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Artist Spotlight: Escapist

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Written By: Clint Choi

Escapist is the name that a college freshman studying music technology at Stevens Institute of Technology has decided to adopt after he realized that his budding career as a musician could, someday, take new heights. Changing his name from Alien Radio to Escapist, Aashray Harishankar decided to pursue music as an interest ever since he first performed his concert debut playing South Indian music on the keyboard.

Aashray Harishankar is a musician who can trace his hometown origins back to the suburbia bubble in Irvine, California. His passion has always been about all forms of media, but especially for music and film. He has been largely influenced by music he hears in movies, television, video games, as well as the expansive field of terrestrial radio. He remarks that "the importance of music is the feeling it creates in the listener or simply a memory from one's mind" and that his "passion stems from this fundamental attribute of recreating that unexplainable shade of emotion that comes from music". This is his mission for his musicianship.

As a current resident in the Hoboken area in New Jersey, he searches for inspiration that comes from his experience in South Indian classical music, jazz piano, percussion, classical guitar, as well as his influences he finds in certain aspects of contemporary music. In his contemporaries, he resonates with icons from Pink Floyd, Hans Zimmer, Dave Brubeck alongside modern acts from Coldplay, John Mayer, and Young the Giant. Aashray is a experimenter in music, delving in many different genres yet imbuing his own personal hue of culture and ambient cadence.

He has released his own discography that has spanned from October 2010 to present day with his debut work, Elements, to his recent single, Feelin' Love. As I dive right into Feelin' Love, it presents itself an atypical ambient electronic single that brings a xylophone flutter alongside suppressed use of violin instrumental throughout the song. We hear reminiscent voices that echo and orgasmic mutters that ring out in the music in comparison to this enigma of a sampled vocal lead that sings out, "You feeling love, can you keep it down?" It's mysterious yet it finds its edge in being anything but discreet to the subconscious. Feelin' Love succeeds in its momentary lapse to grasp the listener's attention and to keep it interested in this mesmerizing trance.

Hopefully, we will hear more material from Escapist in the near future.


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