Ok, we heard a couple of songs by Ash Kvtchem (pronounced Catch-em) and we reached out to this artist to talk a little and get some highlights of them personally and professionally.
Cage Riot: We noticed when we googled your name Ash Ketchum came up and that’s the Pokemon character which I have little knowledge of. We also read this as your inspiration. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Ash Kvtchem: Ok so growing up and still now I was a big Pokemon head. Like I would play my ds in school on the bus everywhere. So everybody just started calling me Ash Kvtchem and it stuck honestly.
CR: I'm a little jealous because everyone wants a cool nickname
CR: What City/areas do you hail from?
AK: I'm from Inkster, Michigan about 20 minutes from Detroit.
CR: Does where you have lived have any influence on your music?
AK: Not at all tbh I just make music off the vibes I've been getting and storylines in my mind.
CR: Can you tell us anything else in your life experience that has had a major impact on your decision to make music?
AK: I don't think there's anything major that happened to impact my decision to make music. My decision to make music was really based on expressing my feelings and trying to connect with people who might feel the same way and don't know how to express or put it in words.
CR: The expression of feelings comes out really well in your music and it’s one of the things we admired ab you.
CR: We as writers experience so many genres in music submissions. I love all styles of music, so genres are just like flavor accents to me. Where or how do you describe yourself on the genre “spectrum”?
AK: IDK!! I literally have the hardest time trying to put my music in the right genre. I feel like it connects to a lot of different genres to be labeled as "hip-hop" so I generally put ALTERNATIVE.
CR: We definitely see much more than one genre with your music, we agree hip-hop is waaay too narrow a description. It’s definitely more enjoyable as a listener and more impressive an experience to see an artist cover more genres btw.
CR: We felt “7 Minutes” has a great pop-punk sound that is fun and we loved the guitars and intro. The song is a radio-ready track! The whole premise is obvious to us - but can you tell us something about the creation of the song that is part of your personality that brought the song to life? (try to keep this from going too explicit lol - I know WE ASKED right!)
AK: My personality for 7 minutes is the coming out of your shell part. "f*** being quiet show her I'm a riot" because I used to be really shy until I started to come into myself as a person. So yea my personality of the song is just building confidence to be me.
CR: All right hell yes we like that a lot.
CR: “Toxic Showers” – In the 80’s bands were pushed by labels to make power ballads and love songs and some resisted because they were hyper-masculine (many bands admittedly- like Aerosmith at first) and were afraid to show a tender side. I also felt that it's actually harder to make a song about emotion sound good and not cheesy and these bands may have avoided it because of that. We think this is an extremely well-written and performed track and Cage Riot is always on the hunt for this type of lyrical content. Can you tell us if this song is a true depiction of an experience you had or how you came to decide to perform a song with this type of message?
One part that stood out to me was:
When the raindrops hit my skin
the pain don’t stop ‘til I’m drenched
I probably need to go in
but my glass House is broken
I felt this is such good use of phrasing and wording that literally gives the listener a feeling of hopelessness. Music is supposed to create emotion and this absolutely does that.
AK: Toxic showers is a true story which is crazy. Me and my gf got into it so i went for a walk in the rain to clear my head. As I was walking I started listening to beats and didn't make it back in until the chorus was done and I was drenched.
CR: OK!!!! We love that (not the part where you fought- but you get it) - the emotional experience (the heartache) combined with a physical experience (the rain) was rolled into an old phrase of glasshouses…nice!
CR: Is there anything about you as an artist that you find people often overlook or assume about you?
AK: I feel like people be overlooking the fact that I got bars! Like I feel like I be saying some stuff foreal. like you might not get it until you really listen and be like "damn this man really sad ".
CR: Well, to hear you are sad is def not good, but… the way you bring the emotion to your music is what we at Cage Riot want to uncover and help people better notice this part of the musical experience. Emotional expressions (as we mentioned before ab Aerosmith) were so taboo even 20 years ago and artists like you are teaching a new generation of fans that finding a positive means of release isn’t just for corny love stories or sad tv shows. Ash Kvtchem, this makes you a role model for people of all ages. Just your ability to tell us you use the music to release your sadness could help people follow your method and gain confidence the way you said you did!
CR: What would be your dream lineup (3 artists) for you to share a stage with?
AK: Tyler , Uzi, Tory
CR: What's a song or artist or genre of music you absolutely love that would surprise us / your fans?
AK: I'm so late to the party but Kenny Hoopla is so fire to me and he's been inspiring me to get better and better lately.
CR: OK, soooooo full disclosure, we ask this so we can hopefully also find new stuff we haven't heard before and WOW we love Kenny Hoopla too. Thanks for the find.
CR: Your social media posts are literally hilarious. How often do you get told you should be in comedy? Is this something you have ever considered pursuing? (we want you to stay in music just FYI)
AK: Bro, look at this point I'm just posting or saying whatever I think is funny. I don't think I could do comedy but I could help write for a show or something. But I do want to do a lot. I want to be hands on in everything I can and leave a mark.
CR: We love that answer and if you keep making stuff like what we heard we are sure we will again be impressed.
CR: We want you the readers to check out Ash Kvtchem on a Cage Riot playlist, or on Spotify and all the major retailers.
STREAM INDIE MUSIC!