We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Ashe and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ryan, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Pursuing the privilege of enjoying your profession is a key component in having a stable work/life balance. The “life” aspect of the balance my brother and I have established over time involves escapism and retreat into the natural world. Moving from the midwest to Southern California has made this infinitely more accessible. We have been living the gigging lifestyle for several years now, which can offer a great amount of flexibility when it comes to creating your own work schedule. The “work” aspect of the balance has also improved, being that outdoor gigs can be performed on practically a daily basis in SoCal. Sometimes taking a risk and relocating can change both your work and life for the better.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My twin brother, Conor, and I have been playing guitar and singing together since we were 11 years old. The thought of turning this into a career seemed impossible all the way through graduating college. It wasn’t until we learned that people set our guitar and vocal harmony proficiency apart from other local performers, that we decided to give it a shot. That and feeling trapped in an industry for which we had have no passion was a great motivator to take our career’s trajectory into our own hands.

At this point in time, with our schedule ranging from 5-7 live performances a week, our ability to entertain and perform live is our greatest asset. Even if a gig is low energy or we’re playing for small/disinterested crowds, we simply view it as an opportunity to get paid to practice.

It was not easy to get to where we are today and I’d be lying if I said we no longer struggle at all. We have to constantly be on top of every facet of running an independent business. Nothing worth doing is easy however. We are blessed to live in an age where information and assistance is abundantly accessible. If we are ever faced with a challenge or obstacle, a solution can be reached simply by reading a book, asking a colleague for help, or even consulting the internet.

Along the way, the most important lesson that has been learned is the importance of staying true to one’s self. It’s quite common to receive advice or pessimistic criticism for which we never asked from completely unqualified individuals. Believe you can do it, make a plan, ask questions, fail and learn from said failure, don’t be afraid to revise, try your best to stay organized, and just live life the way you want to live it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friend was more interested in urban culture, I’d probably take them to Hollywood to enjoy the local music scene. We’ve been all over the country and it’s one the finest I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Artists and performers come from all over the world to have the opportunity to network and contribute to this scene, and with good reason. There is a high degree of diverse talent. Great spots to hangout in Hollywood reside solely on the Sunset Strip. The Whiskey is a famous spot to catch a good show and have a cocktail. I tend to be partial to the Viper Room however. The sound is great and it’s much more intimate, so long as you don’t mind bumping shoulders with others. You’ll meet anyone in the entertainment industry out there, so it’s always a good time. Artsy types are always eccentric and full of personality. We’ve spent a good amount of time at the North End in Hollywood as well, where Greg Gilman compiles pools of local talent into a Nashville style songwriter’s round. It’s a unique and personal chance to experience great rising talent in the area.

If my friend were more outdoorsy, I would recommend a national park or a ski trip. You can always find good local haunts and people with incredible stories who simply enjoy the solitude.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are far too many people to thank for the continued success of my brother’s and my musical endeavors. My mom and dad, Judy and Patrick Ashe, have been a constant source of moral support throughout the years. They also think outside of the box when it comes to suggesting new things for us to try. The Impresario Society of Naperville, IL has also provided a string of once in a lifetime opportunities for us to seize, as well as lasting friendships and financial support.

Website: www.commonallies.com

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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fw0UgrxEMb8Mlxt_uv5DA

Image Credits
Melancholy Days artwork by Nick Gurley (Nick Gurley Artwork) Promotional photo by Michael Webdell (Michael J Webdell LLC) Studio video by Greg Bizzaro (Jaffe Films) Chapel video by Drew Dempsey (DFD Productions)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.