutout for them!
Thank you so much for doing this with me UFR, with us, one team one love! So blessed that I can be a part of the Universal Flow Records Family! And also a very big, big, big shoutout to all my fans! All over the world!
You are incredible!
No words really! I get so much from you all! I really love you!! They are so kind and supportive. When days are hard, I think of all my fans and they really get me going! And to push me a little bit harder! And last but not least: A very big, big, big shoutout to you Muzique Magazine for giving us this opportunity! Thank you so much!
How can fans find you?
You can’t miss us on social media platforms!
My website: http://www.ashniofficial.com/
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
If every cell in your body tells you to do that thing that you love? DO IT, never give up!
I would say, no matter what, even if the world screams “NO” don’t ever give up on hope, don’t ever give up on yourself! See your self-worth, work very hard, keep bouncing back and you will get there!
If you are looking to get showcased on Muzique Magazine you can submit directly HERE.
For more news and articles, Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Show your support SHARE and leave a COMMENT below.