It’s almost as rewarding as winning the lottery itself.
Before it was a radio hit, the sprightly, playful Ash Koley number “Don’t Let Your Feet Touch Ground” served as a very memorable TV ad jingle for Lotto 649.
Lightning actually struck a second time for the duo – singer and songwriter Ash Koley (same name as the band) and musical partner Phil Deschambault – in the U.K., where the song served a similar purpose for a lottery there.
With “Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing” placed in an episode of the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy (ABC); a Nettwerk record deal; and an impressive first album, Inventions, you may appreciate why the duo’s tootsies are hovering over cloud nine.
“As a songwriter, you always hope you’re going to meet someone who’s like-minded,”
“We’ve been lucky,” says Deschambault, who met Koley through friends. “We’ve got upwards of 20 synchs [synchronization licences] – money that we can live on for awhile.”
The other surefire road to success? Talk to – and see each other – as little as possible. “We don’t need to talk,” chuckles Koley, who lives in Toronto. “We know each other well enough. We don’t really have to say whether we like something or hate something, because we already know.”
For Winnipeg resident and ex-Not Going To Vegas member Deschambault, it’s the kind of chemistry that eases the writing process.
“As a songwriter, you always hope you’re going to meet someone who’s like-minded,” he explains. “We’re best friends, and we’re pretty ridiculous and silly people. So we want to write good songs that are honest and real and make sure that our personalities are put forward.”
It was the collective Ash Koley’s quirky personality that got the attention of Nettwerk via impromptu videos they made for YouTube. “That’s when [Nettwerk CEO] Terry McBride started Facebooking us,” says Koley.
Deschambault, a multi-instrumentalist who composes with ProTools software, started the majority of Inventions’ nine songs. “I pretty much write the song and produce it, and Ash comes in and replaces my vocal,” he explains. “But that’s when it becomes a co-write, because as soon as her voice gets on it, we start tweaking things, and the song takes on a new identity.”
With a recently released acoustic version of Inventions and four tracks added for the U.S. and U.K. releases of the album, Deschambault has EMI Music Publishing Canada working songs, while Koley is repped by Nettwerk One Music.
“It’s beneficial to have two separate companies working to pitch your songs,” says Koley.
• “Don’t Let Your Feet Touch Ground” has been featured at the 2010 Winter Olympics and on So You Think You Can Dance (U.S.)
• Ash Koley used to sing in the Winnipeg-based ABBA cover band Super Trooper
• Phil Deschambault is currently producing EMI signing Heather Longstaffe