Hong Kong-born, London-based bedroom pop artist Ashley Grace – best known as her moniker – bb sway is making waves with her lo-fi, jazz-hinted music. Wrapped in a duvet of dream pop, bb sway’s world of technicolour has grasped the attention of fans across of the globe. Announcing her biggest headline show at Folklore in Shoreditch on September 2nd, we caught up with Ashley to chat about her inspiration and forthcoming EP.
Hey Ashley, how’s the past year been for you?
The past year has been one for growth and focusing on my career plans. Since graduating from university last August, I have dedicated most of my time and energy towards releasing music I’ve made over the last few years!
Tell us more about what bb sway means for you. You’re originally from Hong Kong, how do you think your background influences your music?
My project ‘bb sway’ provides a space for me to create music / visual art that allows me to reflect on lessons I’ve learned, and spread positive messages. Being from Hong Kong, I have had a very multicultural upbringing; growing up in an ethnically and geographically diverse environment has influenced my music by expanding my resources and inspirations both sonically and visually.
We love your music here at LOCK, so many dreamy sounds, something that really helps us to escape our realities for a short while. What do you hope listeners get out of listening to your music?
I like to create a space for meditation and reflection, and I hope that listeners find comfort in this; I also hope that being able to step into this space can allow people to return to a clearer, more open mind, and perhaps also to a place of kindness and empathy.
Tell us more about your creative process. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Often times these days I begin my creative process from a sonic standpoint – I envision dynamics, rhythmic or melodic elements, etc. and form structure from there. Other aspects come into play as the song builds, like focusing on a centralised theme, testing vowel sounds to see what feels best (lyrically), and sitting with melodies and lyrics for some time to test whether they return to mind naturally. I aim to create songs and sounds that are original and memorable.
You’ve got an EP on the way – what can we expect from that body of work?
My upcoming EP, Pearl, is a collection of songs that I have written over a broad time period – One of the songs was written when I was still in school, and many others were written in the last lockdown. Most of them have been played in a live context for years, and I have been aching to officially release them! Many themes are at play, including an exploration of vulnerability and acceptance of oneself and others. I believe the Pearl EP represents my growth as a producer and songwriter; it reflects on significant periods of my life, and contains the truest and most honest expression found in my work as bb sway so far.
What are you looking forward to doing most this summer?
Lying in the heat of the sun!
And finally, if you could collaborate with one specific artist, who would that be?
At the moment, I’m extremely inspired by the work of Luke Temple (aka Art Feynman) – So I’d love to collaborate with him!
Thanks so much for talking to us!
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