Asha Pieper is a singer/songwriter, composer and artist living in Toronto. Her EP, The Wildling, is due for digital release this month. She is currently working on a new music project.
What spaces in Toronto do you go to escape your regular routine?
I love disappearing behind the little alleys on Queen West, or the U of T campus. In the summers I take long runs at night on the waterfront; minus the gnats that get caught in your teeth, it’s absolutely breathtaking.
What aisle do you spend the most time in at the grocery store?
Would love to say the produce section, but more likely the cheese deli. I’m lactose intolerant, but I live dangerously.
Which virtue do you try to cultivate within yourself?
Consistency and moderation. Indecisiveness can get the best of me, but I’ve found time has helped the mellowing process. Learning to accept the validity of the choices made is a real process I’ve been actively refining.
The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?
That wine is a perfectly legitimate life choice.
What did you think you were going to be when you were 8 years old?
A mermaid… I was slightly Disney-obsessed and was convinced I could breathe underwater for longer than I’m willing to admit.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Paris or New York. I love the feel of old cities, the architecture, the bricks, the cobblestone streets, the sense of continuity. How life has gone on long before, and long after you yourself came to be, and the little marks of history made up by ordinary people across time, just living their lives.
What makes you happy?
My family. Music. Walking empty streets in the rain. Curling up in bed surrounded by pillows and a comforter and a brand new season queued on Netflix.
What makes you cringe?
When you’re at a store and someone decides to vent their frustration at the cashier because it makes them feel a little better and a little special and if they were given any kind of power you know they’d go full speed ahead and probably ignite a Third World War. That person. Ugh.
What quality do you loathe most in others?
Callousness and superiority. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how many people know who you are, or what your bankroll is, or your privilege level. We’re all just quasi-haired monkeys trying to make it through the day.
What, in your opinion, is overrated?
Uggs. I don’t get them. They are slippers. That are worn as boots? In public? They confuse me.
What frustrates you the most?
Getting caught behind a group of people slowly walking three abreast on the sidewalk, and you try to pass them, so you clear your throat to politely indicate they are blocking the whole walkway, but they don’t hear you. So you’re stuck just behind them, soaked in a quiet, infinite rage.
What quality do you value most in a lover?
Wit and compassion. Broad shoulders don’t hurt.
What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday?
Sleeping in and grabbing a late coffee, strolling the streets with a new playlist buzzing in my ears.
What is your comfort food?
My mums dengu (the Kenyan version of Dal). I’ve tried to replicate it on my own, but it just tastes better coming from her.
What word or phrase should we all use more?