Ashnikko discusses their “beautiful” friendship with Ethel Cain at Reading Festival 2023

Ashnikko spoke to NME backstage at Reading Festival 2023 about their “beautiful” friendship with Ethel Cain. Watch the full video interview above.

Earlier this year, the pair hit the studio to work on a track for ‘WEEDKILLER’, the recently-released debut album from Ashnikko (born Ashton Casey). The result was expansive closer ‘Dying Star’, a track that details themes of desire and resolution. “When we met, I was already a huge fan,” Ashnikko explained. “Ethel came to the studio and we hit it off straight away. It was a really nice experience.”

Ashnikko continued to praise her collaborator, who released her breakthrough album ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ in May 2022. “She has the most beautiful voice. It makes you feel like you’re in a cave but also in church in the middle of the Earth, but also like you’re in a forest at midnight,” she said of Cain. “That’s how it feels listening to her sing.”


They added: “She also did a lot of production on that song. She is a once-in-a-generation type of artist – I really love her. It was such a pleasure to work with her.”

Ashnikko live at Reading 2023. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

Elsewhere, Ashnikko, who appeared on The Cover earlier this week (August 21), discussed the journey to unveiling ‘WEEDKILLER’, which follows her 2021 mixtape ‘Demidevil’. “I’m really proud that I took the time to really think through all the songs on the album and really pour everything into my visuals,” they said. “I’m proud that I did my best. I approached songwriting in a different way with this album.”

On Friday (August 25), Ashnikko made their third consecutive appearance at Reading, following a slot on the Radio 1 Dance stage in 2022 and the Lock Up tent the year prior. For the 2023 edition of the festival, she performed a surprise at the Festival Republic tent.

Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2023.