Author: Ashley

The Palm Oil Conga

Ashley’s new song “Palm Oil Conga” tells the story of the great oil palm – where it’s found, how it’s used, its impact on animals and the environment, and how we can help tackle unsustainable palm oil production.

Sing for Songbirds

This year I had the pleasure of working alongside Chester Zoo on their “Singing for Songbirds” campaign. In parts of South East Asia, the tradition of capturing and caging songbirds is still very popular. This practice initially led to the critical engagerment of just a few prized songbirds, including the Javan Green Magpie, Black Winged Starling, and Bali Starling. Tragically, the capture of wild songbirds for this tradition is unsustainable, and now encompasses all birds, irrelevant of colour, song, size and most importantly conservation status. I was thrilled when I was contacted by Chester Zoo and asked to write and record a song to help create more awareness about the threats to songbirds, and to inspire young conservationists. For more learning resources visit: *** This song will soon be available as a charity download. All proceeds will go directly to the Sing for Songbirds conservation effort.

After the Album

Sometimes it takes a while to appreciate things. Clutter isn’t always physical. It’s not always in the form of odd socks and boxes and dirty dishes. Sometimes it’s mental, as well. For me, the time surrounding the release of my latest album, Take Back the Fire was cluttered. There were rehearsals, studios, deadlines, websites, updates, crowdfunding perks (knitted SCARVES, scarves, and more scarves!), more social media updates, newsletters, posters, a release concert, tickets, more rehearsals, accounting, and more social media.   As an independent, unsigned musician, I basically had to do the work of the band, agency, label, management – the works. And it can be pretty intense. I taught myself to build websites, use mailing list platforms, and became my own P.A., drawing up rehearsal schedules and sorting travel logistics. In the meantime I was rearranging music and finishing off song lyrics. It’s an extremely varied and interesting job, and I really love it. But I think that somewhere in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the joy of the actual music got …