Who is Ahsh?
Anyone who has listened to Ahsh Eff can tell that she’s a real one. The Saratoga Springs-born rapper, who grew up living between New York and Connecticut, began making music in middle school at the advice of a benevolent educator, and has been working hard on her craft ever since. She’s emphatic about the pronunciation of her name (“It’s Ah-sh, not Ash”, she reminds any potential fan, but when you’re as skilled as she is, you deserve to be.
Ahsh was bullied growing up, and the color of her voice didn’t necessarily make her journey easier. But the adults in her life continuously reminded her that she was gifted - one even told her that she had a “champagne voice” and that she should utilize her voice creatively. From there, Ahsh pieced together the early stages of her career, taking inspiration from big New York acts like 50 Cent. Ahsh Eff released “Storefront” (produced in part Stelios Phil, an early producer for SZA and A$AP Ferg) in 2016, and was praised for her controlled, natural flow and street sensibilities. When the track premiered on The FADER, she told music writer Zara Golden that it was about "about getting it how you live under any circumstance." The high-octane song garnered over 20,000 plays, which is no small feat for a budding artist.
Ahsh continued her momentum throughout the year, working with fellow New Yorker Crystal Caines on “@YoungThug”, a mid-tempo, cut-throat anthem with flex appeal. The song was lauded by Nylon, and was complimented by a luxe music video that showed off Ahsh’s signature, forest-green locks.
Though Ahsh wasn’t initially familiar with social media, (“[W]hen I first came out, I didn’t know about websites or social media. I was never that kind of kid. I was always into books and listening to music…, the rapper revealed during an interview), she quickly learned that it was a tool that would allow her to connect with fans and peers alike, proving to be a valuable asset. She currently boasts over 15,000 followers on Instagram alone. Ahsh also followed in the footsteps of wise performers like Erykah Badu when she chose to bypass traditional representation, and instead worked with an undisclosed mentor. But her willingness to learn, coupled with her knack for unconvention, has proven to be her super power. Ahsh isn’t invested in the phrase “female rapper”, nor is she preoccupied with expected rap scuffles. She simply wants to rap and do it better than anyone else.
After the release of “@YoungThug”, Ahsh debuted a slew of loose singles and videos, including “staain”, “BIG GUCCI”, and “The Baddest”, a cover of Trina’s “Da Baddest Bitch”. She’s also periodically alluded to a formal project, often pushing it back in the spirit of perfectionism. But the artist has finally decided that the timing is right, and plans to release her first EP, Poppin’ in Real Life (referred to as PIRL, pronounced “pearl”) in the final quarter of 2019. Ahsh Eff’s grit will no doubt maintain her, but it is her undeniable talent that keeps listeners coming back for more.