Updated: Jan 25
Ashley Furst Infuses her Radio Segment about Space with Wit and Originality
Talented Ashley Furst writes, produces and anchors two shows for iHeart Radio’s foremost outer space music station: iRoc Space Radio.
As a third generation Californian, born and raised on the sunny beaches, Ashley Furst traded her flip flops in for snow boots as the first of her family to move 3000 miles away for the opportunity to attend Harvard, where she captained the women’s Track & Field Team, thrived in language and music courses, majored in sociology, and represented our nation in the oldest college track meet on earth: Harvard/Yale vs. Oxford/Cambridge (we Americans won).
Tell us about those times in your life.
There were definitely some “fish out of water moments” as a freshman, being a public-school kid from California, but it was an amazing experience that I credit for blessing me with being a polyglot (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, English) , meeting lifelong friends, finding love, and having the courage to move to New York City afterwards instead of returning home to warm Southern California.
The New York City chapter of my life opened my eyes to the beauty of being surrounded by insanely talented musicians, performing live on stage with my own band, having a gold record with Sony (Christmas Classics: Yesterday, Today & Forever) which features artists such as Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Tony Bennet, Toni Braxton, Babyface, and more. My Christmas single was a saucy, jazzed up rendition of Santa Baby that still receives over 500,000 spins today. My band (iTunes name: Ashley 1ST) even toured the West Coast, performing at Whisky a Go Go, the Viper Room, and Crash Mansion.
Photo credits: Casey A. King
New York City is where I cut my teeth in the recording industry, and honed my skills of performing live on stage, commanding a microphone and the crowd, whether it was with my band or being the emcee of elite events on Fifth Avenue and the Hamptons. New York City afforded so many opportunities, from catching a last-minute ticket at Madison Square Garden to see Stevie Wonder or Bruno Mars to sharpening my love of playing street basketball and the epic food carts that come with living in Harlem.
When covid hit, my bicoastal “California-New Yorker” life returned me to my California roots permanently. That is where I currently reside, and I attribute this rollercoaster of time zones I’ve lived in to the penchant I have for writing iHeart Radio’s iRoc Radio Space News with a witty cocktail of East Coast edge and West Coast pop culture.
My SoCal, Cambridge, and New York City tenures give me a unique writing style and outlook on life as we all try to share this planet but push the envelope to outer space. My love for international travel and competing at world championships also strengthens my appreciation for humankind, as I’ve seen complete strangers unite to help one another. I also love seeing us unite in a collective wonder at what’s in our galaxy and the lengths we’ll go to explore it. The International Space Station is a beautiful reminder of different countries working together constantly for our mutual benefit.
What do you do for iHeart Radio?
I write, produce and anchor two shows for iHeart Radio’s premier outer space music station: iRoc Space Radio. This first broadcast is iRoc Space Radio News: Your go-to place in the galaxy for the latest in space news, culture & entertainment, which airs seven times per day with fresh episodes every week. iRoc Space Radio News delivers listeners all the major outer space headlines in under four minutes, with a subtle double entendre or occasional punchline a la Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. I also love inserting a famous song to help report the breaking news story (think: Pitbull, The Beatles, Queen). My signature tagline is: “I’m Ashley 1ST, giving you a 1ST look at space news.”
The second broadcast I write, produce and anchor is Top 10 Questions with the Top Guns in Our Space Industry: Where we interview today’s movers and shakers launching us into tomorrow’s new horizons. This is more of an NPR docu-series format where listeners get to know major space Industry professionals through a rapid-fire 10-Questions-and-Answers program, along with advice they have for our next generation trying to land space industry jobs.
Tell us about your mission.
iRoc stands for Intergalactic Royalties Operation Corporation. What started out as being the first to question intergalactic space law as to who collects media royalties for content above the Karman Line (62 miles above the Earth– the official start of outer space) has actually evolved into much more. iRoc is now a terrestrial radio station that plays songs about outer space, and is shaping the way business will be conducted in space as more space tourists travel there. iRoc and iRoc Space Radio will be at the forefront of technology and entertainment above the Karmen Line!
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
Way back in the beginning, before we got picked up by iHeart Radio, I used to record my broadcasts in the quietest place with no echo in my apartment: the floor of my closet. The sound levels were great but my back was wrecked from sitting in the corner and working too long! So glad we can look back on that era fondly as part of the “if you build it, they will come” sacrifices and old memories. since we record in a professional studio now.
I also had to find my voice. I loved writing two different style broadcasts: the fast, slick, witty Space News and the more serious docu-series Top 10 Questions with Top Guns in Our Space Industry. However, because they are two polar opposites when it comes to format, tone, and background music, I had to create a pensive voice and cadence that was unique to the Top 10 Questions show. You can hear the difference- it’s more of a natural fit than my rock’n roll-paced Space News in Under Four Minutes voice. I’m glad I found the right voice thanks to a mentor with a legendary career in the music industry who’s on the iRoc Space Radio staff.
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What’s the best part of your job?
Learning new aerospace words. Checking on parts of the world I didn’t know had spaceports for launching rockets like Taiwan, New Guinea, China, Japan and Russia’s Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. I also love creating my own original segments like Mars Weather & Traffic, Rockets Round Up: A round up of rocket launches around the world, Space Wars: Legal Matters Above the Karman Line, Icarus Insights: Mankind’s daring quest to push the flight envelope, Things That Make You Go Hmmmm” (UFO reports), and Stars Beyond Stars: When Hollywood goes intergalactic.
I love scripting broadcast shows with a witty line or music reference and love how mankind’s shared fascination with outer space travel unites us as one species trying our best to do what has never been done before.
What is your message to our Heart Of Hollywood readers?
Aim for Mars and you’ll at least reach the stars. Commit to sharpening a passion you love, and watch it fly like a dove. I surrounded myself with people who were equally positive and productive and you can hear the result seven times a day on iHeart Radio! Just tell Alexa, Siri, or Google: “Play iRoc Space Radio on iHeart Radio!”
iHeart Radio Station: https://www.iheart.com/live/iroc-space-radio-8834/
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