How Justin Ashar's curiosity launched his musical career as an artist

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How Justin Ashar's curiosity launched his musical career as an artist (Image: Justin Asher)
How Justin Ashar's curiosity launched his musical career as an artist (Image: Justin Asher)

New Delhi : Justin Ashar wishes that someone would have told him how many times he would fail before he saw any success in his life. While he was working in northern Alaska as a geologist on a drilling rig with a very rigorous schedule, it did not seem he would find a way out of the situation he was in. Thankfully for him, there were great opportunities in the works as long as he remained persistent and patient. 

Ashar did just that, putting in hours of hard work without giving up on his future. By a stroke of good fortune, or perhaps fate, he decided to buy an Indian keyboard instrument, known as a harmonium, which makes sound by blowing air through reeds that are tuned to different pitches. While it is only an instrument, this object would be a catalyst in changing the course of Ashar’s life for the better.

Using the instrument, he did a cover to a popular Drake song and decided to upload it to Facebook. With the hopes of entertaining a few friends, he was shocked to see the video skyrocket virtually overnight. The video peaked at 1.1 million views, and his Facebook account reached over 25,000 followers as a result. The timing could not have been better, as he was just laid off from his job and was waiting for a reply on his green card application to remain in the United States.

What started as a fun way to pass time and entertain himself quickly turned into sponsorships and recognition. Not only did the company that makes the harmonium he used for the video send him his own custom instrument with his name on it, he got sponsored by the likes of a skateboard company and Kung Fu Tea®️, a global bubble tea chain. With so much initial success, Ashar decided to see what else he could accomplish and pursued a career in the music industry. The result was Pug Life Records.

Ashar would go on to create meme-worthy content to gain further recognition for his silly antics.  His first major project for Pug Life Records involved making a music video based around an eating contest with his friends.  For the audio, he incorporated his custom harmonium and developed a method to deliver vocals using a talk box connected to a synthesizer.

Other artists around the world were entertained by Justin’s carefree attitude, and they wanted to join in on his label.  Celebrity tabla player, Shobhit Banwait, was Justin’s first artist, and after completing a successful collaboration, Shobhit’s YouTube channel skyrocketed to over 180,000 subscribers.

With all of the momentum he had gained in music, Ashar has opened his mind up to other industries. He has since developed Pug Life Comedy, Pug Life Athletics, and Pug Life Eats. For comedy, he has connected with up-and-coming comedian, Baffour Boakye, to provide guidance on production and marketing. He has helped the rising talent gain thousands of followers on social media and has catalyzed his journey to help him reach new heights every day. Boakye, known on stage as Baffmasta, has even caught the attention of Will.I.Am, the founding member of the Black Eyed Peas. As a result, Baffmasta is set to appear on an upcoming Black Eyed Peas video releasing this summer. 

As for his athletics and eats concepts, Ashar is still developing them today. He is currently doing brand deals and marketing for fitness equipment, including Reebok®️ shoes, and he is currently a brand ambassador with Lebert Fitness. Ashar currently teaches others how to remain physically fit without a gym membership and very minimal equipment, a workout style that is key during quarantine. As for his food venture, the coronavirus has all but slowed it to a stop for now. He plans to help restaurants grow their brands and market to new customers, but the project is on hold until the virus dies down. 

Even though Ashar has become a full-fledged entrepreneur and is dedicated to the pursuit of his own success, he says that he stumbled into entrepreneurship as a mistake. He is a very curious person by nature and has always wanted to seek answers to problems by trying things from several different angles. He loves to experiment, and this passion may have singlehandedly brought him all of the success he is currently enjoying simply because he has always been willing to try something new.