What? Chilled singer songwriter with a big, soulful heart.
From where? Forest Hill, South London, by way of Accra, Ghana.
What’s the story? There’s no doubt that Andrew Ashong is a standout voice in British soul. With jazz, Ghanaian soul, cosmic electronica and stripped back acoustics all jockeying for position, his music has a knack for hitting its own stride, in its own time.
More full-blooded than the esoteric melodies of James Blake, and more subtle than the vocal acrobatics of pop’s big hitters like John Newman, Andrew takes another, more left-leaning swing at the soaring soul that Britain now seems to excel at.
By channelling the sunshine sounds of Shuggie Otis and Bill Withers – and adding his own thrift-shop record-collecting influences – he’s riffing on the classic, fail-safe groove of authentic R&B with impressive results.
Early fans include DJ and label boss Gilles Peterson, NTS Radio, electronic whizz Floating Points and house/techno aficionado Theo Parrish, with whom he recorded the warming crowd-pleaser Flowers.
With all of these left-of-centre tastemakers on his side, Andrew is slowly creeping out of the studio and into the limelight - bringing a healthy dose of Rhodes piano, slack bass and electric guitar to the live circuit.
Following a gig at Peckham’s Bussey Building last Friday, he’ll be playing at the So Flute third birthday party in Manchester on 13 February.
Sounds like? Marvin Gaye jamming with Homelife.
Predicted to? Guest on some very cool new tracks before the year is out…
Must hear? The laidback grooves of Special, from his self-titled EP, or instant summertime classic Flowers.