“I think any DJ will do well if they are doing it for the right reasons which is to try and make an impact on peoples lives by playing awesome music and to make people happy. Anything that is worth anything is worth sacrificing for.”
– Ashley Batty
Perth DJ Aspiration (also known as Ashley Batty) launched Aspiring Records after DJing for many years. Have a listen to his track Contemption here and check out the interview below. To find out more about Ashley and Aspiring Records, head to his Website, Podcast, Beatport or Soundcloud.
Tell us about Aspiring Records.
Aspiring records was established a few years back. The reason being was that as I was producing my own style of music, few labels would take an interest, saying stuff like, “your tracks are good,, but there’s just something missing. But at the time, all the main djs such as Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Sean Tyas,, etc were all consistently playing my tracks. So I knew all the important people who know what good tunes are were playing my music,,, however the labels were saying theres something missing? That’s when I started to releases tracks under my own label. And also for the fact that when I got a an EP signed to the main trance label in the UK they took all the money claiming all the out goings were being spent on different things regarding sales.
You played your first DJ set at 14, what was it that got you into it?
I started playing hip hop on the dex at around the age of twelve, then went to hard trance. It was pretty heavy stuff back then compared to the stuff im playing now, but everyone loved it at the time. If you can play to a venue when you first start out that’s got about 5 people in there and you get them dancing,, that’s when you learn your craft as a dj and how you can work and even manipulate a crowd. If you can get those 5 people dancing, just think what it will be like when you play to a packed out club at prime time.
It must have been amazing to hear Sean Tyas had picked up one of your tracks after working for so many years. Do you remember the moment?
Ha,,, yes. The first tune he played of mine was called ‘synthetic dream’ which got best demo on his show, which is still one of my favourite tunes i’ve made. It’s really weird because when I started producing, all I wanted was for my favourite djs (which were also my heros) to play my music,, specially Paul Van Dyk!!! Once they played my music it didn’t actually make me as happy as I thought it would. I thought it kind of would have been the be all and end all. But all it made me feel is that that I wanted to move onto the next goal I wanted to accomplish. The tracks im currently producing are tunes that im making to satisfy my own needs of what I want to be hearing,, with also taking into consideration that other people will like it of course. Im not making music any more just for the main guys to play. Im kind of like soul searching to establish my own unique style, so when people hear one of my tunes they can say that tune is by me, instead of that tune sounds like a Paul Van Dyk, Sean Tyas, Deadmau5 etc tune.
You also run a Podcast. What can people expect to hear from this?
The tracks that im putting on the podcasts are tracks that im into and feeling at the time of when I make them,, which is the start of every month. 2 years worth of them got lost due to itunes losing the podcast code. But you can hear the change of styles from around a year and a half ago which was when I was playing trance change gradually up until the present month. The tempo has dropped alot. I still like the uplifting trance elements of trance but not so much the 140bpm stuff,, im really not connecting with that stuff any more. At the moment the podcasts are comprising of the (strictly underground) house, tech house, progressive house, techno, progressive house and trance.
What tracks are you working on at the moment?
I think I’m finally establishing and finding the style which im happy with. The track im working on kind of like a cross genre in between progressive and techno. Because ive just moved to Australia i havnt been able to properly mix down the tracks ive been working on, due to me not having my studio equipment. But now its here I can finally get cracking and getting some of the tracks finished that ive been putting together on my laptop. All i can say is that im very excited in the new style that ive finally found.
What’s it like when you hear one of your tracks being played in a club?
Ive hear Paul Van Dyk play one of my tracks at Cream in amnesia before, which was a dream come true cos the at the time he was my fave dj and that is my favourite club. To me that was like scoring a goal for country or achieving whatever your interested in.
Who do you like to collaborate with?
Errrm, ive always been a massive fan of deadmau5 regarding his production skills. Id love to spend a few days in the studio with him. Check out Deadmau5 4×4=12 (that is an awesome album)
What sorts of awards have you won along the way?
I won a rising stars contest on the radio back in the UK in 2005. My winning set was then showcased on the main slot as the main djs play such as, Tiesto, PVD, Armin Van Buuren, etc.
Biggest crowd you’ve done a set for?
Is only 1500 which was a rave back when I was 18. Big crowds are cool to play to but id much rather play in a smaller club with a good solid sound system. You can get more of an intimate atmosphere in smaller clubs which is very cool. Bigger clubs are wicked to play at through.
You’re constantly uploading tracks, what keeps you inspired?
Buying and listening to tracks for my podcast inspires me a lot. A lot of the time I make music as kind of like a therapy thing. If im not making music im not fully happy. I get inspired massively ever time I go to Ibiza,, absolutely love that place.
What advice would you give to DJs just starting out?
Not sure what to say to that one,,, at the min the whole dj scene is making me cring!!! It used to be a really cool thing to do. Theres nothing better than seeing a dj absolutely tear the roof off a club. Until you see this a lot of people cannot understand how much a really good dj can have on a night. My favourite all time club which is Amnesia booked ‘Paris Hilton’ last year for a few sets. I think even Justin beiber stood behind the dex waving his arms around without a t-shirt on. The scene is a lot different to when I first started,, its a lot more main stream. I think any dj will do well if they are doing it for the right reasons which is to try and make an impact on peoples lives by play awesome music and to make people happy. Anything that is worth anything is worth sacrificing for.