IN CONVERSATION WITH ASHER MOSS
Asher Moss – the multifaceted creative continuously igniting the artistic scenes. Renowned for his exceptional fashion photography, he has collaborated with prestigious brands and magazines like Calvin Klein, Saint Laurent, Ignant, and Interview Magazine. What sets him apart is his self-taught journey in directing and photography, breaking new ground by shooting film in the digital age of 2012. This trend caught the attention of thousands and resulted in his work being viewed and shared by millions of people worldwide.
Having worked extensively on an international scale, Asher Moss’s signature style is best described as voyeuristic, mysterious, and timeless, shaping campaigns in diverse locations, from France and Spain to Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, and New Zealand, to name just a few. “Caught between a memory and a dream,” as his work is described, Asher Moss emphasizes a cinematic and narrative-based artistic aesthetic that is often characterized by poppy textures and centered around a heroine femme fatale.
Now the photography genius expands his artistic repertoire by debuting his first EP Origins, with independent music label Enroute Records. This musical exploration and psychological study come with an inspirational and deeply touching story and background. During this conversation we delved into the EP’s origin story, meaning and development, as well as Asher Moss’s overarching work and experience. With an emphasis on the visual part of Origins, we also present the captivating music video for the song If I Knew How to Break.
You are a renowned fashion photographer. What motivated you to expand your artistic repertoire and dive into music and videography?
Music is in my bones. As a child, my family would play and when I became a teenager, I started my first band, Suede Brick Lucy, a 90s grunge rock band. I eventually moved to Nashville where I played and toured with many artists, including Rayland Baxter and then on to Dallas where I’d jam with Leon Bridges in the back room of my tiny apartment.
My directing work came naturally out of the photo world. When I first started, I was shooting everything on a Super 8 camera which wasn’t being used much at the time like it is now in fashion.
How has your previous work, experience and aesthetic as a fashion photographer and director influenced your work on your debut EP project?
Have you ever thought about what sound looks like or what a photo sounds like? That has been my exploration and I am still pursuing it as I make new music. I’m often asking myself that very question.
Your debut EP Origins is said to be a psychological study and a musical exploration, dealing with the tragedy you’ve experienced in your early life. Can you share how these personal experiences shaped the theme and direction of the EP?
I think for any honest musical artist they would admit that it is unquestionably a form of therapy. Whether it’s instrumental or lyrical, to write and play is simply enough to work the demons out that we’ve all faced at some time or another. They have shaped both the musical journey of the EP as well as the lyrics, and I think you can feel that when listening to the music, it feels heavy, at times emotionally and that’s a direct result of the therapeutic nature.
So especially the writing part has been a valuable therapy for you, helping you cope with heavy emotions. Can you tell us about the process of translating those emotions into music?
I’ve never done anything this honest so it feels true and right. Even in my photo works I’m rarely seen and most people don’t know what I look like as I often obscure myself. With this music journey I’m putting myself out there more.
What do you hope listeners take away from Origins?
I think anyone who’s dealt with tragedy will connect either with the music, lyrics or both. I can only hope it can make others feel that they’re not alone.
You worked on the EP together with producer Jordan Lawlor in the desert. Can you describe the creative process and how your relationship and the environment influenced the sound and themes of the EP?
The process was very postal service. Even though we live ten minutes from each other we each have our own dedicated studio space so I’d send him a demo and he’d expand on it and send it back to me whereupon I would expand on that until we both felt we reached a good place for the song. The desert is a great influence for many musicians as you know, the solitude and confinement can be a great place to explore musical creations.
If I Knew How to Break has a captivating music video that tells a story of two strangers on a bus, portraying the push and pull of falling in love and vulnerability. Can you share more about the creative process behind this video, and how did it relate to the song’s meaning?
The concept for the video was written directly in line with the lyrical content, and I really imagined movement, slow and stunning with a heightened physical chemistry that would flow with the mellow tone of the music. My choreographer Ryan Spencer was a brilliant fit. He really found the right rhythm for the dancers to bring home the story of the song simply through movement. You could watch the video without lyrics and probably understand the tension and obsession.
There is a synergy between the two dancers but it ends with them parting ways again – what was meant by this ending element?
The title of the track is If I knew How to Break. The If is why it ended the way it did. Most people, when it comes to getting truly vulnerable, break, and can’t make a relationship work. We are all so guarded these days, it takes a lot to open up to someone who could potentially break us.
You are going to have a release show at the Moroccan Lounge in LA on the 12th of August. How do you feel about performing your debut EP live, and what can your audience expect from this show?
I’ve got such a good band I can’t wait to explore these songs again live. We did a secret show in the desert to test it out live and it was really great. I’ve never played the Moroccan so it will be cool to perform there.
As a multi-faceted artist with a diverse artistic repertoire, what creative endeavors are you looking to explore in the future? Do you have any plans for further expanding your artistic horizons, or work on music and writing beyond Origins?
Yes, Origins 2.0 is in the works and I hope to put out a full length record in the future. I’m also working towards writing/directing a feature film. That’s the final angle in what I call my pyramid. And I’ll be showing some really large photo prints that I shot exclusively for the EP with my friend Abby Brothers.
Interview by Thore Damwerth