× Shop Archive About about contact jobs magazine advertising terms & conditions privacy policy Follow Instagram Facebook

In conversation with Ashnikko

Join the animal crossing meet and greet… but don’t steal her fruit!

Micaela McLucas

What a babe! London based alt-pop singer Ashnikko is truly a laugh a minute and this interview was no different. In light of her newest release (today btw!) Daisy, the singer sat with us to discuss her rise to fame and all the ins and outs of the industry, that let’s just say, she’s NOT as fond of! As always, Ashnikko shares her message of empowerment and engagement- letting us have a sneak peek around what’s to come in her true alternative style. If animal crossing meet and greets, as well as futuristic fantasies of ‘computer brain’, are within your niche then this is the gal for you (but don’t steal her fruit)! 

How are you today?

I’m good! Just finishing off my mixtape- which means answering 100 million emails (which no one tells you that when you say you wanna do a mix)! I literally fucking hate emails. I wish I could do them in my brain. 

I have this bad habit of thinking I sometimes can! 

Oh yeah, I do that. I WISH I could- that would be super sick! Although, I don’t think I want a computer in my brain. Maybe that’s my own private space you know? Haha. 

Away from the world of AI?

Haha yeah, woah- we’re getting a bit black mirror here! 

Always a bit black mirror! How is this crazy time for you right now? New (very successful) single and all…

My manager was just saying to me earlier that I’m a little bit mental because I can’t gage how well I’m doing! I just don’t know how? 

It did SO well when it came out we were all huddled around the computer here in the office watching. The video is crazy! 

I’m so glad you like it! It’s a weird one haha. I was like, should we have her ripping a girl in half… or not? Well, we went with ripping her in half! 

So sick. Did you have much involvement behind the animation? 

I think, for me, no? But in other people’s perception… yes. I thought I was taking a step back because I’m obviously not an animator so I let the director do his thing. But I was super involved in styling, how I wanted to look, the narrative…. It was about my ex-best friend who I was secretly in love with, but she also fucked my boyfriend. It was a weird betrayal love triangle. He took that concept and made it into this video game masterpiece. 

Sounds like you were very involved then! 

Okay… maybe just not as involved as usual, mainly due to logistical barriers (coronavirus).

Coronavirus and all, this is a surreal time to be on the rise as an artist. How have you managed with all of that?

When my tour with Doja Cat got cancelled, and then my world tour, I was really sad. It was my biggest year yet! So, yeah, that was really sad. I’m okay though; I feel like I’m very equipped to be an artist on the internet! 

For sure, I would even say you’ve come on the scene in the most digital-way possible. The internet and who you are as an artist fit perfectly. 

I think it’s just about being creative and tapping back into that DIY spirit. Ultimately, nobody has the answers. No management company is equipped to deal with an artist coming up in a global pandemic- there’s no guide. It’s nice, however, because I can set my own tone and my own pace. I am a perfectionist, a real control freak when it comes down to every single minute detail (which my managers are absolutely going insane about). It’s fine though, it gives me more control. It’s exhausting, but I prefer it that way. I did have a digital team for all of one week. They posted something which just wasn’t exactly right and I was like NOPE- we can’t do it. 

Photograph by Micaela McLucas

Taking back the reins then! I think right now it’s super important that artists have their own voice- not just a team anymore. People like to see whats genuine, right?

I think you can’t be just one thing anymore- you can’t be an artist without being socially conscious. Ultimately, we are at a pivotal moment in history so now’s the best time to be a role model. 

Right! Especially because many are relying on the internet now to find role models, or rather the information that isn’t given to them in their personal reality. 

Yeah, I want to put good things into the world that I’m proud of. I want to be outspoken about my beliefs. Using my platform for good things. 

And you really are, not everyone is on the same wavelength right now! 

Yeah and that feels like a way more dated thing no? To not use your platform in a positive way? That’s a dated way of existing in the music industry, to be silent for fear of alienation. I don’t want ANY transphobes, racists, homophobes, misogynists listening to my music. They can Suck. My. Nuts.

And they don’t deserve to listen. Could you tell me a little about the creative process behind the single? 

So the song Cry came from this phase I went through writing songs in tears. Going to the studio, crying over a beat… It was like a year and a half where I wrote so many angry and sad songs and cried from that era. When grimes followed me on Instagram, I was like ‘oh my fucking god… I have to have Grimes on this song’. So I shoot my shot and it worked out… She said yes. We did a really 21st century link up, it was all remote over email and Instagram. 



It’s interesting to hear that the song came from such a vulnerable place, of you, crying in the studio- because the animation is so strong! Like a warrior. 

I think I write a lot of my songs from a very insecure and sad place, as like a pep-talk. A lot of people are like, ‘oh my god, how are you so confident?’ And I just think, babe, these songs are literally just me trying to hype myself up. Telling myself to get the fuck over whatever it is calling me pain. 

That’s a special skill though, one not many people have, and I think that’s why it connects so well with the audience. It’s natural and personal, and therefore genuine. We all often go through almost identical experiences. 

Exactly. No one is really that special. We have all experienced heartbreak in one way, shape or form. We all pretty much experience love- the whole range of emotions. Obviously that’s not the case in EVERY situation- but for me to write my songs personally for me is the best way, because then people can relate from there. Some people write songs specifically to relate to everyone which dismisses the audience’s intelligence. Whenever I’m like, maybe I should add this lyric because it’s too specific to me, I think… well…. People are smart, even if it doesn’t resonate with them (particularly with pronouns), people can switch it up to fit them. 

You also have a new song dropping! (Today), how similar is it to cry?

No, it’s totally different. This is probably my best song! I hate release day. It’s the worst for me. I spend release day curled up in bed trying not to look at my phone. It’s basically taking the love of your life (my favourite child), and I’m sending her off to college and I’m scared people are going to pick on her. 

Like a worried mum?

Yeah… it takes me like a full week before I can be cool with it. 

Did the release of cry release the pressure at all?

It’s just a sick song! I think it will do well, but on that day I will be frightened. 

That’s human nature though right?

She’s just my favourite child for a reason, she’s just a real banger! Shes does like LOADS of humanitarian work, adopted children… She’s got big tits, really long silky hair where everyone is like ‘oh my god are you wearing a wig’ but no. it’s her real hair down to her ankles. She’s cool. She’s stunning. The video is just fucking nuts also. 

Can’t wait! What else can we anticipate from you in the future?

Im putting out a mixtape, I am playing animal crossing… not like casually- I’ve racked up 48 hours in three days. My managers are pretty pissed off about that, but I’m having a great time! I’m building up my island, and I’m going to have lots of meet and greets, hang out. Don’t fucking steal my fruit cos ill freak out. I’m going to try to do a live stream show there. 

Listen to Daisy today!

Words by Grace Powell