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Flipping Tables with Kal-Elle Jagger meets Forged In Neon with Ashley Anita: The Mashup Interview

Updated: Jan 31, 2022


Welcome to my little corner in the metaverse, just west of Pop Art Ave and Lois Lane. The spot where we flip the script, turning the table on the personalities who usually find themselves at the forefront of a Q&A.


When I was first toying around with names for this series, I couldn't get the image of a glowing table out of my head.


I admit I chose Flipping Tables for its double meaning, conjuring up images of an angry New Jersey Housewife having a meltdown. In the end, I decided to set the table in a more luminous light.


The table has always represented a space where minds come together to discuss, create and break bread. Ours is a potluck, where members of our community bring their favourite dish, cooked to perfection with delectable electronic ingredients. Some dark, some light. Served, shared, and savoured.


Today's guest and I are here to remind our readers that we are a unique clan that supports one another. Realistically, not all broods necessarily get alone. We may not have the same taste buds for the audio we consume and create. Still, in the end, we are a family, the one often referred to as synthfam.


Welcome to the table, the Mastermind behind Forged in Neon, Miss Ashley Anita.



Kal-Elle Jagger

You recently said to me, "the more people spreading the gospel of the synth, the better."

I love that. You are such a beacon to have in the corners of so many artists and creators.

Ashley Anita

I appreciate that. Thank you

KJ

But before we get into that, we always start with an origin story. Where were you born and bred?

AA

Born and reared in Dublin city, Ireland. Not a city that's ever likely to be synonymous with the Synthwave scene. It has to be said, which makes it all the sweeter when I reach people in my own neck of the woods who also love the music but never had an outlet.


KJ

How would you describe Ashley Anita in the 1980s?


AA

I was always an aspirational and creative little lady with grand ideas that outgrew my tiny box room walls. I drew, I wrote. Mainly poetry and lyrics and bashed about on an old Casio keyboard gifted to me for Christmas one year. I sat and tried to replicate the themes to my favourite shows like Airwolf, Knight Rider, Miami Vice & Streethawk, to name but a few. Art and creativity were huge outlets for me. I was fairly isolated. Having been bullied excessively through some of my younger years, I lacked confidence. Creating was a safe space for me as there were never any limits to my imagination. It was a means to escape.


KJ

Did you have a favourite toy or game as a young colleen or lassie? What would be the proper term for a young girl in Ireland? Not wench, correct?


AA

The correct term is Cailín [KA LEEN] though it's very outdated and seems to be a word used mostly by Americans who grew up with the whole John Wayne 'The Quiet Man' era. 'Lassie,' I thought was a dog? Lol. This particular phrase is born out of Scotland and is nowhere used in Irish phraseology. And as for "Wench" good lord, that's very derogatory, ha-ha. So maybe don't call me that, unless those who do would like to kiss the ban hammer!


As for favourite toy? I never really had one, to be honest. Although, of course, I had some, they just never interested me. I mean, I think I gave my Peaches n' Cream Barbie a buzz cut one time, she didn't look so peachy after that, but I was more into my Smash Hits Magazines, cassette tapes,