As a teenager in Portland, Oregon, ASCXNSION (ascension) used poetry, music, and other art mediums to cope and move through her trauma. When she first started taking music seriously, she had mentors signing her up for gigs and open mics – and eventually, they started asking her what her “stage name” was. “ASCXNSION came to me because for me “ascension” means to elevate higher,” ASCXNSION tells Eat This Music. “It means to embrace the experiences that have historically weighed you down and use it to take you to new heights.”
Calling herself ASCXNSION encourages her to always find ways to step into the highest version of herself. ASCXNSION is not there, because growth is constant – but it encourages her along the way.
2020 pushed ASCXNSION to understand what was necessary and what wasn’t. The structures people have in place, overworking, toxic relationships – these are all things ASCXNSION believes many people came to realize are detrimental to wellbeing and peace. 2021 has allowed ASCXNSION to start putting some of the lessons she learned into practice: “I’ve been using this year to step out of my comfort zone, and into my confidence,” ASCXNSION says. “I am hyperaware of where I can improve in my personal life and in my art, but I’m honestly proud of how far I’ve come- even since last year.”
ASCXNSION just finished her undergrad in July and is now looking toward all of the possibilities that are coming with an upcoming move back west and focusing more on music.
Thank you so much! It feels amazing, and honestly- like a weight off my shoulders. — ASCXNSION on the release of “Let Me Go”
“I’ve been holding on to this song for a while and it feels good to have quite literally let go of the fear that is attached to being vulnerable in music,” ASCXNSION continues. “Sharing art is always cathartic because that’s a piece of you and a reflection of your mind. I’m practicing every day to surrender any fears attached to sharing these parts of myself because I know there are people that will resonate with it.”
“Let Me Go” is an ode to releasing what doesn’t serve your highest good – including your own toxic behaviors. When ASCXNSION wrote this song, she was going through a pretty tumultuous breakup and was reflecting on how she wanted to feel, but just wasn’t quite there yet.
“It’s funny because I almost don’t relate to the song anymore,” ASCXNSION says about the early stages of the song’s creative process. “The meaning at its core? Absolutely. But the first verse for example is all about the toxic tendencies that come with jealousy and possessiveness; all feelings and experiences that I know I’ve spent a lot of time healing from and further understanding.”
In saying that, ASCXNSION is in a much better place emotionally and mentally than when she wrote the track, but does still have such a deep love for that version of herself, and the music that came with her.
ASCXNSION works closely with a producer and engineer named Luis Lancaster. They met during freshman year of college when their professor Ryan Schwabe thought they would collaborate well together: “It was maybe the best thing to ever happen to my music career,” ASCXNSION tells Eat This Music. “Luis has always lovingly pushed me to find my authentic sound. I can hear and feel the way I have gotten more comfortable with my voice over the last few years in working with him.”
The song itself (and ASCXNSION’s upcoming album) are influenced by the themes of the tarot. This track by the “Death” card. In the story of the tarot, Death is represented by change, rebirth, and transition – all of which ASCXNSION was feeling at the time she wrote the track. ASCXNSION’s romantic relationship not only experienced its own form of death but so did a version of herself she wasn’t meant to be anymore.
“This is the first time I’ve based my songwriting on thematic inspirations like the tarot, and I really love what’s come from it thus far.” — ASCXNSION on the creative process of “Let Me Go”
“I would say every piece of music I create is deeply informed by my personal experiences,” ASCXNSION emphasises on the influence of the song. “This song was inspired by my own journey in self-love, self-awareness, and having the courage to cut off what isn’t in my best interest.”
ASCXNSION just wanted to express that aforementioned notion in a way that felt vibrant and encompassing of all kinds of situations like the one she was experiencing. ASCXNSION is the type of musician that wants to create the kind of music where people feel the energy first, and then realise what story she is sharing along the way.
With this song, ASCXNSION would love for listeners to take away that when people focus on themselves, everything else that they want will come. “That when we choose to no longer chase people/things/situations, the more we can attract them,” ASCXNSION adds. “I also think a huge component of this track is that since growth is inevitable, there is no value in judging previous versions of ourselves or parts of ourselves that are in need of tender love and care. Shame does not conjure love or success!”
ASCXNSION is currently in the works on a new album. The project is also encompassed by themes of the tarot, so she really excited to have all the pieces put together!
“The album is set for a tentative late summer/early fall release,” ASCXNSION says. “I also have a music video for Let Me Go on the horizon that I’m really excited to share. The video is almost a collage of my life, and I’m enthusiastic to share all the work that’s been put into it.”