Ashton Travis is a Houston artist who announced his signing to Def Jam in March with a single called "Death Row." As airy and forceful as wind from a passing convertible, the song is about the ups and downs of facing your worst fears with catchy melodic bars that sound like a psalm for courage.
In the song's music video, premiering above, Travis is pursued through amber-colored night streets by police as surreal visions flash. An elderly, glamorous woman, a gangland shooting, and a pencil-moustached gentleman in a strip club all appear in contrasting scenes. There's no narrative, but Travis helpfully provided some thoughts behind the clip's creation in an email to The FADER:
“'Death Row' is all about someone’s will to achieve, accomplish, or even gain something.I made the song at one of my lowest points in life. I was so hungry and so determined to achieve what I wanted that I was willing to put my life on the line. Most people feel like they’re in “do or die” situations and I felt like mine was worse. It was Death Row - a place where people don’t even have a choice. So when it came to my passion, my career, I knew I would either achieve everything I set out for or die trying — despite my situation at the time.
In the video, I had so many ideas on how I wanted to convey my message. There’s so many ways to interpret the visuals. You see me running from so many things, only to find out that nothing is chasing me. It’s all in my head. I guess when you want something so bad your mind will find ways to highlight self doubt, or reasons to give up. That’s just human nature. But I know that the only person that can stop me from getting whatever I want is me. So at the end of the day you’re really just running from yourself.”