Aspen Carruthers is a professional singer who loves to write songs and perform to an audience, it is her life ambition to make people smile and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this dream. She's an acoustic guitarist who can also sing without the aid of an instrument and she loves sharing the stage with fellow musicians. Her track 'To Get By' features on the 'OXJAM' album which features unsigned local artists, all monies made from sales of the album go directly to OXFAM. She won a competition called 'Stairway to the Stars' and she's a member of the Trevor George Entertainment Agency which has opened many doors for her and allowed her to meet some interesting people in her quest to build an organic fanbase....
We caught up with Aspen recently and had a good old chat about Super Powers, performing in the West End and being able to do 'The Charleston', here's how we got on....
So, we know that you’re a singer songwriter from Torquay in Devon, tell me something about yourself that even Google doesn’t know….(yet)!
I have been scouted for various TV shows and music companies.
On Facebook, you describe your musical genre as ‘Everything’, is there a style of music that you would NOT ever entertain playing? Gangsta rap maybe?
I would never consider playing screamo rock.
You won ‘Stairway to the Stars’ when you were 15, tell us what song(s) you performed and who you were up against in the competition?
I sang my cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley and my original song ‘Fly Away’
What did you win?
I won my first ever trophy which is made out of crystal!! I also won £500 and a day in ’fourth floor’ studios. I used the money I won to buy gigging equipment, this has benefited me a lot. I still haven’t used my day in the recording studio as I sadly haven’t had enough time.
Did you get many more gigs as a result of winning the competition?
I actually got asked to audition for the Trevor George Entertainment agency and Get an Act agency. I am officially with Trevor George now but I do play for gigs that Get an Act has set up for me. The agency give me tons of gigs and I have many more to come within the year.
What are your views on local independent music venues closing due to poor ticket sales? Do you think that supermarkets selling cheap booze is one cause of this?
I don’t watch or acknowledge the news so I didn’t know about this case, I like to stay in my own personal bubble so the news doesn’t crush how I’m feeling or make me more afraid of the world.
Kate Bush asked for people to NOT use smartphones and tablets at her shows last year, what are YOUR views on this?
I can understand if she doesn’t want to get videoed throughout her performance just in case she messes up. Or she might not want people to pay attention to anything but her, this could be a confidence issue of hers. I have had an experience in the past during a performance of mine when someone in the front row was playing a game with full volume on their tablet. It didn’t feel good. She can do what she likes, if people will stop going to her shows just because of that rule then they aren’t true fans.
How long have you been playing guitar?
Only 1 year so I am still learning.
What was the first song you ever learned to play?
I actually started playing a riff that I made up. I originally started playing the guitar because I can make music with it and its what I love so that’s what I started doing.
Do you play any other musical instruments (I used to be a whizz on the triangle at school!)
I play the piano when I’m in a dark room with no one around as I’m not so confident on it.
I played the recorder once in my life, in my early days of four years old, I got told I have no musical talent and that I was awful so I quit.
Do you have a list of upcoming gigs?
I have 6 gigs at the Whitehall Country Park coming up spread throughout the year. I have gigs at Rock Garden (if all goes well then they will become regular slots and I will be playing there every Wednesday evening from 9-11). I have more gigs at Bright Holm Holiday Park and the Cavendish Hotel. I was the opening act at the Lakeside Holiday Camp and I am also the closing act for the camp at the end of summer. I play in different bar’s etc as well but these are my main gigs.
There are loads of acts out there, please recommend 3 that I can check out….
Josh Ford (drummer) in the band ‘Arcadia’ that has just started up
Festival season is nearly upon us, are you planning on playing or attending any this year?
Neither because I am focusing on my gigs. I also sadly don’t have the time.
Who would you say was the one act or band that made you want to pick up a guitar and start playing?
None actually. I started playing because I wanted to be an independent artist and make music. The idol that inspired me to sing is Christina Aguilera!
You play locally in Torquay, do you have a favourite venue?
Hopefully it will be Rock Garden in Torquay if all goes well but my favourite venue at the moment is in Paignton and it’s ‘Whitehall Country Park’.
What would you say is the BEST album in the world ever?
Back to Basics - Christina Aguilera
If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
My super power would be to teleport to places because I am very impatient when it comes to sitting in a train or bus, or even in a car.
You are responsible for nominating the 3 headline acts at Glastonbury next year, who is going to closing the Pyramid stage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
What was the first ever gig you attended?
Do mean my own gig or someone elses because I have never been to a gig to watch someone, never even been to a concert.
What is your favourite ‘Sunday Morning’ album?
I don’t have a ‘Sunday Morning’ album, but I do have a Sunday morning artist and that’s Rae Morris, she is very chilled...
What are your career aspirations?
I sing, dance and act and I want to be on in the West End! I also hope to attend Mountview Theatre Arts School to train for the West End.
Do you have a special party trick? (I can juggle!)
I can do the Charleston.
Can you eat 4 cream crackers in under one minute WITHOUT a glass of water? (try it and let me know!)
No No No, I hate cream crackers!!!
Do you think that SPOTIFY is THE future of music or do you see CD’s and Vinyl sticking around a while longer?
Spotify has been out for a long time and still hasn’t overcome CD’s and Vinyl. There are plenty of apps etc that can take the place of spotify. Youtube takes over spotify anyway.
What are your plans for the rest of this year?
I have quit waitressing as I am now making money out of what I love doing and that is gigging/performing/singing. I am going away to London for two weeks as I will be training to be in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat! I will be performing in the West End as well. I haven't been casted yet but I do have a place in the performance, my dream role is to be the narrator, so wish me luck on the call backs!! I am 16, so I will be taking my GCSE exams and gigging at the same time so there are a lot of late nights singing instead of revising but I try not to slip up on my exams, especially music and drama! I am meeting the producers of a specific tv show that I'm not allowed to name but it is very exciting!
Despite her being in 'Joseph', we had a good hard think and even that doesn't excuse her from having to answer our 'quickfire questions', we sat her back down, asked her to take off her technicolored coat and prepare....
Tea or Coffee?
Lie in or Up Early?
Bob Dylan or Ed Sheeran?
X-Factor or Strictly?
I like them both but Strickly (I love watching people dance).
Sunbathing or Snowboarding?
Sunbathing, I hate the cold.
Camping or Campervan?
Camper van, I can't deal with insects.
Regular gig or Festival appearance?
Black & White or Colour?
Black and white
BBQ or Sit down dinner?
Paperback or Kindle?
Acoustic or Electric?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Aspen for sparing her time to answer our questions, we wish her every success in London and for her future gigs, who knows, we may even pop over to the Rock Garden to catch her play on a Wednesday night (between 9-11pm), I have listed all her social media channels below, if you can spare a few minutes PLEASE go and take a look around them, I'm sure there's something for everyone!
Interview by Steve Muscutt