Art is the most powerful form of self-expression, but not all art is created for the world to see. Sometimes, an artist creates solely for the sake of creation and uses art as a form of personal healing. When an artist creates in this fashion, they often end up with their best work as they’re able to channel their emotions without any outside judgment and expectations. However, no matter how good it is, many artists never let these projects see the light of day. But, when your name is Esseks, your good friend Of The Trees reminds you that sometimes that work of art, no matter how personal, is exactly what the world needs. Of course, this is precisely how the Brooklyn producer’s latest EP, FEAR NOT, came to be.
Released on Friday, October 6, FEAR NOT initially wasn’t anything more than a therapeutic endeavor. Shying away from his typical heavy sound, Esseks poured his heart and soul into mesmerizing soundscapes and emotional tones of bass, creating a sonic experience that’s both profound and true to himself. When Of The Trees heard what he was working on, he not only encouraged Esseks to put it out but saw the project as a perfect fit for his new label, Memory Palace. An innovative combination of glitch-hop and dubstep, FEAR NOT takes listeners on a transcendent journey through sound and vibrations that is just as captivating as it is thought-provoking.
Leading up to the release, The Daily Frequency caught up with Esseks to discuss the new EP, working with Memory Palace, his plans for the new year, and more.
You can check out the exclusive interview with Esseks below.
DF: You just took us on yet another sonic adventure with your latest EP, FEAR NOT ! How does it feel to put out such a powerful record?
Esseks: It feels good. Kinda feels like a relief because I put a lot of work into it, so I feel like I can relax a bit mentally, knowing I did everything I could to present it the way I wanted and move on to the next thing.
DF: You released it through Of The Trees’ imprint Memory Palace, which seems to really align with who you are as an artist. How important is it to work with a label that not only stands by your artistry but encourages creative freedom and expression like they do?
Esseks: I’ve released on a lot of labels, and most of them have been very supportive and allowed me a lot of creative freedom, but the difference with this is that Tyler (Of the Trees) chose this softer release for the label, and it encouraged me to go with this direction. I still have heavier, more dancefloor-oriented music, but this stuff was more my personal work I only really even shared because of our friendship. I was originally thinking it might be a side project or something, but the label getting behind it encouraged me to run with this new direction. I also have a personal connection with the label because I was a part of the discussion in its conception and actually came up with the name Memory Palace when we were brainstorming, so it’s kind of a family affair.
DF: It’s clear you put a lot of emotion into each track and really pushed the boundaries of your sound. What was the driving inspiration behind the record as a whole?
Esseks: There wasn’t really a specific driving inspiration. It mostly came from being in my feelings and using these songs as an exercise in expressing my negative emotions and being as shamelessly melodramatic as I wanted with no judgment or expectations. I didn’t really expect to share the music, so I think it was really just honest self-expression.
DF: So this started as more of a therapy session than a project intended for your fans. What is it about creating, whether it be music or art, that’s healing for you?
Esseks: I think it helps you escape your thoughts. Putting your focus into something outside yourself. Channeling the negative thoughts and feelings into something tangible is an escape, just like drinking and drugs and all the other stuff people do to distract themselves, but it’s rewarding because it feels like you’re actually doing something about it.
DF: At what point did you decide this was something the world needed to hear?
Esseks: Tyler felt it was the vibe he wanted for the label and encouraged me to go with this personal work. I had a more dancefloor-oriented, heavier collection of music ready to go to that I will probably do something with eventually, but I have a lot of trust in Tyler’s taste and the fact that he liked it enough to make it the label’s first release outside his own music helped me feel more confident in releasing it.
DF: You stated you wanted the EP to emphasize “the inevitability of change,” which is something that troubles a lot of people. Is there anything you do in your personal experience that allows you to cope with change, whether it be good or bad?
Esseks: Write sad music hahaha. Make art and drink. Working helps me get out of my head, so I’m a bit of a workaholic.
DF: As a producer and visual artist merged into one, you’re able to create an incredible audiovisual experience. When creating a project like the Fear Not EP, does the music inspire the art, or does the art inspire the music?
Esseks: It’s a back-and-forth. Most of the time, I work on the two elements completely separately, and they end up fitting each other because they all come from the same place.
DF: On top of constantly creating, you just came off your first Red Rocks show back in September! How did it feel to play such an iconic venue alongside an artist like Rezz?
Esseks: It was a dream come true. I had my entire family there, and it felt good to make them proud and share that experience with them.
DF: Lastly, what can fans expect as we look toward 2024?
Esseks: I would like to put out all of this heavier music I am sitting on at some point, which I’ll probably do soon. I also have some more soft music that I kind of built off the direction I started with this. I think it’s a little more developed but also a little more vulnerable, which makes me hesitant to call it done, but I enjoy it a lot, so we’ll see where it goes.
You can stream FEAR NOT by Esseks HERE!
Check out more exclusive interviews with The Daily Frequency HERE!