Asher Brown is a folk singer/songwriter currently based out of Minneapolis, MN. Asher grew up in Cedar Rapids, IA and started writing songs when he was 14 as a way to escape, grow, and come to terms with his own identity as a queer person. He was largely influenced by his guitarist and metalhead older brother. Following high school, Asher attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in songwriting. Asher’s musical inspirations include Brandi Carlile, Paul Simon, James Bay, Shakey Graves, Parker Millsap, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.
Since returning to the Midwest, Asher has been steadily making a name for himself as a songwriter sharing the stories of the unpopular and unrepresented. “I think I’m just now figuring out what my songwriting voice sounds like. I went through phases of trying to learn how to write commercially digestible songs, and I’ve come to realize that the most fulfilling songs I’ve written have served as representation for something that we don’t like to talk about. Now my songwriting is focused on writing songs of substance in a way that gets stuck in your head.”
Asher’s writing process usually happens late at night with the attention of his 3-year-old basset-pitbull, Scully.
“My songwriting happens in two different ways. I have a running list of guitar parts and chord progressions that I like, and I also have a notebook of lyric ideas or topics I want to write about. When I sit down to write a song I use one of these ideas as a jumping off point and see where the song takes me. The hardest part of my songwriting process is learning how to get out of the way and not mold the song into something it isn’t.”
Asher frequently plays at Pride events and for Gender-Sexuality Alliances on college campuses. As a mentor for developing LGBTQ musicians, Asher believes music provides a platform for young people to navigate their identity journeys. “To the young queer musicians: write as honestly as you can. You have a unique perspective and the world needs much more of it. Know that not everybody will “get it” and that’s okay.”
Pitchforks, Asher's debut album, is a collection of songs documenting the pivotal moments of transition in his life - coming to terms with the loss of his brother, embracing uncertainty, and navigating the vulnerability of being openly transgender. “Pitchforks represents my way back into music after stepping away out of fear for a few years. This was also me finding my voice. After a rough few years of feeling voiceless, these songs were my rebuttal.”
Where Pitchforks chronicles Asher’s personal tribulations, his second album currently in the works narrates contemporary political turbulence. “The 2016 election and the cultural shifts in the United States has weighed heavily on me. I didn’t mean to become a political writer, but every time I start writing, politics pours out. I’m unsettled by feeling powerless and songwriting has helped me channel my energy into something useful. This next record is going to be topical and intentionally uncomfortable. It won’t sit well with everyone, and I’m glad. These songs aren’t for everyone. “
In addition to writing his second album, Asher is preparing for a six-month trip abroad as a guitarist for Celebrity Cruises. He will be playing in China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.