Our friend and brother Jason Sellers has recently started a project as Echelon the Seeker and is dropping an EP later this Fall. As an introduction and a ceremonial first post we asked him a couple questions concerning his new project, EP, and his influences. He’s also the first artist apart of our Qadesh Sounds mix series, which you can link to below. Δ

• For those who know you as an artist, and personally, what should they expect from your new project?

- For me each song on this project has its own distinctive qualities and nuances. I hope with each listen something new jumps out at people, there’s a lot to be discovered. 

Anyone who may be familiar with me as a person or artist knows I really try to put it all on the line with each composition: writing academically and with 9-1-1 (The 911 Reporters) was a collaborative effort, 5 guys working as one unit or completing an assignment within a given timeframe. With the Echelon the seeker EP I haven’t had to sacrifice my ideas for the sake of the vision or because I didn’t have enough time; for me, this is pure uninhibited creation. 

• How was the writing process, did you use your composition background to hurtle your ideas?

- Writing Echelon happened quite naturally over the past 3-4 years. Every song on this project with the exception of one was written before I even thought about dropping an EP or doing a solo project at all. I think in someways I used my composition background to help me move along my musical ideas, but in other pivotal ways I deliberately moved away from my academic training. My main goal with all these songs was the feel and the content, and for me that meant I had to dig deeper and look elsewhere for inspiration. 

• Influences for your sound?

-I’ve had the pleasure of being apart of so many different musical spheres and I really carry them all with me. Being a music major at a Christian HBCU (talking bout oakwood now) is literally a melting pot of sound. You make a living playing at church on the weekends and for school you analyze Brahms and sing negro spirituals in 6-7 part harmony, combine all that with wanting to be the next chick corea/prince and your gonna be crazy. But that’s the musical community I was blessed to develop in…and I can’t cast it off…

• How important is the socio-political climate of America in your works?

- I believe the climate in which we all live in is not some existential idea, its real, it affects us. As a human first, but especially as a black man, here in America it’s impossible for me to just brush off/over the use of force or killing into the corner. Some people feel like talking about injustice, being proactive about pointing it out through art and marches and hashtags etc…is negative. The truth hurts but it’s never negative. Your constantly living and expressing your experience…the music I create is a reflection of that experience. 

• What kind of sounds will you be bringing with this mix? 

- I really love this mix because it really gets to the heart of what I was trying to achieve musically on this project. It’s an amalgamation of jazz and funk, hero music with big sounds and emotions, and it’s all seen with this 1980s filter on it. The mix is both a collection of artists I’ve always listened to, combined with the artists I was listening to at the time I created various songs on the EP.