DROPS BRAND NEW TRACK "SPECIAL"
The unapologetic rapper-singer makes angsty tracks for her teenage self” – Wonderland
“Pinching from the latest Stateside rap and hyper-real pop.” – Clash
“A hot stack of sass pancakes drizzled in dark and playful wordplay.” – i-D
“Brass, sassy and empowered, Ashnikko does innuendo-stuffed citrus-sharp raps that take no prisoners.” – Time Out
“She’s been crafting off-kilter southern synth trap like no-one else, and she’s had one hell of a journey to get here.” – NOTION
“Ashnikko takes charge with a burst of playful energy.” – Complex
Art, music and sexual liberation are the three most potent ingredients in the rebellion that Ashnikko is leading. She has already made a defiant, single-minded impact with her EPs ‘Unlikeable’ and ‘Sass Pancakes’, which resulted in airplay at Radio 1 (Annie Mac, Annie Nightingale), Beats 1 (Julie Adenuga, Zane Lowe) and 1Xtra (DJTarget).
Now Ashnikko pushes her fiery ‘fuck you’ brand of alternative pop by dropping the new track ‘Special’. It’s the first taste of her forthcoming third EP which comes later this year.
A floor-filler which hits hard with a pulsating bass-fuelled rhythm, ‘Special’ is a caustic kiss-off to a man who has crossed Ashnikko’s “only one strike then you get the boot”rule. It’s indicative of the wider Ashnikko manifesto: that no woman has the responsibility to shrink herself or shy away from her brilliance at the hands of patriarchal power.
The accompanying video sees Ashnikko taking centre-stage as the head of a hyper-modern, all-female gang. In a playful and provocative reversal of the usual gender stereotypes, Ashnikko’s character uses her position of power to privately audition male strippers. It was directed by Joseph Delaney at LEZ Creative.
Hailing from a small town on America’s east coast, Ashnikko’s parents raised her on a strict musical diet comprised exclusively of country music and Slipknot. But at the age of 13, just as she was settling into life as an American teenager, the family relocated to Estonia and then Latvia. It catalysed an identity crisis she’s still reckoning with to this day.
Desperate to escape, she left Latvia for London at the age of 18. Away from the strict confines set for her back home, she was somewhat naïve, yet hungry to make it in music. Her nights were spent wandering bougie clubs and Dalston’s dive bars, befriending creative people who were cool enough to let her crash on their couch. It was a hustle in the beginning, but eventually it lead to the birth of the musical entity we know now.
Ashnikko is the perfect antidote for coy pop sexuality in 2019, she’d rather reject cautious euphemisms and tell people to eat her pussy without shame. Her upbringing might have been hampered by her parents’ die-hard Christian heritage, but her mother’s liberal approach to feminism means she knew it was never shameful to talk about her body. She counts the likes of Nicki Minaj, Björk, M.I.A., Gwen Stefani and Janis Joplin as the feminist and sex positive influences that helped shape her early sound.
Always eager to embrace new experiences, Ashnikko co-hosted Kyra TV’s leftfield travel series Greatness and sold-out her headline show at The Pickle Factory last autumn.