Asante 519 copyAs the music industry grapples with the seismic shifts brought on by the pandemic, London, Ontario’s Asante emerges as a beacon of adaptability and innovation. From honing his craft during lockdowns to winning prestigious awards, his journey is a testament to resilience and creativity in the face of unprecedented challenges. In a revealing interview, Asante delves into the pivotal moments that have shaped his career, offering a glimpse into the mindset of an artist forging a unique path in a rapidly changing world.

Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19, Asante credits the pandemic for a significant turn in his career. “Covid was a blessing for my career. At the time in 2021, I was a veteran performer, having done shows around London. However, my recording art wasn’t up to par. Covid restrictions forced me to double down and live in the studio and practice recording songs. This process saw me record my hit song “Diagonal”, which has over 160 000 streams on Spotify,” Asante shares.


The transition from studying business at Western to immersing himself in Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program marked a significant pivot in Asante’s career. He explains, “At the time I was working with my team, and they introduced me to the music world. We would walk around the streets of London, talk to different businesses, network and go to other artists’ shows and so on. I was introduced to the life of an artist and I wanted to double down and take it seriously. At Western, I didn’t feel as if I was where I belonged, the second I stepped into Fanshawe, I felt at home and around people who I looked up to. It also gave me unlimited studio time, which I utilized, averaging about 10 hours in the studio every day.”
Asante’s performances across London, Ontario, have been met with increasing acclaim, but one event stands out for him. “I have performed at amazing venues all around London Ontario. I appreciate every show I am a part of. I would have to say that my favorite show so far had to have been the Western Fair. I love gigs where people aren’t there for me, as I have to prove myself as a performer. During that show, I gained a lot of fans, and I still feel like it was my best show to date,” he recalls, highlighting the importance of connecting with new audiences.
Participating in the Canadian Songwriters challenge was a milestone for Asante, allowing him to delve deeper into his craft. “Being a part of the Canadian Songwriters challenge taught me so much about my craft. At the time, I wasn’t much of a co-writer, as most of my material was written by me alone. The songwriters challenge taught me how to work with other writers, and ultimately made me fall in love with the process. It taught me that Music is truly a team-based sport,” he reflects.

Delving into what gives his music a unique edge, Asante emphasizes the importance of authenticity. “I removed all of the superficial out of my music. I am way less focused on ‘they are going to love this’ and more focused on ‘I love this’. For me, it changed the game,” he states. This approach to songwriting has allowed Asante to create music that resonates deeply with both himself and his audience, forging a genuine connection through his art.

Growing up in Richmond Hill, Asante’s early life was imbued with diverse musical influences, thanks to his mother. “I credit my music career and my taste of music to my mother. She would play so much different music around the house. Going from Biggie Smalls, into the Eagles, to Stevie Wonder, etc. She is the reason I’m a genreless artist,” he recalls. This eclectic exposure has undoubtedly contributed to his versatile and expansive approach to music.

Asante views rehearsing as an essential aspect of respecting his audience and his craft. “Rehearsing is everything to me. The way I see it, people are taking time out of their day and spending money to go to my show. If I am not rehearsing all the time, at least 20 hours plus before each show then I am short changing my fans, short changing my supporters, and short changing myself. A good performance is the best way to show your fans that you believe in them,” he explains, underscoring his dedication to delivering outstanding live performances.

Winning awards at the Essence & Culture Awards and the Forest City London Music Awards in 2023 was a moment of validation for Asante. “Winning these awards was very validating to me. They reminded me that I am doing a great job and other people see that. Music is a funny thing, because you work so hard every day, but nobody knows. People don’t see your growth like you can. So when I won the award, it was shocking because it showed me that people really love and appreciate what I do, and have noticed my tremendous growth. I love London so much,” he shares.
Looking ahead, Asante dreams of collaborating with artists who share his passion for authenticity in music. “The one artist I would really love to do a collaboration with is Billie Eilish. I’m a huge fan of hers and love her artistry. She’s all about authenticity and sees music much differently than most. I love artists who even if they weren’t making any money from music, they would still do it because they love it. I get that vibe from her and I know we would be able to make some beautiful music together,” he envisages.

For Asante, investing in his music career is crucial. He advises, “Investing in your career is everything. If music isn’t something you want to do 24/7, I wouldn’t suggest investing in it. Music investments are something that pays off in the long run. There are smart ways to invest in your music, which is what I learned the hard way. Grants are one of the best sources to fund your music, as you don’t have to go broke doing so. Another great source that I find helps is sponsors and investors. These are harder to gain but you can by approaching them with a proper business plan. I create business plans for each project I work on, and that has helped me tremendously. It’s what will separate you from other artists.”
As Asante continues to evolve and make his mark in the music industry, his story serves as an inspiring example of how passion, perseverance, and authenticity can lead to extraordinary achievements.

As seen in the February 2024 issue:

519 Issue 65 January 2024 - 2.0web-1

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