Ashley Dudukovich, better known in the music industry as Chasing Jonah, is an alternative-indie/pop singer-songwriter on the rise.
Since the release of her debut album Prelude in 2014, the songstress has grown from strength to strength. The album led to an unexpected, whirlwind tour, whilst her single ‘War Paint’ was featured on Nickelodeon’s Mysticons and FOX’s Lucifer. She also enjoyed a placement on FOX Sports’ UFC fight preview and her music will be heard in an upcoming indie film.
Now, Chasing Jonah is ready to expand on her success with the release of her hypnotic new single ‘Feel So High’. Showcasing her ethereal vocals, ‘Feel So High’ invites listeners to ‘cross the line’ and will leave you in a dream-like state. The accompanying cat-themed music video was also released today.
We caught up with Ashley to discuss ‘Feel So High’ and its music video, Florida’s influence on her music, remaining authentic in the industry and more.
Congratulations on your new single ‘Feel So High’. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the track?
Thanks! When I wrote the song, I was at a crossroads in my life. I had been aware of my tendency to get sucked into toxic relationships and not be able to will myself to leave them. I was almost addicted to the turmoil of the extreme highs and lows. I would try to please people that couldn’t be pleased because I had somehow felt validated when they showed even a slight bit of approval. “Feel So High” came from experiencing a frustration with myself as I was watching myself slip back into another toxic relationship. After writing that song, I was able to put everything into perspective and finally begin to set my boundaries.
You wrote the song with Brock Berryhill, and Evan Coffman. How long did it take for the song to come together?
I had actually written 75% of the song about 6 months before bringing it into the studio. I brought it to Brock and Evan in January of 2018 and we finished producing and writing it in two days.
Do you have a favorite lyric from the song?
I think the first verse is my favorite. It just exploded out of me the moment I picked up my guitar. “Sometimes the nerves, were louder than the thoughts” was about how extreme emotions and anxiety can cause you not to think clearly. “And all of the signs that told me to stop, blurred out the lines until I forgot, how to take my time so I wouldn’t get caught” was about how I kept ignoring the signs and red flags that I should have paid attention to.
You’ve created a cat-themed video for the song which is amazing. How did the video concept come about and what was it like to film?
It started as a joke between me and the producers as we were recording the song. I then decided to go through with it. Originally, I wanted to have it animated but that wasn’t in the budget, so we ordered this wonderful wearable cat head from an artist in Japan. I don’t think that anything in my life has ever given my team and myself so many laughs. Filming the video was hysterical and I’m pretty sure the entire production was an ab workout from laughing.
You go by the name of Chasing Jonah – why did you decide on this stage name rather than using your own name?
Well for starters, 98% of people have never been able to pronounce my last name which is “Dudukovich” let alone even spell it. Chasing Jonah was my first band name when I was a kid and I decided to keep it because it was also a reminder of my personal evolution.
You’re based in Florida – how would you say that Florida has influenced you musically and personally?
Well I’ve lived in Florida for about 24 years, so I would say I’ve written most of my music here and most of my life experiences have taken place here. I do love the music scene. There are a great deal of super talented acts here. Florida is a relatively big state and there are a lot of cities to tour through.
Who do you admire in the music industry?
Janelle Monae is someone I really admire. She is not only an all-around brilliant writer, performer, musician, actor and artist, but she is also an activist. She stands up for what she believes in and she helps other artists along the way. Amanda Palmer has also been a huge inspiration for me. Her book “The Art of Asking” has made a massive impact on what I do.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Florence + The Machine and Lana Del Rey and whilst it’s easy to compare one artist to another, we can see that you are very much your own person and have an unique style. How do you go about remaining authentic in the music industry?
We are all connected and share similar life experiences. We are all influenced by others and we have influence over others, however, each of us has our own unique experiences. I want everything I do to be honest, authentic, and rooted in a real part of myself. I try to stay vulnerable and true to myself in my art and that is how I keep my personal uniqueness. It’s terrifying, but it’s part of being an artist.
You released your debut album Prelude in 2014 which was produced by Brock Berryhill, and Evan Coffman. It’s clear that you have a great working relationship with them – why do you think that you click so well as an unit?
It helps that we all have a great sense of humor. Humor is a must for me in any working relationship. Brock and Evan are so good at what they do, and I love that they are also honest with me. I feel like I can be 100% honest with them as well. It never feels like there’s an ego involved in the mix, we just work together to get the best product possible and I don’t have to worry about any weird politics.
One of the tracks on the album, ‘War Paint’, was featured on both Lucifer and Mysticons. How does it feel to have your music recognised in such a way?
It was really encouraging and it came at a great time for me. I had been working really hard and felt like things weren’t moving forward at all, so it gave me the boost I needed to keep going.
You’ve got a few tour dates coming up – what can someone expect from a Chasing Jonah show?
I usually perform with one or two musicians, and we mix it up between an electronic set and some solo songs either on my guitar or piano. I have a thing for dynamics.
What’s next for Chasing Jonah? Are there plans for a new EP/album?
We are working on finishing up a new album. The goal is to have it released in the beginning of 2019 if everything goes according to plan
‘Feel So High’ is available now.