We’d all love to have it our way all of the time, but sadly that’s not realistic.
My name is Asha Gold and my new single “Up To Me” plays with the disillusionment of growing up and taking on new responsibilities – it’s centred on the idea of not having as much time to spend with the people you love. I wrote it when life was beginning to feel like more work and less play.
Louis (the producer/co-writer) and I were mucking about with a tiny midi keyboard towards the end of a session and Louis came up with the synth chords. The first word that popped into my head was “lockdown” for some reason, and the first melody I sang was the hook. It was one of those songs that kind of wrote itself – we had the shape of it within about 20 minutes.
Lyrically, I was thinking about wanting to spend all my time with someone, frustrated at the fact work was making them less available, so I played with the idea of imposing my own sort of lockdown so that they wouldn’t be able to escape.
Louis and I were trying to find a playful but slightly psycho voice through the lyrics to reflect the jokey tone, but also ring true with the more serious message within the song. The short, snappy phrases match the boppiness of the production and emulate the idea of snatching moments with someone, always wanting more time.
I suppose with lyrics such as “Places, wish that we could trade them // Take a look through my lens // Maybe you would understand”, I’m also asking for some recognition of how life’s changes are affecting me. I think the addition of the sweet and airy backing vocals ensure that the content never feels too “deep” or heavy, they keep it sonically light and lyrically lighthearted.
There was a sub theme in my head of coming out of an actual lockdown, which coincided with a speeding up of life itself. Without wanting to trigger people or remind them about the ups and downs of covid, I was trying to play on the idea of wanting to put someone in my own sort of quarantine… as bizarre as that sounds…
The song is a little different to my other releases – I usually go for longer or more sustained melodic phrases, more complex melodies and more wordy lyrics. I enjoyed the challenge of telling a story with fewer words however, and I think it creates a punchiness that artists such as Lily Allen have utilised in their songwriting.
A couple months after writing the song, Louis and I got back together and wrote the bridge – it’s a more sensitive, open moment that kind of reminisces on the way things used to be. We were going to revocal the whole track but the original takes just had an honesty and effortlessness that we couldn’t recreate.
I love working with Louis because he always pushes me vocally. He’s got an ear for vocal delivery and understands the importance of capturing an emotion with each line. You can sing a phrase note perfect, but if there’s no meaning behind it or in the tone, it doesn’t resonate in the same way.
I’m looking forward to playing the song live because it gives my set a more uptempo moment that people can hopefully bop along to. The track feels perfect for summer hence the August release – I’m picturing it playing on a portable speaker, on Primrose Hill, amongst friends having a couple of drinks in the sun.
I hope it’s a song people can listen to and gradually peel back the layers of meaning.
Listen to “Up To Me” below.