Love is Universal. The embodiment of which Canadian musician Ashleigh Ball, holds strong beliefs should be expressed freely. Possessing an outpouring of musical talent, Ashleigh’s also renowned as the charismatic front woman of indie pop/rock band Hey Ocean! Her passionate stance on love is one we can thoroughly get behind. We're dedicated to championing members of our coastal community who are deeply connected to the same values we hold dear, whether environmental, cultural, or social.
For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) on May 17, we’re thankful for the opportunity to launch Ashleigh’s emotional musical incarnation of her grandparents’ own story in our very first outdoors Live Session. May 17 commemorates the date the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. A celebration of diversity, IDAHOTB offers an opportunity for personal stories and issues across the spectrum of gender and sexuality to come to life. Ashleigh’s new song, ‘Never Seen You,’ does just that. An immersive piece of storytelling that shares the deeply personal and emotional story of her closeted grandfather. An individual who throughout his life was unable to be his true self while her grandmother could never fully have the love she deserved.
At Home with Ashleigh
Hailing from Winnipeg, Ashleigh’s childhood played out/was lived in a bustling full family house — grandparents included. Yet Ashleigh never felt she really knew her grandfather so well. In a move to push outside of her artistic comfort zone, Ashleigh made the journey from Vancouver to Winnipeg last year to dig back into her roots. A journey which transformed far beyond a solely literal one, to one both personal and spiritual. A truly immersive experience rooted in people and place.
Deep diving into her history and hometown, Ashleigh uncovered fresh family insights. Forming the basis of an upcoming album dedicated to familial-themed songs that reflect her heritage. A sense of understanding of her roots on a personal level, and a deeper bond to Winnipeg as a place. Last June, the entirety of her new album was recorded there, produced by Royal Canoe.
Never Seen You
‘Never Seen You’ tells the story of Ashleigh’s closeted grandfather and the love her grandmother could never truly have. Sharing the deeply personal and emotional journey of her grandparents through her music, Ashleigh and ecologyst pursue a social landscape in which nobody has to hide their love or feel shame in the truest expression of themselves.
Growing up in the 30s and 40s, her “grandparents were from a time and place when they felt it was impossible to be true to who they were,” Ashleigh shared. Her grandfather’s authentic self would never have been accepted in the face of the social norms and cultural perceptions of the time and the decades that followed. We’re grateful to have been privy to a deeper exploration of the story behind the song in the opening moments of Ashleigh's Live Session.
In Your ElementAshleigh’s special performance for us also marks the start of our Live Sessions series; highly anticipated as an opportunity to celebrate the musical talent of the coast. Live Sessions will land twice a month, set outside with our lush natural landscape as their backdrop. What’s more, we’re on the lookout for musicians and would be stoked to hear suggestions of artists who align with the ecologyst community ethical values for people and planet alike.
Drop us a DM on our Instagram or connect with us on Facebook if you have someone in mind or are musically-inclined. Stay tuned for more Live Sessions with two performances being aired each month. Sign up to our emails below to keep in-the-loop of more exciting future updates.