AshleyHowes is one of the sound engineers credited on Phil Manzanera's Southern Cross album.
Ash Howes is regarded as a proven ‘hit-maker’ one of those rare and special talents that can work magic on a mix. Over the last decade he has written, produced and more often than not, mixed hit singles for the ‘whose who’ of the British pop scene and literally has hundreds of hit records under his belt.
Ash began his career as an assistant engineer at The Gallery Studios in Surrey in 1988. At the time it was the creative hub of the legendary Roxy Music and owned by their guitarist Phil Manzanera. After learning his trade here, he one day took a call from Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, who was carving out a successful career as a producer in his own right. The pair hit it off instantly and Ash relocated to the famous Church studios in north London and quickly had success mixing records for the likes of Shakepear’s Sister and Alisha’s Attic.
Probably the most successful record that Ash mixed for Dave was the multi million selling Texas album “White On Blonde”. The album charted at No 1 on the UK album chart twice during 1997 and spawned 5 top ten singles including the monster international hit “Say What You Want” which was nominated for Best British Single at the 1998 Brit Awards.
Success came thick and fast from this period on. Ash had already begun mixing tracks for producer Rick Knowles and when the latter was asked to produce Dido, Ash was the obvious choice for mix engineer. The resulting “No Angel” LP has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and currently holds the record for the fastest selling album by any female artist, selling a million albums in just five days. Ash mixed not only the key singles including “Here With Me”, but went on to work with her on the follow up album “Life For Rent”, mixing album tracks and the stunning singles “Life For Rent”, “Here With Me” and “White Flag”.
Through his work with Dido, Ash was asked to fly to Ireland to mix for the renowned producer and writer Richard ‘Biff’ Stannard who has already sold millions of records with the Spice Girls. What started out as just a one day session turned into 18 months of commuting as Ash became a vital part of the Biffco production team. During this time, Ash was involved in many hit records for artists such as Kylie, Boyzone, 5ive, Sophie Ellis Bexter, Natalie Imbruglia, Busted, Blue, Will Young and Annie Lennox.
Over the last few years, Ash has kept up the momentum, forming close relationships with other production powerhouses such as Xenomania and working tirelessly for both majors and independent labels alike. Building his own purpose built mix suite called The Dark Room, he has continued to mix hits for the current breed of British pop stars. Mini Viva, Lemar, James Morrison, Alphabeat, Plan B, Erik Hassle, Little Boots, Marina & The Diamonds and Ellie Goulding have all benefited from his skills as mix maestro. He is as accomplished in the arena of pop as he is with soul, indie, folk and urban records.
He had a spectacularly successful 2010, mixing pop hits for The Saturdays, Elizza Doolittle, The Wanted, I Blame Coco and Ellie Goulding as well as singles for more alternative artists such as The Bees, The Sound Of Arrows, The Charlatans, Rude Nation, Badly Drawn Boy, Devlin and Josh Osho.
2011 finds Ash at the top of his game. He has spent another hugely successful year as the musical director of the XFactor, alongside production partner Biff. During the last 2010 series, Ash and Biff wrote, played and produced the music for the live shows for the boy and band categories. Thankfully, the hard work paid off with the success of Matt Cardle and Ash had a number 1 single with his mix of the smash “When We Collide” and went on to play an integral part in writing, producing and mixing Matt’s hugely successful debut album “Letters”. Ash also developed a string relationship with One Direction and worked closely with the boys on their debut “Up All Night”.
This year Ash and Biff were asked to take control of the music for all categories, so the last few months has seen the pair ensconced in Biff’s studio in Brighton, working writing and producing for the show’s most successful acts. He will have production and mix all the various winners singles, as well as the huge hit single for the finalists “Wishing On A Star”.
In 2011, Ash also found the time to do radio mixes for Russia’s biggest pop start Emin, where both his mixes were radio 2 Singles of the week. He continues his very successful relationship with The Saturdays, having a monster radio hit with his mix of “Higher. He mixed all three of Narina Pallot’s singles, which were all Radio 1 playlisted. He has a long standing relationship with Jools Holland so ash mixed five tracks for his latest ‘best of’ release through Warners -“Finding the Keys”. Ash spent a very creative time in the studio with The Wanted, producing and mixing new material for their forthcoming Island released album. Mixed a single for the huge American star that is Jennifer Hudson and UK pop band Twenty Twenty.
While the Xfactor draws to a close, Ash is currently mixing singles for Leona Lewis, One Direction, and new Decca signing Juan Zelada