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ASHE to release ‘Follow The Star’ Christmas EP

Published:Wednesday | December 1, 2021 | 12:10 AMSade Gardner/Staff Reporter
The ASHE Company’s six-track Christmas EP titled ‘Follow the Star’ will be released on all major digital platforms on Friday.
The ASHE Company’s six-track Christmas EP titled ‘Follow the Star’ will be released on all major digital platforms on Friday.

The ASHE Company is upping the ante this holiday season with a six-track Christmas EP titled Follow the Star. The self-produced set is slated for release on all major digital platforms on Friday. It comes 11 years after ASHE’s début EP, Different Kinda Youth.

Executive director at the long-standing performing arts company, Conroy Wilson, said Follow the Star coincides with their efforts to digitise their offerings and, essentially, their legacy.

“ASHE has been performing original Christmas music and doing vocally arranged Christmas favourites for years, to excellent reviews,” Wilson told The Gleaner. “Since the pandemic in 2020, we have pivoted, like all other companies, to provide entertainment and edutainment services to our clients and audience, using social media and other platforms. In 2020, we released 12 music videos of our Christmas arrangements –ASHE style. This EP is a follow-up to that project, as we continue to go digital so that our clients, audiences, and followers could always have these covers to listen to for years to come.”

The EP comprises covers from their Christmas repertoire like Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Little Altar Boy, All Through the House and For Unto Us a Child is Born, primarily arranged by Wilson and ASHE’s co-founder, Paulette Bellamy. The tracklist is made complete with I Remember Christmas, an original song written by ASHE’s artistic director, Michael Holgate, with music composition by Ottmar Campbell. As the track title suggests, Wilson said the song reminisces on a Jamaican childhood and was originally written by Holgate in 2020 as part of his musical film, Crinchy Mon – The Christmas Thief, a spin on the timeless movie The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Other musicians on Follow the Star are Mario Lindo and John Williams.

With pre-releases being done on their social media, Wilson said the anticipation and excitement from their audience are growing.

“We expect the EP to be far-reaching not just locally, but internationally, as we push and promote it, and that it will become a staple for many across the globe, especially during the festive season,” he said.

An ASHE offering would feel incomplete without some element of live performance. Wilson confirmed that they “will be doing virtual performances of songs from the EP. Our academy and junior department will also be performing some of this repertoire at the SOS Children’s Home, and giving gifts to the children as part of their Christmas giving”.