1. Up To Me Asha Gold 2:41

London’s magnetic pop-talent Asha Gold returns hot on the heels of her Glastonbury 2022 performance to unveil her first track of the year. Fragrant single ‘Up To Me’ is the epitome of Gold’s artistic identity, an unpredictable and nuanced number with timeless yet innovative qualities. Presenting her staple and silky melodic choreographies, Gold taps at the crossroads of pop and R&B to take ‘Up To Me’ a step ahead into an irresistibly refined sound that is truly unique to her.

On writing and production, Gold joins forces with popular London party band Bamily’s multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Fulford Smith to deliver a refreshing summer pop song composed of candied tones and zestful instrumentation. Seeing her log of impressive collaborations, and having received praise from global tastemakers of Rolling Stone, BBC Radio 1, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network, The Line Of Best Fit, Colors and the likes, Asha is confirmed to be the gift that keeps on giving. She even affirms her strength in the live music scene having performed at Lord’s Cricket Ground for 30,000 people, headlined at Laylow, and opened for Olivia Dean and Tamera.

All along, Asha Gold has captivated thousands of people with her accessible yet introspective sound. ‘Up To Me’ is no exception. Immediately infatuating, the track calls the attention of listeners with the introductory refrain, the lyrics isolated to accentuate the creamy vocals and instantly disclose the track’s playfulness. Bright and clean-cut, the production then glows into the mix and gracefully shows off its dainty and youthful character, dancing around for a few seconds before its harmonious meeting with Gold’s voice.

The first verse sets the scene: Asha faces the reality of limited time and responsibility, reminiscing on the past’s fleeting nature, recalling it as effortless and carefree. The nostalgic feeling is amplified by the stripped back arrangement in the first half of the verse which evokes reflection. The full beat later makes a comeback to adorn the track, giving it a hopeful push into the chorus. With a perky melody, Asha Gold wins listeners over, enveloping them in a playful sweetness, stating she’d “put you on lockdown/just to keep you here right now”.

Blessing the second verse with flute-like backing vocals, Asha accompanies the crisp chordal synths and the bubbly plucked melody, resulting in a delightful musical conversation. The contrast between the dulcet vocal delivery and frisky lyrics showcases Asha Gold’s thorough skill in song crafting. As if that wasn’t enough, the bridge stuns the listener with a wafting take-off into an enchanted and sumptuous dimension of breezy vocals, reverbery motifs and violin-like blends of sounds.

Shifting to a drier mix in the third verse, the track is brought back to a smooth landing, ending on a soft and warm note. Behind the tenderness of ‘Up To Me’, Asha’s art works as a manifestation of her existence and progress as a young British-Asian woman, striving to represent her mixed heritage unapologetically throughout all her creations. Authenticity and genuine expression are Asha’s heartfelt motivations, the sole ones that truly keep her aiming to be that role model she wanted to see when she was a young girl writing songs.

I had a lot of fun writing ‘Up To Me’ – the quicker tempo pushed me to be inventive with melody and challenged me to tell a story without crowding the space with too many words. The lyrics encapsulate a sort of playful nostalgia: it’s about growing up and entering the real world, and therefore losing the freedom to carelessly spend hours upon hours with my favorite people. I play on the idea of wanting to keep someone trapped inside so that I can have 100% of their time. Louis hints at this needy, childlike behavior in the production – the beat is incessant whilst the instruments and samples are super playful. I’m so excited to have this track out, in time for a (hopefully) sunny August!

Asha Gold