This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, London singer/songwriter Samson Ashe shares some of his top musical influences as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. A soulful presence slowly rising out of the UK these past four years, Ashe debuted in 2017 with “Too Rough,” but made himself truly known with 2020’s singles “Fun” and “Simple Man.” In reviewing the former track, Atwood Magazine praised the artist for delivery “a seductive and nostalgic embrace encouraging all to join in its sun-soaked revelry.” “‘Fun’ is a nostalgic ode to childhood when things were more simple and there was no price to who you were because nobody cared…I really miss that,” the artist says. “Unapologetically I am who I am and I miss and need that fearless kid that grew up in Stamford Hill…his honestly and unfiltered voice… I hope the vibe’s captured.” “Fun” embodies its name in sound and spirit, conferring upon its audience a wave of feel-good resonant vibes. Ashe’s second single is as fresh as it is free-spirited, and its follow-up, late October’s “Simple Man,” is just as sweet – a tender post-breakup self-reflection with anthemic energy. With only three songs released so far, Samson Ashe is a definitive artist on the rise and someone to look out for over the year to come.
My Top Influences
by Samson Ashe
I’m Yours – Prince
This was the first record I heard of his and I instantly knew he was the one haha. Prince is a musical alien – the mystery behind him is what makes me love him more and more and the art of not knowing allows me to fall into him more and more. if you can’t tell already I am in love lol.
La vie en rose – Grace Jones
This record has been sampled by loads but nothing beats the effortlessness the track has by it self. Grace is a gem. I love her fearlessness and honestly be it through the style or music its a rarity to find nowadays. You are who are you are.
Shame – Young Fathers
This record just drives and is so unapologetic and whenever I hear this is makes me want to explode and do what ever the task is at one million. I the drum pattern and it makes me want to work out haha its so sporadic.
Don’t Let Go – Cassie
I heard this by accident cooking and couldn’t stop popping my head. I think beat samples ‘doin it’ by ll cool j which samples ‘My Jamaican guy’ by Grace Jones… Grace again haha it has a lot of energy and just flows
Bad Girls (verdine version) – Solange
Love me some solo – this version is the ultimate shower ballad for me. I feel for my neighbours, I blast this song in car, when I’m cleaning and when I can. Such a beautiful sad love song that I can relate too a lot at the moment. “Tell me what’s wrong, tell me what’s wrong, tell me what’s wrong, tell me what’s wrong…”
Good Days – SZA
I remember hearing Drew Barrymore in 2017 in summer and was captivated. There’s something ambivalent about the vibe of this song, still happy and yes sad but the nostalgia of the track is what has made me love this even more.
Crying – TV on the Radio
I’m a massive fan of TV on the radio and Dave Sitek so for me this was a no brainer. I was introduced to this band by someone I love and its really melancholic and ironic for me at the same time because whenever I hear this song I really do wanna cry ha crying.
📸 © Neil Gavin
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