April 2023 | Volume 27

1.Hi Chastity! Please introduce yourself to those who might not know you.
I’m Chastity Ashley, DJ, Drummer & Vocalist. I’m a soul having a human experience on planet earth here to inspire, uplift and elevate through the power of music.  

2. How did you get involved with Shira and Gritty In Pink? What does it feel like being part of building a community for women in music?
Shira and I go way back. Back to the Warped Tour days in fact. We became connected because she has always been empowering women from the day we met. She provided an outlet for women to be featured and share our musical expression when nobody in that space was doing so. She continues to inspire me and it’s such an honor to have her in my life as a friend and sister. The Gritty Community is family. 

3.What moment in your life made you realize you wanted to pursue music?
Pretty much from inception lol. It’s always had a hold on my soul as my folks consistently had me at concerts ever since I was baby. It just always felt like home. It’s a bit hard to pinpoint the exact moment because music has just always enveloped me.   

4. You’re in a unique position when it comes to being an artist. Where did the idea to become a DJ and drummer at the same time come from?
It started when I was getting asked quite often by DJ’s specifically to join them on stage and collaborate. After it became a frequent occurrence I had an epiphany. I was already a producer and musician so why not make and create my own mixes and perform them along with what I do best, which is drum. So I put myself through a DJ Academy and birthed Neon Pony.

5. You worked with so many musical icons (Duran Duran, Cypress Hill, Ke$ha, Tom Morello, Mark Ronson etc). Is there anyone on your bucket list you’d like to work with?
It’s been an absolute honor and blessing to work and play alongside so many incredible artists. The bucket list one I would have to say is to play with Santana. #goals 

6. Where did the name “Neon Pony” come from?
I actually have to hand that one to my manager Jeff Blue. We were both at the Stagecoach festival having a good ole time and we kept going back and forth. He’s like, “You’ve been riding horses your whole life and are a bright red beacon. You’re like a Neon Pony. He’s like, “that’s you.” And it stuck. 

7. What’s your favorite venue you’ve played at?
I would have to say Madison Square Garden, but Coachella was pretty rad too. Definitely a toss up.

8.You’re such a unique artist, what advice do you have for artists who are navigating the industry and how to set themselves apart from everyone else?
Always no matter what 100% always be yourself. People will say what you should and should not be and that’s  not what art is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be your own authentic expression. One of my favorite quotes is by Emerson. “Imitation is suicide, as our path is different than the person next to us.”

9.How would you describe your sound to a first-time listener?
Modern House infused and propelled by melodic  primal and tribal rhythms. 

10. You were a teenager on the Warped Tour with your band Outlett, you got the chance to play on the Shiragirl Stage. What was it like being able to showcase your talent on a large scale like that at such a young age? Do you think being on the road that young made you mature fast?
It can definitely do that. If anything it just built more character and helped me to learn to be responsible not only for myself but other humans because being in a band is a collective effort and becomes your family. I started performing at a real young age (around 8 years old) so if anything I was just ultra excited to be able to play and connect on a larger scale. It actually feels comforting when I get to connect with the people. It’s my greatest joy. 

11. What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
I would have to say bringing my newest vision of Neon Pony to life. It took quite a few years to actually bring it to full fruition as I created a complex hybrid kit. It needed to  align with the DJ mixer so that was also pretty precarious. Then building an integrated light system into my drums to top it off. Once I got that dialed in it was all about the music creation and that has been the best part

12. With all the strides you’ve made in the industry so far, what would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Not to be discouraged from rejection. It’s so easy to want to give up and take it personally. But it helped tremendously in ways I didn’t know at the time because it shaped me into who I am today. I gained strength, endurance and perseverance. 

13. Outside of music, you enjoy riding horses. How did you get into that?
Been doing it my whole life. My parents started taking me to the horses and the trains (what we called it) in Griffith Park ever since I was a toddler. I felt such an innate and visceral connection to them that I have been in love ever since. It’s my greatest form of meditation and connection to nature.

14.Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That’s a tough one. Lot can happen in a year lol? Well, definitely performing and creating but at some point I would love to produce other artists. It’s always been something I have wanted to do so I would love that. I’m also writing a book at the moment but more on that another time. 

15. What’s one thing you want people to remember you for?
Hopefully, I impacted and infused them with love, making them feel better about themselves and raising their vibration to burn bright. 

16. Do you have any upcoming projects or shows people should be on the lookout for?
Yes, I have a series of shows and performances coming up. So stay tuned on so be sure to sign up atwww.neonponymusic.comand follow my instagram @chastityashley 

17. Any final thoughts?
Yes! Thank you so very much to the Gritty Family and Shira. Because of you women in music have been able to shine bright. You are a gift to all of us.