Published on August 9th, 2017 | by Just Jay


Five Questions With Ash Riser

“I’m not a Rapper. I’m not a Producer. I’m not a Singer. I’m an Artist” is how versatile musician, Ash Riser, describes himself. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Riser has been on the rise (no pun intended) since his start over ten years ago.

Fresh onto the scene, a young Riser made his first real strides toward success with Pistol Pistol, an Indie Rock band that reached its height during the Myspace era. As the singer and guitarist of the promising band, Riser and the Pistol Pistol’s caught the attention of notable music industry legends such as Kim Fowley, manager of The Runaways. After the band’s break up, Riser made his debut as a solo artist and began to grow deeper into other genres, particularly Dubstep, as it was beginning to emerge in America at that time. Artists such as Rusko, Caspa, Coki and Joker inspired Riser to produce, and to create his alias Ashtrobot. As Ashtrobot, Riser continued to achieve notable success by taking over the underground Los Angeles Dubstep scene in its prime days. “Those days were so exciting because every show was a new opportunity to bring a friend and expose them to something new, and to be able to watch their face in amazement” (states Ash Riser) — “Those times are more rare these days.”

As Riser continued his musical journey as both Ashtrobot and Ash Riser, he began to evolve as a songwriter and a singer. “I missed writing, because at the end of the day, I’m a fucking writer. I wanted to express myself lyrically and make more than mediocre bass lines…” conveys Riser. The release of his EP, ‘Ash Riser vs the World’ ignited the official launch of who we know today as Ash Riser. He received rapid success, particularly within the Hip-Hop community, securing spots in notable features and collaborations with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, and Tae Beast. “It was really interesting working with Kendrick, especially in those days. He knows exactly what he wants and watching him grow as a close peer, it has been really inspirational to see how he handles everything and remains humble…” Riser goes on to reveal, “When I worked with Kendrick on ‘How to Pimp a Butterfly’, it inspired me to go back to my roots and really create the music I wanted to be making.” Following these transitional years, Riser made such an abundance of music that in 2016 he released three EPs– all of which illustrated a new phase in his musicianship, especially the project titled ‘Home’ that achieved a stream of notable press.

After the tragic loss of Riser’s best friend Furoche, Ash felt lost and out of control. In order to reconnect, he turned to what he knew best: Rock music. This process brought Ash back to the light, where he discovered the missing piece that he had been looking for the whole time. Riser is more than just a producer, a DJ, and a singer…he’s a real musician who composes with the chords of his heart and soul. Inspired by his pain and growth, Riser created ‘Ghosts’ the debut and introductory album of his true calling— to be the rock-star he was always born to be. “It was one of the most draining experiences of my life, both emotionally and physically. But even when it seemed like all odds were against me, it’s still such a great feeling to know this project is here and ready to be shown to the world. Knowing that makes everything worth it…” confesses Riser with excitement in his voice for his album.

Tell us about your debut project Ghosts which dropped July 7!

This album made it against all odds, I made the entire project in my bedroom, everything came together so naturally. Every feature was recorded in my room, whether it was Quentin or Joon, we just recorded at the pad on some real music shit. I didn’t pay for any features or anything it was all love. I was in a really fucked up part of my life when I made ghosts, and it got worse when I went to a neighbors studio and somehow my external with ALL of the mixes Jawa and I had spent days on, just became unreadable. So we mixed it again 48 hours in 3 days or some ridiculous shit… then 6 months later, a place I was temporarily staying at was broken into, (only my room, only my laptops). Who ever they were, they knew what they were there for. They left guitars and money (literally, 500$ in a wallet on the desk and 5 guitars/other things of value) but broke my new external, so…. the album as I knew it was gone. I had the recent pre masters, but that’s it, it wasn’t complete. I went to New Orleans for a week and came back to La with no place to live. So I went to a studio and had some female vocalists come in to fill space on certain songs and parts I felt needed layering. My boy in Sacramento would record drums and email me stems. During all of that I had slowed down my lifestyle, stopped doing the same shit and expecting different results, so I decided to kind of layer what was just unfinished collection of mixes, and turn it into what is now my best body of work to date.

Do you feel your current project is the best introduction to you as an artist?

I think this full length is definitely a look into my life and what it’s like to have been through the things I have in life and in my career. The rawness of this album defines it, and I wouldn’t have it ANY other way. Yes “GHOSTS” is very much so my most honest foot forward. Nice to meet you.

I got stuck on Hell’s Waiting Room…it opens like a joint discussing the id…what did you want to convey?

Hell’s Waiting Room is earth. It’s a self reflective piece about how I get so caught up in my work and my own world I am completely oblivious to the outside world. I understand people see me out and are judgmental due to my tattoos or what ever, but they don’t understand how hard I work, everything I’ve given up to do what I do everyday. It’s not really meant for someone with a 9-5 to be able relate to.

Will you be finishing out 2017 on the road or what’s on your horizon for 2017?

Yeah I’ll be hitting the road soon, just played a show in San Francisco with my live band, shit was amazing. I’ll for sure be on tour soon, taking my city first.

The Hype Magazine wants to know: What’s been your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?! Or “WTF?!” moment thus far in your career?

Honestly I don’t know… uhm probably thundercat farting in the fridge then grabbing a Sprite and closing it at the studio while we did Wesley’s theory for Kendrick. Hahaha

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Also Take a Listen to Ash Riser’s – Ghosts LP

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