Educated at the Grove School In Market Drayton, Shropshire, Ashley Soan started having lessons at an early age with Brian Stone and then with Andy Richards. He studied music at Salford University and then went on to study at Drumtech (now the Tech Music School) in Acton, London.
Soan's drumkit for the Producers at the band's second live show, 7 February 2007
Soan's first break was a short stint with Tom Robinson and then in 1994 joined the band Del Amitri. He toured and recorded as a member of that band and left Del Amitri in 1997, and subsequently joined Faithless, then went on to tour and record with Squeeze, staying with them until their break-up in 1999.