Hybrid DJ, Drummer and Vocalist, Neon Pony, is elevating the live show experience in a way that’s never been done before.
This female powerhouse (Chastity Ashley) has been an integral part of Duran Duran, Kanye West, Frank Walker, Tom Morello, Kesha, Cypress Hill) to name a few. Now she takes her energy center stage as Neon Pony and the results are electrifying.
At the ripe age of 15 years old, Neon Pony played the infamous Vans Warped tour with My Chemical Romance and since has opened on the Motley Crue, Duran Duran, and Aerosmith on Tour. Since then, Chastity has gone on and collaborated and played with Mark Ronson, Frank Walker, Googoosh, Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Alice in Chains, The Hotel Lobby, Filter, Cypress Hill, Perry Ferrell, and Tierra. She played the Sundance Film Festival opening for Iggy Azalea and Skrillex, played the main stage at the LA Pride festival opening for Kesha and played everywhere from Alaska to Brazil.
We caught up with Chastity in between shows for Duran Duran to show you the woman known as “Neon Pony”
Bridge: Tell our readers who you are about what you’re about…
CA: I’m a soul on planet earth in search of the ultimate ride while infusing humans with love and inspiration. I truly want to touch the human spirit in a way that could help nurture and contribute to any form of soul growth and higher vibrational enhancement. This has always been my dream since I could ever remember being alive. It’s really quite visceral. I believe in order to participate in the quest I was given it had to come with a tool. That tool for me was music. It knows know language, it doesn’t ask questions, it just ignites the spirit. Through my journey from the various musical paths that I have participated in its brought me to this moment. The moment of becoming the Neon Pony. With this I have now combined and have compiled various musical skill sets that have equipped me for whom I am now today. I’m a DJ, a Vocalist, a Drummer, percussionist, producer, songwriter and remixer. I have fused every element of what has inspired me and so in turn with this hybrid concept I now want to inspire. I want to celebrate that you don’t have to just pick one thing but that you can compile all your strengths and form them into one unit. That being said I have taken on the great task of performing with each one of these elements and now have a show that illustrates all of them, at once. I’m a what by definition would call a Hybrid.
Bridge: How long have you been doing what you do?
CA: Music has been a vital and pervasive part of my life since age 8 where I began singing, writing and performing. It was just an innate response to being this young brand new human on planet earth. My parents were dedicated music enthusiasts and club goers that I naturally was drawn to it since it was consistently enveloping me from birth. My Mother even used to take me cruising to Whittier Blvd where all the low riders would drive up and down the boulevard blasting their favorite tunes. Shortly after a few years later at age 10 it was the drums that turned my life upside down after attending concerts like Santana and Tierra where I felt the rhythm from within and I knew I wanted to touch people with the power of music because it most certainly touched me. I knew then it was what I was born to do.
Bridge: Tell us about some highlights of your career to date…
CA: Had my first song placement in a movie at age 15 in a Disney movie, Won Best New Artist and Best Rock song in the Los Angeles Music Awards, Won Best New Artist In the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Nominated Best Rising Star and Best Rock,Pop, Hip Hop Drummer in Drum Magazine (Only Female Nominated), Toured on the Vans Warped Tour with My Chemical Romance and Avenged Sevenfold, Performed with Tom Morello, Cypress Hill, Kesha, Skrillex, Opened on the Motley Crue and Aerosmith Tour, Played Coachella and toured the world as the percussionist and backup vocalist for Duran Duran and most recently played with rising House Music star Frank Walker whom has over 2 million monthly Spotify listeners gracing the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, one of the biggest stages in house music.
Bridge: What inspires you, like what gets you out of bed in the morning?
CA: Gratitude for being alive on planet earth. There is not a day that I awaken where I’m not feeling profoundly blessed for having another go around. When I see that sun come up I know I’m already winning.
Bridge: How would you describe your art and sound to a first-time listener?
CA: Its a cosmic ride into into a higher dimension that’s driven by vocal sensuality, primal beats, organic/melodic house and soul. My soon to be released single and general theme for my upcoming EP is about being connected with your lover on a much deeper level that transcends the common misconception of being in a relationship. It’s about losing yourself in the love and not being concerned about anything else other than the moment. It’s about authentically surrendering to that feeling that keeps you yearning for more. I recently was and humbly referred to as the Sade of House music and I thought that’s an incredible honor and I’l take it if that’s the vibe I’m omitting. She is my Muse after all.
Bridge: So we gotta talk about the fact that you were the touring drummer for Duran Duran, what in the heck was that like??
CA: It was one of the most profound experiences of my life and the reason why I am where I am today. Their humanity, art and ability to make me feel like family truly ignited my passion for music even deeper than it previously had and I attribute so many of my current successes to them. Each one of them taught me something independent from one another and it was Roger (Drummer) whom inspired me to DJ after I saw him spin for us at an after party we played in Hollywood, Florida at The Hard Rock. I was like, how have you been hiding this talent I had no idea about. It was then that it peaked my curiosity to become a DJ because I was already an organic beat maker. So it was birthed from there.
Bridge: What projects do you have going on right now?
CA: Being the Neon Pony has my full attention at the moment. I’m in the middle of releasing a few new singles and then a full EP possibly full LP.
Bridge: Gotta know, do you have a go-to song that you listen to when you’re going through some heavy stuff?
CA: That’s a great question. I have quite a few but a solid one is “Under The Milky Way’ by The Church and “Ride” by Lana Del Rey.
Bridge: Who would be your dream collaboration?
CA: Ugh I have a few. I mean honestly it would have to be with Santana, Kaskade, Dr. Dre & ZHU
Bridge: What’s next for you?
CA: Releasing my debut single along with future singles, touring planet earth and hopefully touching as many souls as possible with my passion for life and love. This life is a gift and I want to spread that message to anyone and everyone that will hear it.