Bay Area raised multi-faceted artist Austin Dean Ashford makes his mark on our site with his debut LP Sophisti-Ratchet Soundtrack, a 7 track project that serves as the backdrop for an audio drama produced by the artist. The project is a mix of several genres showcasing his versatility and penchant for going for a global sound that everyone can gravitate towards. From booming Island trap vibes, a fusion of Afro-Latin grooves, and his innate Bay Area swag, Austin Dean Ashford is able to give the listeners different parts of his artistry in his own unique manner.
The project opens with the title track Sophisti-Ratchet and sees Ashford in his element. Backed by a country guitar-laden trap backdrop, he opens up to the listenr and draws them into his life. He is joined by rapper Noel Scales who shares her own black experiences and adds a nice touch to the gripping track. The follow-up track “Spirit” is inspired by classic negro spiritual chants and the classic tag-team track but it’s more than that s the track builds into a frenzy with its anthemic feel. Ashford delivers a fiery performance and warns naysayers to not mess up his energy as he is on another plateau.
The project takes a different turn as it progresses with tracks like the reflective “Hero” which aims to inspire people to always persevere through the tough times and the dancehall infused “U ARE” which pays homage to women of color and how they glimmer in the summertime. “Thrive” is another upbeat jam with live instrumentation and insightful lyrics from Ashford who blends melodic runs with fiery rap verses. The project closes with “Phiya Squad” a solid ukelele-driven track that serves as the perfect team anthem.
Austin Dean Ashford is a Creative, and Renaissance man who is also pursuing his doctoral degree at Texas Tech University in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts. Recently, known for touring his one-person musical plays around the world while strumming his ukulele.