Ashley Bradbury’s Rise And The Importance Of Hearing Protection

31-year-old Bolsover, England native Ashley Bradbury is enjoying his most successful year yet as a Trance producer and has fulfilled a childhood dream of playing the world famous Gatecrasher venue twice in three weeks. His first performance though, in February was his most memorable as it brought back many memories of his childhood.

“My friend, Martin Abbott took me to Gatecrasher for the first time around 2004 or 2005, and was hooked after that experience,” Ashley remembered. “We used to go all the time after that!” Fifteen years later, Martin was back decks side along with Ashley’s father for his first performance – and a 2-hour, main room closing set at that. “It was an exceptional moment for all of us,” Ashley emotionally said. “I’d love to play for them again!”

Ashley Bradbury at Gatecrasher – Sheffield, England on February 9, 2019.
Photo: John McClure.

When he does perform, Ashley prefers extended sets, as most DJ’s do, to incorporate as many of his tracks as possible but always aims in keeping it fresh for the people that paid to see him. “I just go nuts behind the decks, and everyone who has seen me live has said that my passion and love for this is unquestionable,” Ashley said. “I just enjoy playing and making music for people and myself.”

And, going nuts is something that Ashley enjoys very much! His happy-go-lucky persona is seen frequently amongst his friends and family, but his loyalty lies with his family and music. “I used to be arsed to do anything as a youngster,” Ashley divulged. “I used to get into mischief a lot in Bolsover!” However, nowadays Ashely is still Ashley “regardless of the situation” as he and his family now reside in Sheffield, England. He is adamant when saying, “Having a family is something I always dreamed of when I was younger, and if you can’t sort yourself out for your family, then there isn’t any hope but at the same time if you can’t be yourself, what’s the point? I like to laugh and that will never change!”

With five releases to his credit on recording labels Practikal and upstart MASS, Ashley is determined to continue enjoying and producing music as long as possible for his followers and family. “I’m due to release later this year on Grotesque, which is a big deal to me,” Ashley said. “I just try to keep pumping some good tunes out.” The problem is, though that Ashley feels he has only a couple of years left in the business as he’s going deaf in his right ear and is concerned about his family and his regular full-time job at a call center where his hearing is vital.

Ashley has tinnitus, an unfortunate, common hearing loss condition with producers around the world affecting the likes of Amir Hussain and Sam Laxton, to name a couple. “I’m a realist,” Ashley confirmed. “I spent all my youth in clubs like Gatecrasher standing next to the speakers and am looking to try some custom earplugs. I have a family now so I can’t be thinking only about me anymore.”

Hearing protection earpieces, like ACS Custom, are popular with up-and-coming and established DJ’s and Ashley cannot express enough his recommendation for those looking for protection to look into devices such as these. “I’d advise people in the scene to look after their hearing and get protection as soon as possible.”

When Ashley produces his music, he isn’t worried about what others in the scene are doing when it comes to using templates or ghost producers. “It doesn’t bother me,” Ashley said. “There is already a lot of folk in the scene concentrating on others, so I concentrate on myself. People can do what they want when it comes to stuff like that, but if it doesn’t affect me, I’m not going to let it bother me.”

Ashley Bradbury at Gatecrasher – Sheffield, England on February 9, 2019
Photo: Farhad Alam

Ashley’s happy-go-lucky attitude continues to be refreshing and isn’t worried about marketing himself in a big way. “I’m not bothered if I’m taken seriously or not,” Ashley confessed. “I enjoy what I’m doing, and I’ve done pretty well thus far. I’ve already achieved far more than I ever imagined so if I had to hang up the headphones tomorrow, I’d be happy and proud of myself.”

Still, though Ashley does have dreams and bucket list items, he isn’t too worried if they don’t come to fruition. “I think everyone’s dream is to play Lumi(nosity) or ASOT (A State of Trance), but I’m not into for this for that. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d love to, but again, I’m a realist.”

Edit: Ashley’s latest track, “Silly Sausage” has just been signed and should be released shortly.

Cover photo courtesy of Shadow Photography

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Erik Lake

All this machinery making modern music can still be open hearted.