Electronic artist

This Cambridge DJ is paving the way for the local underground electronic music scene

Ashton Adams, a local Cambridge DJ, has always been inspired by the hard-hitting beat of electronic dance music, also known as house music.

His latest album ‘Our House II’, produced in collaboration with DJ 4Korners, is a love letter to the electronic dance music genre, a genre that has been popularized by mainstream DJs such as Calvin Harris and deadmau5.

“House music or electronic dance music is a massive genre right now, but a lot of people don’t know about the creators of this scene who are young black producers from Chicago,” says Adams, who is a black man born in Canada.

Adams notes that it is common for music originally created by black people to often be co-opted by white people who are then given credit for developing a genre that was started by black people. Adams’ latest project samples music from some of these black creators such as K-YZE, who wrote the 1989 electronic dance song “Stomp – (Move Jump Jack Your Body)”.

Adams’ initial love of rhythm is rooted in the Cambridge church scene, where he grew up playing drums and guitar in his church’s youth band. After finishing college, Adams returned to Cambridge, realizing he no longer had the musical skills he had in his youth.

“I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t rap, but I knew I could DJ,” Adams says. He started playing with his father’s DJ equipment before opening Cambridge-based recording studio Kyngdom Studios in 2018.

Since then, Adams has become a connoisseur of Cambridge’s burgeoning electronic music scene. It has produced electronic music artists such as Matt Wilk, Karl Wolf and up-and-coming artist 347aidan who has over five million monthly listeners on Spotify.

“There’s a plethora of talented artists in this town, all producing different types of songs,” says Adams of the growing talent in Waterloo Region.

Adams is truly what we call a musician. When it comes to producing songs for his house band 401 West, Adams draws inspiration from all over the place, blending disparate genres like metal music and hip-hop to achieve a blistering pace.

“I get my inspiration from traveling, listening to different artists and playing with different genres like hip-hop and metal,” says Adams. “I think it opens up a lot of different and interesting ideas.”

But perhaps Adams’ greatest achievement is how he built a tight-knit musical community in Cambridge.

“I just want to support other people,” Adams says. “I want to see everyone win. You really want to give back and help other artists, because it’s about having a positive impact on others and being a good person at the end of the day.

Visit www.kyngdomstudios.com or @ashtonadamsmusic on Instagram to learn more about Adams’ music and recording studio.


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