Fusing indie, post-punk, and synth-wave, EKKSTACY is the moniker of the 18-year-old Vancouverite making international waves in the indie scene. His melody’s sullen and languid, his instrumentals lo-fi and sparse, often peppered with shimmering 80’s synths, the wunderkind’s predisposition toward the sounds of coldwave predate him by some two or three decades; and yet Negative, his debut EP rings wholly authentic.
On the heels of the E.P’s release and a 2021 tour, we spoke with the artist about life, love, and all things music.
Tell us a bit about Ekkstacy.
I don’t know, I feel really small. I don’t feel like a big artist at all. I feel like a small artist still. I feel like I’m underground. I have a lot to do, my sound is still in the beginning stages.
I don’t feel like established whatsoever… or ‘big’ like people think I am. That’s the weird thing. People think I’m big… that stresses me out because I’m not. I don’t want to fail anyone, you know?
How would you describe your sound for our readers who have never heard your music before?
Sad and sad. Sad. That’s all. Just Sad. Sad then, sad. Really just… sad.
I guess it goes without saying but tell us a bit about Negative, why the title negative?
I’ve always kind of just been a negative person and my mom would always point that shit out to me when I was growing up. She’d always be like, you’re so negative. It sounds weird to say now. We used to get in a lot of fights when I was in high school because I was just fucking up. So one day, I just decided to just call myself that. And then I decided to call my album that. I mean, she’s not wrong, honestly.
Where does the name Ekkstacy come from?
Well, first of all, I really wanted my name to be Stacy. And ecstasy is kind of the opposite of how I feel. So it kind of just worked. It took a long time to come up with that shit, I swear to God, that did not come easily. Before I dropped my first song. I had like three or four different names and they were all trash.
How does a project like this come together for you?
Well, there’s a theme, it was my ex-girlfriend that I wrote the entire album about. But I put that album together over the span of like, a year. The album was like me putting the story together and finalizing it. And if you read it, all of them all the track names read into a poem.
What is your relationship like with performing?
I just did my first tour. I did three shows in America and then five in Europe. So eight shows, I guess. Holy fuck dude at first it was torture. I have really bad anxiety as it is. It was bad. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping. I was drinking a lot and I was just fucked upon on the road. But it got better over time, every show got a little bit easier. The first show that I did was in New York and it was horrible. then I did San Antonio the next day and it was sick. It was crazy. I was opening for the drums, so there were like 1500 people. And then we drove to El Paso and there was 1800 people, and that was fucking insane too. Now I’m just singing by myself. It took some time to get used to that because I felt so naked on stage without anything backing me, just the instrumentals; it was terrifying. But I got it now.
What first drew you to music?
I was listening to Chris Brown when I was in middle school. I thought he was sick. I thought that shit was cool. And then my god, I started listening to SoundCloud shit. I was listening to X, and Peep and all that. You know, that wave? Yeah. And that’s kind of when I got into music, but I wasn’t that good. I mean, I was good. I was doing okay. But I wasn’t, doing numbers like I do now.
It wasn’t until I started making indie that stuff started to go well, and I always wanted to do indie when I was in grade nine. I remember I was listening to Mack DeMarco and I thought that he was really cool. But it wasn’t until I found the drums and current joys and that type of shit. That’s what I started to really figure out what I wanted to do. That slow indie shit is cool, but the faster you shit, the more punk-emo English wave is way cooler. That’s when I started to really figure out, okay, I know what to do now. And then I just made a, I made I Walk This Earth, literally in this room, like a year ago, eight months ago, nine months ago.
I listen to a lot of Duster. I listen to a lot of metalcore. Like 2014 Asking Alexandria and shit. I listen to the drums. I listen to some rap too. But not that much. I’m really pretty much into, indie. Like, Emo and metalcore. And deathcore. I know… you can catch me into hella shit.
What do you hope your listeners feel when they put on an ecstasy song?
I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t think about that whatsoever. I really make music for myself. I hope people find peace in it because that’s what I find in it. But I don’t know, I just hope people find peace, hopefully it calms them. I hope it makes them feel whatever I feel when I’m making the song. I don’t know. I don’t really think about that, because I do it for myself.
Did this album help you understand that relationship and that breakup?
Kind of, but the funny thing is, is that right after the album dropped, we started talking again. It just felt weird after because, like, I make this whole album, and then we reconnected. I feel like just yesterday is when I closed that door forever. Just last night, I talked to her. And it was like, yeah, it was the day. I think that was the end for sure. In a good way. It was a good end. It’s sad though. She’s my favorite.
Going forward what does your musical journey look like after negative?
I want to start making stuff that is harder. I want to have my shows look like a bloodbath. But while sticking to my sound. I feel like I already figured it out.
Do you have any concepts for the next record? Any ideas floating around?
Just last night I made a song. Once I make one song that I think is cool and has a specific like, genre or vibe, I just make a bunch of songs in that genre, and I get bored, and then I switch.
If you could set your music to any film, what would it be?
That’s a good question. I really like my shit. I really liked the movie Good Will Hunting, maybe to Be By Your Side, yeah. That’d be cool.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would it be?
Negative is one, scared is another, and… existential.
Cody is the Editor in Chief and senior contributor at liminul.
He is a photography aficionado, fashion enthusiast, avid Lana Del Rey fan, and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.