By Olivia Pineda, Assistant Editor
Ashton Allen is an independent musician as well as one of the founding members of the musical group, Rabbit! whose debut album came out earlier this year. Amazing Kids! Magazine has had the pleasure of getting to know Ashton better through his interview with us covering his music career.
AK: What inspired you to pursue a music career?
AA: I have always had an affinity and love for music, and I am just too stubborn to give it up for anything else.
AK: Did you have a mentor as a child who helped you along the path to your career today, and do you have any mentors today?
AA:As a young kid, my “Mr. Miyagi” took the form of an incredibly special lady, Catherine Murphy, who taught me to play the piano. While I was still too small for my feet to reach the pedals, she would get on the ground and work them with her hands. She called me her “champion”, instilled in me a great sense of rhythm and music theory, and gave me the confidence to musically try just about anything… and to believe that I could succeed at it. Today, I’m inspired more by that of my contemporaries and peers, from some of the writers that I work with on a daily basis, to my roommate and band mate Devin, who just happens to be one of the strongest lyricists and most prolific songwriters that I have come across in my short time here on Earth.
AK: Why did you decide to start the band, Rabbit!?
AA: It was a happy accident. We actually didn’t mean to start the band Rabbit! (or any band at all) for that matter. It just kept “showing up at the front door”, musically speaking, and it wouldn’t go away. Eventually we let it inside, and now it has taken over the studio…and our hearts.
AK: Why is music important to our world today?
AA: Music is important today because it still provides just as much of an opportunity as it always has to speak to the hearts, minds and souls of whoever will listen. Different styles of music exist for that reason. We’re all different and we all receive information in a unique way. Additionally I think it’s important to remember, especially living in the United States where music is particularly important for the Super Bowl halftime show, that there is an entire world of music out there waiting to be discovered, and I believe it’s particularly rewarding to go outside of your comfort zone and explore all that the world of music has to offer.
AK: If you could give a few words of advice to any kid wanting to become a musician, what would you say?
AA: Whatever instrument you want to learn, and no matter how uncool it seems at the time, ALWAYS practice it with a metronome…and then don’t stop.
AK: As a musician, what messages do you hope to leave with your fans and listeners of your music?
AA: I hope that they can hear how much fun we have had and continue to have creating and performing the music. “Rabbit!” is a special breed of band. We only believe in happy endings.
AK: What types of things does the band Rabbit! like to sing about?
AA: We sing about working together, playing together, living and loving life, blue skies and jellybeans.
AK: Why is your band named Rabbit!?
AA: I made Devin start coming up with names…we were cracking up and he must have mentioned 15 or 20 crazy ideas, and then out of nowhere he just said, “What about Rabbit?”. We decided to put an exclamation point on the end and voila. The rest is hare-story. 😉
AK: How would you describe the type of music that Rabbit! makes?
AA: Super-funshine-candycoated music that sings to kids and speaks to adults.
AK: What are your hopes and dreams for the band Rabbit! and yourself as a musician in the future?
AA: I think Rabbit! is unique in the way that we actually have no agenda for the future. Ironically, that’s what has brought us the best opportunities I have ever encountered in my life musically thus far. Don’t get me wrong, we work hard and are serious about what we do, but we have no end goal or musical pursuit other than continue to have fun making and performing music that is sincere and fun-hearted.