5 Minutes With bb sway

Bedroom pop artist bb sway, the alias of Ashley Grace, is the London-based artist whose making waves with her lofi-pop-jazz fused sound produced out the comfort of her own bedroom. She is a creative force, producing enchanting and catchy songs laced with self-reflection, subtle observations and self-love. We had a conversation with her about her musical style, influences and her upcoming live show at Folklore in London.

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How has the past year or so been for you? Have you found that it has inspired you creatively or been more difficult?

Over the past year, creativity and inspiration has ebbed and flowed. When I have felt uninspired to create music, I have redirected my creative energies towards different outlets. I've been learning how to use Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and have been getting into graphic design.

Your music has such an atmospheric element to it and seems to encompass a lot of different genres and sounds – how would you describe your music to someone who’s never listened to bb sway? And what genres do you take influence from?

It's always difficult to describe your music to someone without being able to show them - I tend to say that the music I have put out so far tends to take on aspects of Dream Pop, Psychadelia, and Lo-Fi music. I've always been inspired by a range of music, some of which may not seem to directly influence my work yet... One genre I'm consistently inspired by is Turkish Psychedelic Rock, bands like Altin Gün.. I'm also very inspired by Hiatus Kaiyote, a band which combines and defies a lot of genres, but can sometimes fit in with neo-soul, jazz categories..

Who would your dream collaborator be? 

My dream collaborator would probably by Hiatus Kaiyote, because they're so experimental and skilled. I feel like working with them would be so fascinating and mind-opening.

We read that you were born and grew up in Hong Kong, and then moved to London – how do you think these environments and cultures influenced your sound? 

I grew up in Hong Kong, and have been living in London for four years (eight years in the UK in total). Both cities are extremely multi-cultural, and there's an abundance of variety which I'm grateful for. I believe that having a multicultural background and upbringing has helped me to cultivate openness and excitement about new sounds and music cultures.

What is your favourite part of the song making process for you?

My favourite part is getting the ideas down and building the skeleton of the song. It's the beginning stages, sticking that voice note or melody into a Logic Project and building it up!

We love your recent release ‘Bet You Know’, it’s super dreamy sounding. What does this song mean for you?

Thank you! For me 'Bet You Know' entails the excitement of new, youthful love.

What has been the highlight of your music career so far? We saw you performed a live set on the BBC Radio London Airwaves festival! How was that experience?

Performing the live set on BBC Introducing Airwaves Festival was a great experience. It was so fun to do up the room with sexy lighting and plants. I was nervous about being interviewed afterwards, but it ended up being super fun - and what was initially embarrassing is now funny to look back on.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming show at Folklore in London? 

Bringing my friends together, introducing new musicians to the performance for a beautiful jam, and showcasing years of hard work!

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I'm Abi - a lover of festivals, food and all things music.

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