One of the most innovative and influential grassroots artists and educators of our present times, Niles ‘Asheber’ Hailstones grew up in the late ’60s and ’70s in the world famous cultural, creative hub, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill. As a child, being from a musical family he was blessed to witness the birth of a new era of black musical consciousness and creative innovation in the making. From a young age, he would routinely be the youngest one in the local shubeen, or late night West End jazz clubs like Ronnie Scott’s, absorbing the musical vibrations.
Asheber is a mixture of Count Ossie, Gil Scott-Heron, & Fela Kuti all in one. He flows between Lead Vocals, Spoken Word, Trumpet and Djembe, with an intention and energy that has become his trademark.
As a member of legendary UK Reggae band, Misty In Roots, Asheber toured the world extensively between 1990-2005. Territories included: Africa, The Caribbean, Europe and Japan.
During the mid-nineties he formed Urban Breeze Horns, with his long time musical partner Winston ‘Saxton’ Rose, and along with Trombonist, Trevor Edwards, toured and recorded with many foundation Jamaican artists such as U-Roy, Junior Delgado, Prince Lincoln, Gregory Isaacs, Yabby You, Freddie McGregor, as well as UK based artists like Macka B, Tippa Irie, Papa Levi, Sandra Cross, Mad Professor, Ruff Cutt Band and many more.
He has also worked with UK based Soul & Jazz Artists such as Ray Carless, Noel McKoy, Brand New Heavies, Linda Muriel, Cleveland Watkiss and Alyson Evelyn and many Calypso artists, including Bravo Bravington of Steel & Skin and Alex Da Great.
Growing up in ‘Laylow’ (Ladbroke Grove) he was also an original member of UK Hip Hop legends NSO Force and is featured on the underground classic Chains/In2Deep, released on 11:59’s Ticking Time Records label.
The tradition continues as he is currently Uncle to a big family of young and upcoming wordsmiths and ‘ghetto jalibahs’ including RU1Fam, who he produced the track “Young Rebels’ on the recent Vibes & Pressure CD compilation. Uncle Niles, as he is affectionately now known, also featured on award-winning artist Akala’s album ‘Thieves Banquet’, and is also a foundation member of The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company.
Asheber was also present during the birth of jungle and worked with Dego and Marc Mac of Reinforced Records, playing trumpet on Goldie’s classic “City Life”, as well as featuring on many other tracks and remixes for the 4Hero family, including the Roy Ayers cut on the “2000 Black” album.
More recently, he featured on 2 tracks on IG Culture’s “Soulful Shanghai” album, one being a tribute to and reworking of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
He is also currently Wordsmith for Afro-Cuban Jazz unit Kevin Haynes Groupo Elegua and is featured on the title track of the album “Ori Ire’.
Becoming fascinated and drawn to the African roots of all contemporary music, he began a spiritual journey and quest to connect the missing pieces of the diasporic jigsaw puzzle. This drew him towards the tradition of the griot, and the sound of the Kora in particular, led him to what we now accept as African blues. His musical partnership with guitarist Derek ‘Musicalist’ Johnson originator of ‘Blu-Dub’, is also a key factor in the development of the vibrational sound frequency known as ‘Sankofa Beat’. Sankofa Beat is a seamless blend of Soul, Jazz, Reggae and Afrikan Blues in service and reverence of an ancient ancestral legacy.
The mission is simple: to add value to that which we stand on.
Asheber now promotes his own ‘Roots Renaissance’ events which have been running since 2009, and has held residencies at well known London venues such as Hootananny (Brixton), Favela Chic and The Flyover, Portobello. He also holds ‘Musikal Medicine’ healing sessions and workshops promoting the therapeutic benefits of word, sound, power.
2015 will see the beginning of a new phase in the musical mission with the release of Asheber’s first album “Sankofa Beat” which features a gathering of the most innovative and cutting edge grassroots musical soldiers based in the UK including: Derek ‘Musicalist’ Johnson, Winston ‘Saxton’ Rose, Baba Adesose Wallace, Tunde Jegede, Jally Kebba Susso, Mosi Conde, Westley Joseph, Ray Carless, Cleveland Watkiss, Kevin Haynes, Emzee Haywoode, Don Chandler, Anthony ‘Drumtan’ Ward, Naomi Thompson, Noel McKoy, Tony D-Pan Francis, Bravo Bravington, Akala, James Brown’s legendary Saxman, Pee Wee Ellis, and the late great Egyptian Flautist, Maher Khairy
Sankofa Beat will be released this Winter on Elephant Walk Records
When The Rhythm Changes, So Does The Dance!