[INTERVIEW] Esseks Talks Upcoming EP Uncertain Future, Tarot Cards, Playing Yonderville + More
Harnessing sonic waves and transmitting them across the universe as frequencies of bass, Sam Eckstein, who goes by the name Esseks, is breaking down barriers and venturing into unexplored realms with his alluring sound. More than just a producer, the multifaceted artist decorates both time and space through captivating soundscapes and mesmerizing visual art that you can’t help but get lost in.
After releasing The Villain’s Journey in July of 2021, the Brooklyn Based producer is back at it with a ton of new music on the way. Alongside his forthcoming EP, The Uncertain Future, he has designed his own version of tarot cards to represent each track in the project. iEDM caught up with Esseks to discuss his background in art, finding inspiration in the unknown, and more.
Read iEDM's exclusive interview with Esseks below.
iEDM: Congratulations on your upcoming EP, The Uncertain Future. It is such an incredible project, and I love the direction of your sound! What was your focus going into making this record?
Esseks: I wouldn’t say there was any specific focus. I was putting a lot of focus into trying to improve my health mentally and physically at the time I was writing it. I think writing music is always therapeutic, but at that time, it was a little more in a literal sense.
iEDM: You created this EP during quarantine when you, like many other artists, were unsure about the future of your career. Do you feel like essentially venturing into the unknown helped push your sound into new places creatively?
Esseks: I think the goal is always to venture into the unknown and push the sound to new places, but I think the uncertainty of what my future as a touring artist might look like made me focus on more introspective tracks than dancefloor-oriented music.
iEDM: Being that the future seemed so uncertain at that time, how did you stay grounded and inspired during the pandemic?
Esseks: I definitely didn’t stay grounded or inspired the whole time, but I put a lot of time into upping my digital illustration and animation game. It was actually kind of nice having some time to try and learn some new skills.
iEDM: You are also able to brilliantly tell stories through sound, which is no easy feat. How important is it to have a concise vision within your music other than just making “bangers”?
Esseks: I don’t think having a concise vision is necessary at all. It’s all just self-expression. I personally have a soft spot for old prog-rock concept albums and more narrative music, and I have a lot of fun playing with that through visual illustration, too, so I like those kinds of projects. I also like to make bangers, though. It’s all fun at the end of the day.
iEDM: Not only are you dropping new music, but you’re releasing your own tarot card art series! What inspired you to create your own tarot cards, and what does the series mean to you?
Esseks: I didn’t create a whole deck. That would be somewhere around 50 cards. I just made one card per song, so six total. I just chose the tracks I felt went together and thought about what the songs meant to me and what tied them together. I was dealing with stress and anxiety about the future at the time, which made me think of tarot cards. I don’t really believe in tarot cards, but I think trying to predict your future is an anxious thing to do which brought me to that theme. It also just gave me a template that seemed fun to make a series of paintings around.
iEDM: Tarot cards go hand in hand with manifestation. What are your thoughts on the law of attraction, and do you utilize any practices like meditation or visualization in your daily life?
Esseks: I think believing in something enough can adjust your behavior in a way that opens you up more to it happening. I don’t meditate, but I definitely should.
iEDM: So obviously, you radiate creativity with both music and art. Was art something you’ve always gravitated to?
Esseks: Definitely. I’ve been interested in drawing and painting since I was a little kid.
iEDM: Do you feel that having two creative outlets helps you improve both musically and artistically?
Esseks: For sure. Any kind of creative exercise that flexes that part of your brain makes it stronger. A lot of lessons you learn from working on one art form can apply to other art forms, too, so they all inform each other.
iEDM: As an artist, you also illustrate all of your own work, from album art to visuals and more. Do you feel that translating your music into a visual aspect helps you express and connect to your vision and sound even more?
Esseks: Yeah, I think trying to make something look the way it sounds, and vice versa is a lot of fun. It all comes from the same place, so it helps to express an idea more concisely.
iEDM: You’re playing Yonderville with a bunch of other incredible artists! What can fans expect once Esseks takes the stage, and how does it feel to play alongside so many dope names within the bass community?
Esseks: I would say they can expect a little bit of everything, including my heart, and I look forward to playing alongside so many dope names within the bass community.
iEDM: You are also about to play your first ever show at Red Rocks for the Global Dub Festival as a B2B set with Buku. How does it feel to be playing such a legendary venue?
Esseks: I am beyond excited for it. My dad has been asking me when I’m going to play red rocks half-jokingly since I started playing shows, and it felt very good to invite him to it. I am also stoked to be sharing the experience with Buku. We toured the country in a sprinter together right before the pandemic, and I think he is an A1 artist and friend.
iEDM: It is clear you are in a good space right now. You’re dropping new music, new art and have a bunch of dope shows lined up. What can fans expect for the rest of the year?
Esseks: A whole bunch of music. For real, I’ve got too much of it piled up. I’m about to do some kinda mix or something, I don’t know. I’ve been upping my animation game, too, so maybe some more videos/way cooler visuals.
Listen to Esseks' latest single "Judgemental" off his upcoming Uncertain Future EP HERE!