Ashton Zanecki, a pop artist and former Wilkes student, recently announced he will be putting music on the side as he spends the next six years as a part of the United States Navy.
Zanecki cleared up a few misconceptions about the announcement, stating that it definitely isn’t a permanent career change, but rather a learning process which will allow him to sort out his life a little better.
“Music definitely has huge place in my life, but I haven’t quite figured out how to make it fit into my life,” he said. “(The Navy) kind of focuses on making sure I have a solid foundation, but I don’t see myself ever giving up.”
Zanecki also said that this definitely not the end of his music career. While he isn’t sure how much free time he’ll have, he wants to continue to write music while in the service – something he said is essential to his being, as it has shaped him into who he is today.
“Music definitely let me express myself and allowed me to be who I wanted to be,” he said. “I never felt like I could be who I wanted to be until I started pursuing music…in art, you can do whatever you want to do and be who you want to be.”
With his music holding such a powerful place in his life, it comes as no surprise that Zanecki would do whatever it takes to make it work – like joining the Navy, or before that, spontaneously moving to Wilkes-Barre with only a few dollars to his name.
Zanecki left Wilkes after his first semester because the price tag was too high, but quickly missed the area after returning to his hometown of Annapolis, Md., citing extensive family history and the city’s odd individuality as reasons for returning last summer.
“It just feels like home to me. The people here are so different than anywhere I’ve been.”
Zanecki is most known for his recent single “1,000 Grand,” but has also gained a decent online following from collaborating and producing music with YouTube sensations – one song he produced was featured in a Shane Dawson video, gathering more than 1 million views.
Zanecki said a huge theme in his music is staying true to yourself – something, he said, that is hard to come by in modern society.
“You can distract yourself your whole life… you can get lost in the whole world of nothing if you never wanted to try to find yourself… that’s why it’s really important to be yourself.”
To hear Zanecki’s music, readers can go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ASHTONZANECKI.