Primary Instrument: Cello
Coming from a family with a musical and theatrical background, her father a blues singer and mother a former actor, Ashia knew she was meant to lead a life in an artistic field. She was born in Poland, but her family came to the United States via former West Germany in 1984 due to political and social upheaval. Upon settling in the U.S. a few years later, she began her cello studies at the age of 9. While still in high-school, she started to combine singing and playing the cello and continued this distinct concept well into college at Central Washington University with a Farrell Merit Scholarship recital titled Non-Traditional Cello. While in college Ashia enjoyed the opportunity to perform classical cello in the United States and abroad in Japan and Canada....
To bare only your voice and your cello, writing your own music in the artistic element to boot, well, you've got guts. She's also got the pipes, and a steady hand on the strings with a tonal quality that is often something special. Akin to coffeehouse music, this is mood music, which Could appeal more to the theatrical crowd than the teens, but there's a captivating magic to it if you allow yourself the time to sit and stare and ponder. You can lose yourself in the emotion of the complexity of the disc's simpleness. Well worth a listen, for the open-minded.
John Book, The Run Off Groove
Ashia is a singer, songwriter, and cellist. For some that might mean a road to quirkiness, and in Ashia's case it's not a bad thing. Pay To Be Loved (self-released) is a wonderful 6-song EP which shows how expressive she is on the vocals and with the cello, where she can be happy, melodramatic, and dark all within a few minutes. Her singing tends to be on the Regina Spektor side, where it might sound child-like at first, but becomes much more as you turn every corner with her. While having a cello might seem basic for some, she manages to bring the listener into any motif she feels like creating, be it jazz, pop, classical, or something that might be considered a scatterbrain hop, skip, and a jump to the next song (and that was meant as a compliment). You see her and might think of a variation of a Vanessa Carlton but if this is pop, it's more of the Bjork and Feist variety, not Jessica Simpson. With the range of music she plays here, she could easily do a country song, move right into some light punk, and perhaps do what Elvis Costello did with The Juliet Letters. But she is her own woman with her own style, doing her own thing in her own time, and I hope she'll be able to move up into the world for everyone to hear and appreciate.
Mite, The Chicken Fish Speaks
I love this release. Ashia combines the vocal sensibilities of Elenie Mandel and the avant-garde musical approach of The Dresden Dolls with the intensiveness of P.J. Harvey. How could this not be good? Standouts include the title track, Pay to Be Loved as well as Nomanmad and Ne Me Quitte Pas. The songs are a definite addition to my MP3 mix.
Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
A sexy lady that grew up when alternative was hot but gets her paycheck from Cirque du Soleil knows the value of visuals in presentation. With an alt. temperament tempered by Judy Henske beat moves, this is alt for real alt tastes. With some Nico by way of Edith Piaf, if any new record was custom made to be a Christmas gift for the art chick in your life, this is it.
Anna Maria Stjärnell, Luna Kafé Menu - Full Moon #137
Ashia Grzesik makes a persuasive debut with this record. The singer/cellist has a flexible voice and plays her instrument beautifully. Divine Killer sees her bluesy delivery evoking a P.J Harvey feel while the music heads elsewhere. Fossil heads into vaguely Rasputina-esque territory but she ahs her own voice. She makes a fabulous version of Jaques Brel's Ne me quitte pas. Ashia, armed with just her cello and voice gets to the songs heart. Her music defies easy categorization and is all the better for it. She has a bright future ahead of her.
Pay To Be Loved
Divine Killer: Fossil: Pay To Be Loved: Ne Me Quitte Pas: Nomanmad: Clean For You
Personnel: Ashia: Cello and Voice.
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.