Interview: Kevin Samuel (whoosah/Escape Pod Situation)

If I have to pick one of us here over at noisewhore/The Store Front, with all due respect to my closest friends, I have to say that Kevin is the most talented of them all. By the same token, he’s also the most underrated. His latest release, Escape Pod Situation, is the best one so far.

With that in mind, I sat down (Again, virtually) with him to talk about his latest release and what goes on with him.

Why the name escape pod? I know you already have a name under whoosah, and you said in passing that you poured your heart out for this one, can you elaborate?

Kevin: I started this project in 2019, not long after I released my beat tape. I felt like expanding my approach in sound and learn something new. Another factor was how hectic it was releasing an album and getting attention for my release, I just wanted to take a break and readjust my pace. I stayed at home a lot, listened to more music and try to slow things down a bit. My interest in ambient and soundscape became more apparent, and the idea of creating something that focuses on tone and texture seemed pretty interesting to me. I tried to process sound differently, and started creating a couple of tracks that ended up being very different from how I wanted to deliver “Whoosah”, so I decided to create a project that represents this side of me, and the term “Escape Pod Situation“ was perfect.

That’s kind of the reality nowadays isnt it, so talk about the new album, what goes on in your mind really? Because it really captures the imagination, I really want to know the process and the making of the soundscape

Kevin: I usually work strictly on Ableton and using samples as a sound resource. With this project, I let my mood do the work and create something with the best of my abilities. Some of the tracks in this album was a result of a jam session with different generative synth patches that I built. One track was me playing guitar and recorded through an 8-track portastudio. And one was a sample that was manipulated and processed to create a warm ambient piece. Each track was treated according to how I feel about myself and what the situation around me made me feel.

so it’s safe to say that the album is really personal then, is it easier for you to express yourself with these soudnscapes rather than words?

Kevin: It is personal and some things are just meant to be expressed through sound. With sound composition I can accentuate a sense of time and length of a certain situation, mood or feeling, like film scores. I strongly hope that anyone who listens to this album can resonate to what the sounds are expressing.

So you mentioned you’re not really engaged to promote your music, so is it fair to say that music is something sacred to you? Something as an outlet rather than a job?

Kevin: Honestly, I don’t have a definitive answer for this. As a musician there’s always this fantasy of being able to make music for a living. However, I’m very close with the music I make and I want to uphold a degree of honesty on how it is presented. I guess it will forever be an outlet for me, but the idea of relying on my abilities as a musician to make a living is something that resides on my mind constantly.

On that note, so far this new album is only accessible via The Store Front, what pushed you in this direction?

Kevin: I think The Store Front boldly represents the best interest of local musicians and artists and having this project debut exclusively on The Store Front was intended to show that there are other options to distribute music and generate a fair share. As a listener, I think The Store Front is a great platform to directly support your favourite local artists. Not to mention the list of exclusive releases and contents that is not available anywhere else.