Music Monday: From Ash & Dust

Hello everyone! I’m very pleased to be welcoming today’s guest for Music Monday, Braeden Daggett, aka From Ash & Dust, a local musician who balances many different genres and just released the first single off his upcoming album.

Braeden stopped by for a socially distant interview and we talked about the new album out this month, the brand new single, and his musical process. Liam Sturgess, a familiar face around here, also joined us for the interview as the producer of the new album and frequent collaborator with Braeden

Read on to learn more about Braeden’s musical projects, the story behind his stage name, and where to find the new single and album!

Photo of a white man performing on a stage. He holds a microphone to his mouth, and has short hair and wears glasses and a long-sleeve shirt. He and the stage look blue in the lighting.

About the Musician: Braeden (From Ash & Dust) began rapping as an early teen and found his passion of songwriting and storytelling. By the end of high school, he independently released his first demo album, “Dumb it Down” which gained attention from his future collaborator and friend, Liam Sturgess.

In 2017, he made his first official release on major platforms with “Explore”, self proclaiming himself as the “Mr. Rogers of Hip Hop”. Since then he has created several mixtapes, all with the goal of telling the story of Ash&Dust, an imaginary world that he’s created.

“My songs have individual meanings of course, but my albums and mixtapes piece together a story of two friends named Asher and Dustin and their adventures together. It’s through this that I hope to spark a sense of childlike wonder and imagination. That’s why Ash&Dust exists,” he explains in an Instagram post. Some of Braeden’s musical influences include Linkin Park, Twenty One Pilots, Jack Johnson and Macklemore. His new album is set to release early 2021.

Musician links: Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Listen to the new single: Never Comin’ Down
Pre-order the new album: In Search of Home


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Author Interview: Sameer Garach

It’s time for an author interview! Very happy to have Sameer Garach join me on the blog today and share all his journey to writing and all about his latest book. Read on for more about his take on the American Dream and some great ice cream recommendations!

1600x2400 Dakota and the American DreamDakota and the American Dream by Sameer Garach
Genre: Literary Satire
Purchase: Amazon

When ten-year-old Dakota becomes bored sitting next to his mother on a park bench, he drifts off into a dream in which he follows a squirrel down a game of hopscotch until he finds himself in an urban fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.

To define the charm of the Dakota book—with those wonderful eccentric characters the Greenback Squirrel, the White Mouse, the Black Rat, the Bigwig, the Chairman, the Big Boss, the Westchester Whelp, the 800-pound Gorilla, etc.—as merely an adolescent arousal would convey a lack of proper understanding, for it really comprises a satire on language, a corporate allegory, a reflection of contemporary history, and a parody of twenty-first-century children’s literature.


Sam/Spines: Let’s start off with a little game to learn more about you: what are two truths and a lie about yourself?

Sameer Garach: I’m a vegetarian. I live in Russia. I can do the splits. (The truth is I can’t do the splits.)

S: How did you get started in writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

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Music Monday: Liam Sturgess

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The not-so-evil genius/man of the hour, Liam Sturgess. Photograph by Sam/Spines

Music Mondays are back!

I’m really excited to be reviving this feature and so excited to introduce you to today’s guest. I met Liam here in Vancouver (performing at a show at the church I frequent – more on that in the interview below), so this is the first Music Monday interview that I’ve actually done in person!

For that reason, this interview has been edited quite a bit for length and ease of reading, but perhaps one day we’ll release the original audio of the full interview filled with giggles and rambling. 😉 Still some rambling fun in the text below, though! I even quote a cat!

Read on to learn more about Liam Sturgess, a West Vancouver singer-songwriter who has such a great love of and passion for music and its possibilities, and inspires that in everyone around him!

About the Musician: Liam Sturgess: “an amalgamation of pep, serious music knowledge and a happy-go-lucky approach to life.” As a 24 year old singer/songwriter, Liam creates original songs that uplift, celebrate and explore the universe as a young man fighting for his dreams. Liam has captured the hearts of his audience with standout songs “Tuesday Afternoon”, “Kingdom Come”, and “Woah!”, chanted from intimate cafes to festival stages. In 2020, Liam is focusing on completing his next studio album, “Foreverland”, and expanding his live act to stages further across Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Musican links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Minds

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