Ashley Jones, known as Treasure Fingers, is a man, not a lady. Like the Ashley in Gone With The Wind, Jones is also from Atlanta. But unlike the guy in the book with Scarlett O'Hara, he's a highly coveted disco house DJ and producer who spends much of his life on the road.
He was once part of the drum 'n' bass group Evol Intent. Now signed to Fool's Gold as Treasure Fingers, he creates original tracks and remixes songs for many artists, including Snowden and Miike Snow.
Just the other day, Crossfade spoke with Jones about his influences and favorite albums. He also gave aspiring DJs a bit of sage advice.
Crossfade: What have been the most influential elements in helping you create your current sound?
I'd say that early-'80s funk has been the greatest influence in general. But what I have been working on lately has been hugely influenced by '90s house, mostly garage from both the US and UK.
Anything happen in your life that made music the easiest or most logical career path?
Not necessarily. Honestly, I never chose it as a career path. Music was just something I've always loved and done. It's always been a hobby. I went to school for design and visual communications, and I'd probably still be working in that industry if things hadn't taken off for me. It was a gradual move from quitting a full-time design job, to freelancing, then slowly I just didn't have enough time to pick up freelance work anymore, and I could support myself with the money I was making from music.
Will you be performing alone or with a live band at Grand Central?
I'll just be DJing alone. I would like to do a live show with a band at some point, but I think that's pretty far in the future and a lot of the stuff I'm writing right now doesn't really lend itself to be performed easily by a band. I'm happy being stuck in the dark DJ booth for the time being.
What's the most recent best thing that you've heard?
Something brand, brand new is this Fire Flowerz EP
that just came out. But in general, lately, I've been a big fan of this guy, Deep Future
, from Ireland.
What were a few albums you wore out when you were growing up?
Anything NWA and post-NWA projects from each of them. Eazy was always my favorite out of the bunch, though. NOFX's Punk in Drublic was another one that got completely worn out. We skated to that for probably two years straight. I listened to a lot of Parliament/Funkadelic and Zapp and Roger also.
Who's been your favorite person to collaborate with so far?
I haven't collaborated too much with the Treasure Fingers project. But I just started a few tracks with Codes and we flow really well and the songs just end up finished before we know it.
Any advice for budding DJs?
Well, something that's a given is just be a great DJ before promoting yourself. This should be common knowledge. But I come across a lot of bad DJs who probably started playing out too soon, and didn't last long. Just hone your skills, everything from the technical stuff to just finding a good flow to your set and overall programming your tracks to compliment each other. Once you are ready, then promote, promote, promote! Put mixes online, start a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, any avenue you can think of to reach people. Once you have a fan base, the bookings will start rolling in.
You grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and then Atlanta and now Brooklyn. Also, you're on tour all the time, any preference, small town or big city, home or on the road?
I love traveling and being on the road. But when I'm not touring, I definitely prefer being in a big city. Although, I have those phases where I wish I could get away to a small remote town for a bit.
Where's your favorite place on earth?
I'd say either Bali or Costa Rica, out of all the places I've been so far. They're just amazing environments. Beautiful forests, wildlife, and beaches.
Treasure Fingers as part of Christmas in July. Saturday, July 2. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Doors open at 11 p.m. and until midnight, free frosty margaritas will be available as will eight dollar stocking stuffer specials with PBR and a Jameson shot go all night long. Tickets cost $10 plus fees via fla.vor.us. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.
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