You may recognise him from films like the 2009 remake of FAME, CBS’ The Mentalist, or tracks featuring Akon or Sean Kingston. No matter how you recognise him, Asher Monroe is an all-around creative, thanking God, hard work, and his everlasting friends and family for his success. The multi-talented character and self-taught musician that Asher is, is nothing but inspiring even more so once you have completed this article and realise how humble he truly is.
His latest single “Try Me” is another single added to his roster of music that completely enhances who he is, filled with themes of power and encouragement, it is a glimpse into how our interview with Asher Monroe went…
Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to Industry Me! How have you been?
Thank you for having me! I’m really good and so excited to be releasing new music.
What kind of direction has your music and career taken with everything that has happened this past year?
The direction and mindset have mostly been staying focused, working hard (even if it’s from home), keeping healthy and happy. We have all been hit to some degree with some challenges due to the pandemic, but music, family, and a healthy lifestyle have kept me physically and mentally sane. You’d be surprised how much work I have been able to get done whilst working remotely off my computer. Technology has allowed me to stay hungry and still put out great music.
Congratulations on your new single, Try Me! tell us a little bit more about that and the inspiration behind the single?
Thank You! ‘Try Me’ is and was one of the only true soul records on the album. There are elements in some of the other songs on the album, but this is a true soul and gospel type of song. It catered to having a choir back me and the inspiration came from a close friend of mine who was stuck in a victim mentality and I think by writing this song, it has helped me relate to what he was going through but also be a voice of reason on how to escape that type of mindset.
One of the biggest wrongs we put on ourselves, and trust me I have been guilty of it, is self-loathing thoughts. We don’t realise how much time we spend beating ourselves up when the answer is to put all that aside and love ourselves more. We aren’t able to love others if we can’t find a way to love ourselves. ‘Try Me’ is full of nuggets of wisdom that I myself live by that I would hope to impart to others listening.
You also have a forthcoming album releasing soon, what can we expect from that?
The album is full of rich instrumentation, soaring vocals that really pushed me to my limits, and carefully woven story-driven lyrics. There are themes of enchantment, mystery, adventure, love, and corruption plus much more.
Albums definitely represent a moment or a significant chapter in the artists’ life. with yours being 2 years in the making! let’s say in 10 years’ time, how would you want this project to be remembered?
I agree completely that the emotions and experiences I’ve had in my career leading up to the moment of making this album will be completely different than what I create in the future. I really want this record to feel timeless.
Would you describe this album as a full-circle moment?
Yes and No. Yes, because I had this deep wisdom inside of me at an early age that wasn’t fully tapped into. Some would call me an old soul. And Yes, that I grew up performing in front of an orchestra every night being around Disney-like fantasy projects. But No to the fact that I have never technically done a project like this in my career and to this extent. So as much as it feels like a full-circle moment, to the public eye this is completely new.
Being ‘self-taught’ in anything is an accomplishment in itself, but what is the process like being a self-taught pianist? Alongside personally developing your skills with the guitar, bass, and drums?
That’s a good question! Like anything in life, if you believe that you have the basic skillset for something, it’s a good gauge of where to start. If you want to become a master of that skill set, you have to be willing to put in the time, effort and work because nothing in life that’s truly rewarding comes easy, and if it does, I would question the agenda. That’s the beauty of free will – how much you put in is how much you will get out. I’ve dabbled over the years in being able to pick multiple instruments and be able to jam along, but instead of spreading myself too thin, I’ve put more effort into piano. I also prefer piano for writing songs, not to mention since I was kid people always said I had piano hands. I just knew it was the instrument for me.
Being a multi-instrumentalist, what is your favourite instrument to play and why?
If we break this down in this modern era we are living in, I would say my 3 strongest instruments are :
- my voice
- playing piano
- being able to produce my vocals and programming instruments digitally. (living in this modern era, you don’t only create sounds from being able to play basic instruments like drums guitar bass, and piano, but synthesizers and even electronics.)
You have previously said your earliest memories of music were when you were a child, do you remember the moments that make sense to where you are today?
Some of the earliest memories I have of music being engraved into me was, My mother would always play oldies in the car. I also had a vinyl record player in my room with only a few records to play. I can only remember ‘You Lost That Loving Feeling’ by The Righteous Brothers.
I remember taking a road trip with my best friend at the age of 5 and I remember the impact of listening to Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight for the first time.
I read that your song writing process requires that you read The Old Testament every morning, what role does God and religion play in your journey?
To answer your question honestly, it’s not required before I write. It was a tool I used in writing my upcoming album ‘Windows of Time’. The reason I felt it worked so well was that it felt like a form of meditation. It was a way to clear my thoughts and unpolluted any personal agenda. It helped me be present in that moment. The thing is I grew up in a very religious household, but I don’t think it serves the individual if from the day you were born to think any wrongdoing or mishap will result in God punishing you or the idea of him waiting for us to make a mistake so he can condemn us. It took me many years to reshape my faith in God and humanity and understand that our creator is a loving giving sharing force who only wants us to be in line and learn from our mistakes.
The last number of years for me has been a more “spiritual “awakening than anything. It is more about redefining and understanding the laws of the universe and how they work and to work with it than against it. We might need a whole other interview to dive as deep as I’m willing to go but for the most part the light plays a big effect in my personal development/journey of life.
I am currently writing a piece that explores the religious connotations that are sometimes placed in music. Including album covers and/or music videos that mimic the old testaments. What are your thoughts on this?
For me, it’s about authenticity. We can all play roles which I’m in favour of, we can push the boundary which is important for the evolvement of music both sonically and visually.
There are two things that bother me, when an artist is clearly being pushed by masterminds behind the scenes (almost puppet-like) for the only incentive of shock value or selfish gain. If it’s not coming from the artist, it’s a form of manipulation of power, freedom of expression is completely different.
The second is; artists need to remember and quickly forget when they rise to fame that their platform should not just be used as some type of “false idol “for them to take all the glory. We have seen this happen time and time again and they always fall. It’s the artists that rise above that are remembered more and use their platform for some type of good.
If it’s just the song that stays with people for decades that’s ok too, but in general, with the day and age, we live in with suicide rates higher than ever, depression and addictions raging out of control, kids who are the future need role models to look up to. Artists with those platforms can be more, they can give more. They can use their platform to elevate the global consciousness and not use their voice or power to destruct. I truly believe the ones that last are the ones that give back.
What are you most proud of your journey so far?
I’m proud of all the accomplishments but none of it would matter if I didn’t have meaningful relationships to compliment it. Friends and family that stick by your side are more valuable than any award or material gain.
You said that “I’ve been sitting on the sidelines long enough having my moderate success,” what does Asher Monroe have to offer to the world? And what is next for you?
Asher Monroe has a bag full of tricks. I’m kind of like the phoenix – just when you think you forgot about me, I will rise from the ashes completely reinvented and new. I’d rather not share just yet what’s in store but keep you on the edge of your seat to know there’s so much more!