Naadir Soeker, of Ashe Gold, is different to most up and coming artists. He knows exactly what he wants to do with his music and isn’t on the hunt for fame or fortune. Before even starting the interview, he was adamant to explain his views saying, “My music is unlimited. I don’t want my music to be confined to a place. I want my music to be pure. I don’t want to get in the way of how the music should be. I’m just a vessel for it.” This is clearly a man channelling music for the pure joy of it and just getting as good as he possibly can.

Despite having lived in Cape Town all his life, Naadir doesn’t want his music to be Capetonian. “Music in Cape Town tends to be limited by a place, for example, the artists in Cape Town have music which sounds Capetonian. It’s pretty cool but I want my music to be universal.”

Naadir started playing guitar in grade 8 and got the idea for Ashe Gold in grade 11. He started playing self-taught rock and copied the artists he liked, before taking up formal jazz lessons in 2009. But it wasn’t a love-at-first-sight relationship. “I didn’t really like jazz at the time. I actually hated it. I was like what is this? What am I listening to?”

Eventually, his rock side collided with his jazz influence. “I was coming with my rock star ways and rebelling against the jazz. They were force feeding me this jazz but I got used to it after a while and I incorporated jazz into my rock.”

Jazz isn’t his only influence though. “I do find inspiration from some bands. The structure of my music, I don’t strictly consider it rock, but it has a rockish structure. I get the structure from bands like He Is Legend, Underoath, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Animals As Leaders.”

When asked if he has a role model, Naadir claims he has none but he would be stoked to jam with Dallas Green of the band City and Colour, saying, “He is amazing.” But Naadir quickly says that, “no one can really jam with him. You just need to leave him on stage to do his own thing.”

Before Ashe Gold became a 3-piece band, Naadir was producing tracks on his own. “I recorded tracks in my bedroom. I produced the drums, bass and guitar on my own.” This all changed after Naadir posted an advertisement on GumTree and, after a while, people responded. “I interviewed several people, driving around like a mad person to town, all over the show.” He didn’t find the people he wanted immediately though saying, “Some of them really sucked.”

Eventually he found what he was looking for in the form of a Swiss drummer named Gianni. “He came here without a drum kit and is building up his set again. He is super good.” Ashe Gold’s other member is a blues guitarist named Zac. When asked about a bassist, Naadir just laughs and says, “My bassist is currently a shadow. He doesn’t exist yet.”

A psychology student at UCT, Naadir currently divides his time between studying, teaching and playing for Ashe Gold. “I don’t spend as much time as I should on my music. But now that the band is getting together properly, I’m spending a bit more time on my music.”

Although they have not had any proper gigs yet as a band, Ashe Gold has a great deal of musical passion and they are far more interested in creating more of what they love. Although they want to release an album at some point, this band isn’t looking for raging fans and tons of groupies. Something about them speaks louder than that. They are something special and new and definitely deserve a chance in this crazy industry called music.

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