CelebMix recently had the chance to have a chat with singer/ songwriter and actor Asher Monroe about his new album “Inner Warrior”. We also got to hear his new song Hurricane.
1) Your album is called “Inner Warrior”, is the title a reflection of the personal journey you took while writing and creating the album?
Yes! The title is a reflection of my personal journey to get this album to its final stages. I had to dig deep, work hard and fight through many hurdles to get to this point. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it .
2) What is the most personal track to you on the album?
The most personal track is “Inner Warrior,” which also became the album title. The song paints the picture of struggle and adversity, but shows that by channeling your inner power you can eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have to believe in yourself and never give up.
3) Do you have any memories that you treasure from the process of recording the album?
I have many memories that I treasure from recording the album. I remember each location of where I was when I had either the first melody or lyric to each song. The funny thing with music is you never know when the moment of inspiration will hit, you just have to be ready to receive it. Be calm and collected in the moment. The album is a body of work that I’ve been collecting over the past few years. The ones that made it on the album are very special to me. They each tell a different story of where i was in my life.
4) When did you know the album was finished? Was there an specific point where you just stopped and said yes, that’s it. This what I want to put out to the world?
Funny you ask! I got to a point where I had so many unfinished songs in my library of music that I would literally get a headache. I wouldn’t know which ones to finish and it felt overwhelming at times. I started making playlists of my favorites songs that I had either written or co-produced and put them together in random order. I would group them by tempo, style, feel, unfinished /finished. Something had to speak to me about each song. I probably had to play each song hundreds of times and the ones I didn’t get sick of listening to eventually became the ones I chose to put on my album. There is no formula. Music is about feeling and capturing emotion. That’s what I wanted to portray with this album. I wanted to capture the best moments and times in my life where I felt the audience could relate and understand me better.
5) Who was the first person you played the album to outside of the people who had been working on it and what was their reaction to it?
One of the first people I played the album for were my good friends Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David. I knew they would give me honest feedback, and I hadn’t really played it for many people. I didn’t want to pollute my album with too many opinions.
6) Do you plan to do a solo tour?
Yes, I plan to do a solo tour. I have a few local shows lined up and then I’m hoping to hit the road close to the new year.
7) If you had to pick only one of your songs to perform for the rest of your life which one would it be?
That’s a great question. I might choose either “Sweet September” or “Sail On.”
8) You’ve had quite a varied career from Theater to starring on both the big and small screens in many different roles. You are perhaps most well-known for starring in Fame. How did it feel to star in a more modern retelling of a classic movie? What lessons did you learn while filming it?
“Fame” was a great experience. I went to the actual Fame school in New York City growing up so it felt like it was meant to be. It felt great to be a part of such a fantastic ensemble cast. Everyone was so talented, and that was kind of how it was growing up going to these type of schools. I would have classes with professional sword fighters, or top ballet dancers, or Olympic ice skaters and horseback riders. Everyone had a unique talent. The teachers and staff understood how important it is and was for students to follow their dreams and hone their craft at such an early age. I encourage kids out there to look for these type of opportunities to be around other like-minded individuals. Sign up for local shows, schools, and auditions. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
9) You were also part of the boyband V Factory. What did you learn from your time in the band?
I learned a lot about the music industry. It was my first experience being signed to a major label and seeing how the big dogs do it. I got to tour the country with four other great guys who had lots of talent. I had so much fun on the road promoting dancing and performing. I learned how much muscle and effort it takes to successfully launch a group. We got to work with some of the best writers and producers, and I learned so much about the recording process in the studio. It gave me the platform and practice to be ready to go off on my own.
10) What was your most memorable moment while in the band?
I had some fun memorable moments with the band. I think the most memorable was performing for ten thousand screaming fans in the Philippines. That and performing alongside some pretty big names at the time like Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Derullo, Flo Rida, and even a show with MC Hammer. Ha, that was fun. We did a Michael Jackson tribute that was also pretty memorable.
11) Did the transition from being in a boy band to being a solo artist seem like a natural progression for you as an artist?
The progression from being in a boy band to becoming a solo artist definitely felt like a natural progression. There was still so much more to learn, but it helped a lot.
12) Who do you look up to musically?
My musical inspirations are classics like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Freddy Mercury and Otis Redding.
13) What is your favorite song either at the moment or is the go –to when you listen to music?
My favorite song at the moment is “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway. If you don’t know it, go look it up. It’s an old soul love song. I like music that touches the soul and goes to a deep place.
14) You’ve fully took control of your own career by setting up your own label, do you plan to sign other artists to the label, or is it just a way for you to keep full creative control over your career?
You’re definitely right that having my own label allows me to have full control. I can release music anytime I want without having the fear of getting shelved at a label. It’s a common thing in the music industry for a label to show a new artist a lot of attention for this first single /project and if they don’t produce the numbers that make them happy, you’re stuck in a 360 deal and basically a slave to the system. They call the shots, not you. Of course they are fronting the money, but it’s important for artists to know these things before they sign their life away. Having full creative control allows you to be the artist you want to be without as many limitations. I do have a few very talented writers producer and musicians work for me, but I don’t bind them in legal contracts. I give them consistent work. I would call it freelancing. They are free to work where they please. I think it’s a healthier environment that way. I’m always looking for fresh new talent to work with.
15) What’s a typical day like for you?
Well, I can tell you how my day is going so far. I woke up at 6am to do a FaceTime audio with Sir Elton John. He is promoting a new single called, “Unpredictable” off my new album, which I’m very excited to share with everyone. I have been doing a few phone interviews and online interviews like the one I’m doing now. I’ll probably hit the gym after a hearty breakfast. Since today is a Saturday, it’s more mellow than the weekdays that are pretty hectic. I’ll probably practice some piano later and I have to shoot 2 videos for lyric videos that I’m putting together. Then I might have some friends over for a nice relaxing dinner by the beach.
16) You’ve supported Sir Elton John’s Aid charity for a few years, is that something you’d like to do one day, set up your own charity about a cause you feel passionate about?
I would love that. It’s funny, I mentioned Elton in the last question and here you are asking something regarding him. Ha! He’s a great man who has been rewarded not only with riches but also with an immense talent. One of the things I love most about Elton is his giant heart. He gives back any chance he gets. I feel in life if we are awarded these opportunities that it is our duty to give back. I would definitely love to be part of a charity foundation as my career starts to unfold more. Even if wasn’t in the industry, I still think it’s a great thing to do by being a part of something that gives back.
17) What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I was ever given was by Bono. He told me that whatever I choose to do in life, I should go at it a million percent. Don’t let fear hold you back. Take it to the extreme.
18) What advice would you give to our readers who want to get a foot in the door in the entertainment and music industry?
I would advise anyone who wants to get into the music industry to absolutely 100% want it for the right reason. Do it because you love it so much and you can’t see yourself doing anything else in life. Do it because God gifted you with talents and abilities that you must share with the rest of the world. Know that every choice you make in life has either a positive or negative affect on people. Practice, practice, practice your craft. Don’t let other people choose your destiny. You will be your biggest fan at the end of the day. Fight for what you believe in and never give up on your dreams.
19) You have a very loyal fan base, what’s the nicest thing one of your fans have ever done for you?
I have the most amazing fans in the world. They travel the country to see me perform and they buy me gifts. Most of my fans are very loyal and have been with me through every stage of my career so far.
20) If you could send a message to your fans what would you say to them?
I love my fans!! follow me on Instagram @ashermonroe
You can listen to Asher’s new single Hurricane below and download his album here.
Let us know what you think of Asher’s new album over on @CelebMix, do you love it as much as we do?