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Ashnikko

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Ashton Nicole Casey (born February 19, 1996), known professionally as Ashnikko (/æʃˈniːkoʊ/ ash-NEE-koh), is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter. They rose to prominence with their 2019 single "Stupid" with (Yung) Baby Tate, which gained viral popularity on the video-sharing platform TikTok and was certified platinum in the United States and Canada. Ashnikko's debut mixtape, Demidevil, was released in January 2021, and spawned the singles "Daisy" and "Slumber Party" featuring Princess Nokia.

Early life
Ashton Nicole Casey was born on February 19, 1996, in Oak Ridge, North Carolina, and raised in the city of Greensboro. Their parents exposed them to diverse musical genres, such as country music and Slipknot. They recall becoming interested in music, specifically rap music, when they listened to Arular by M.I.A. at the age of 10 and did not listen to male musicians until she was 16 years old. As a teenager, her family moved to Estonia for her father's studies, spending a year there before relocating again to Riga, Latvia. At one point, they were the only American in Latvia to attend a Latvian public high school. At the age of 18, Casey moved to London by themself.

Career
2016–2019: Career beginnings and Hi It's Me
Ashnikko's first song, "Krokodil", was produced by Raf Riley and published to SoundCloud in July 2016. They released their first EP, Sass Pancakes, under Digital Picnic Records in 2017. The EP was produced by Raf Riley and features appearances from Avelino. Ashnikko's second EP, Unlikeable, was released in November 2018. The EP spawned the singles "Blow", "Nice Girl", "Invitation" featuring Kodie Shane, and "No Brainer".

Ashnikko released her third EP, Hi It's Me, in July 2019. The EP was preceded by the promotional single "Special" and was launched alongside the EP's title track and lead single, "Hi It's Me". The second official single, "Stupid", featuring Yung Baby Tate, gained viral popularity on the video-sharing platform TikTok. The song reached number one on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, the Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and the Spotify Viral 50 chart. "Stupid" was also certified gold in the United States in August 2020, as well as in Canada. Another song from the EP, "Working Bitch", also found popularity on TikTok. Ashnikko embarked on a North American tour supporting American rapper Danny Brown in October 2019. They released the promotional single "Halloweenie II: Pumpkin Spice" in October 2019. They co-wrote eight songs, two of which they are featured on, on Brooke Candy's debut album, Sexorcism, which was released in October 2019.

2020–2021: Breakthrough and Demidevil

Ashnikko co-wrote the song "Boss Bitch" with American rapper Doja Cat, which was included on the Birds of Prey soundtrack, Birds of Prey: The Album. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashnikko was scheduled to accompany Doja Cat on her Hot Pink Tour throughout the United States in March 2020 before it was canceled. In March 2020, they released the standalone single "Tantrum". Later that month, they performed "Tantrum" live as part of The Fader's Digital Fader Fort event. "Cry", featuring Canadian musician Grimes, was then released in June 2020, alongside an animated music video. The song's music video was nominated for "Best Pop Video - UK" at the 2020 UK Music Video Awards. Following this, "Daisy" was released in July 2020, and a music video for the song was released in collaboration with Beats by Dre and TikTok a month later. "Daisy" became Ashnikko's breakthrough hit, charting internationally in countries including Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom. It reached a peak of number 24 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming her first charting and first top 40 hit in the UK. Ashnikko's third Halloween song, "Halloweenie III: Seven Days", was released in October 2020. She was nominated for Best Push Act at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards.

"Cry" and "Daisy" both appear on Ashnikko's debut mixtape, Demidevil, which was released on January 15, 2021. "Deal with It" featuring Kelis and "Slumber Party" featuring Princess Nokia served as the third and fourth singles from the mixtape, respectively. In support of the mixtape, Ashnikko announced The Demidevil Tour, which was set to take place in October 2021, with shows in North America, the UK, and Ireland.

More recently, Ashnikko co-wrote the song "Frost" released on May 31, 2021, which figures in Korean boy band Tomorrow X Together – TXT's album The Chaos Chapter: Freeze and its repackage album The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape released on August 17, 2021. She sent the hyper-pop, trap-based song over to TXT in English. The song was then translated to Korean.

2022-present: Hiatus, Weedkiller and world tour
After a year hiatus since the release of the two-side singles "Panic Attacks In Paradise" and "Maggots" on September 29, 2021, Ashnikko released her first single, "You Make Me Sick!", on February 8, 2023. On March 1, she announced the release of her debut album, Weedkiller, for June 2; the Weedkiller World Tour across Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe and will start on March 24 in Japan and end on December 11 in the UK; and the second single from the album, "Worms", which was released a day later.

Ashnikko performed at the Coachella Arts and Music Festival on the second day of performances during the festival's two week run on April 22, 2023 in Coachella, California.

Artistry
Ashnikko's musical style has been described by critics as a fusion of several genres, including pop, indie pop, rock, alt-pop, hip hop, bubblegum pop, indie rock, punk, and electropop. She described her style of music as "angry, punk, hip hop, sad-girl-feminist, bubblegum, poo-poo music", and has clarified that her music is not intended to be comedic or parody-based.

Ashnikko is known for her Tokyo-inspired street fashion. She is also known for her unique, bright blue hair, which is originally brown. In the video for "Nice Girl" and some of her early vlogs, her hair is pastel green. Her hair in the "Daisy" music video is yellow, pink, and red.

Ashnikko has cited her musical influences as M.I.A., Gwen Stefani, Lil' Kim, Björk, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, and Joan Jett, and has stated that her favorite song is "Bossy" by Kelis. She has also listed Doja Cat, Grimes, Tierra Whack, Rico Nasty, Princess Nokia, Kim Petras, and Charli XCX as her "peers" and artists she "really respects".

Personal life
Ashnikko stated on Twitter in June 2019 that she is bisexual and later clarified in a 2020 interview that she is pansexual. In May 2021, Ashnikko came out as genderfluid on Twitter, saying that "i just didn't feel ready to tell the internet yet but i guess now's a good time since everyone's doing a dissection into my sexuality and gender identity". She uses she/her and they/them pronouns.

In July 2020, while discussing the meaning behind the lyrics of her single "Daisy", she said that while her family practices Christianity, she does not.

In December 2021, Ashnikko began dating fellow singer Arlo Parks.