The Mask EP is Ashni's first embrace and exploration of her sound. What started as a simple vocal and piano demo became an anchor in her transition to a musical path.
Her relationship with the stage began at age 7, with classical North Indian dance, Kathak, and western classical piano. As the child of Indian immigrant parents, she grew up listening to her father's records and her mother's voice. Weekends began with music from Amjad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain, and old-school Bollywood. When she wasn't dancing to those tunes, Ashni started to fall in love with the voices of jazz and soul - Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday - in contrast and equal reverence to the new artists of R&B, hip hop and neo-soul.
Ashni spent her college years majoring in health policy and biology, devoting her free time to the arts, and fantasizing about fully pursuing the latter. She actualized that dream a year after graduating and experimenting with the "nights and weekends" format. Today, she is studying under talented jazz musicians, developing her craft, and learning wholeheartedly.
Ashni's music is heavy with soulful melodies and layered vocals. On Mask, she explores elements in both folk acoustic and electronic production found in alternative pop/R&B and trip hop. The EP features cello and tabla, as well as electronic percussion and textures.
released February 3, 2015
All songs written by Ashni
Produced, recorded and mixed by Steven LaFashia and Ashni at Forge Recording in Oreland, PA
Tabla recording engineered by Pavan Bhatia at Alaap Studio in Indore, India
Mastered by Colin Leonard at Sing Mastering in Atlanta, GA
Additional production on "Mask" by Benjamin Marx and Greg Wyler
Additional production on "Let Me" by Greg Wyler
Translation by Nitesh Shetty
Guitar recording assisted by Peter Buck
Michael Leavy: drums
David Sikorski: bass
Vijay Rao: tabla
Gloria Park: cello
Steven LaFashia: guitar, programming and synth
Ashni: piano, organ, synth, percussion and vocals
Photography by Hyder Kazmi at Basirah Photography
Artwork by Teodora Kaltcheva