Feature Pathway: Musician, Esz’Khae Legacy
Pathways is the series we created to put a spotlight on dedicated creators who are leaving their footprints on society making positive impacts. You can find people who are in it to make money within every industry, everywhere. We choose people who have a genuine passion for what they do. The individuals we feature on Pathways have not only knowledge of the tech they use, but they do something out of the ordinary in order to inspire others or affect change. This man has definitely made his mark on the world and he has plans to change it one step at a time, starting through his music. We decided to do things a little different this time. For this issue, our Feature Pathway is a musician from Atlanta, Georgia, Esz’Khae Legacy.
Esz’Khae Legacy, whose real name is Caleb Woods, was born into a musical and artistic family. Esz’Khae Legacy grew up around people who were really involved in the arts, so his interest in it sparked naturally.We asked him where did the name ‘Esz’Khae’ come from and he said it spells out the letters ‘S’ and ‘K’ which stands for ‘Sample King’. He likes to sample beats from some of the greatest producers.
“My mom’s a singer, my dad is a poet. It’s just always been around me, so it was just a natural thing for me to go into.”
Atlanta has become the “go-to” destination for aspiring artists and producers. If you want to be a fashion designer, you go to New York. If you want to be an actor, you go to L.A. Now if you want to make it in the music industry, you go to the ATL. Because of this, Atlanta has become overflown with aspiring musicians, many of whom would do just about anything to get their singles played on the radio. As long as it’s something that can be played in the clubs, or a “club banger”, then it may just be a hit nowadays. Many times you have to meet the right people to put yourself in the position to grow, but in music, it’s all about the grind. The ones who write their own lyrics, make their own beats, manage their own studios, and promote their own music. Esz’Khae Legacy epitomizes what it means to be a true musician in the hip hop capital of the world.
“I fall into rap and hip-hop but I also do a lil bit of r&b here and there. I auto-tune a lil bit.” he says. Esz’khae is not only a rapper, but he produces his own beats and he sings as well, which takes a lot of time and effort. Esz’Khae feels that being original in the music industry is what sets one artist apart from another. Just being able to do all three makes him an original because many artists outsource their production and studio time. “Majority, I produce my own stuff,” he says. “I have to cultivate my own sound.”
He also uses his own studio equipment with his comrade, Kenny Stone, who has collaborated with on their latest album “New Atlanta”. The album has a new approach to the Atlanta hip hop scene, as it discuss reviving the city and using music to bring about change. Many of its tracks mention the “come up” and most are supported by mellow beats and lyrics. It suggests that rap music doesn’t have to have just one sound or be played in a certain setting or scenario. It just goes to show how music can really make an impact on lives.
“We’re so closed minded, especially in the Black community, we think that we can only be certain things.”
Esz’Khae says that he’s basic. In other words, he doesn’t feel that he needs all of the “nitty-gritty” to get the job done, although he’s a tech enthusiast. “When stuff starts getting too complicated… I don’t try to keep up with stuff. Technology moves so fast. Before you know it, technology has changed and you have no idea what you’re doing anymore.” He uses a Macbook for producing and editing tracks, an upgrade from his previous older Windows laptop. He feels that there are a lot of things he can do on his Mac that he wasn’t able to do on Windows. Esz’Khae Legacy also thinks that Macs are built to last longer and they have better hardware components than Windows computers.
To optimize the audio output, Esz’Khae Legacy uses M-Audio speakers, Audio-technica headphones, a M-Audio preamp, and a sound interface to regulate audio levels (volume, balance, bass, treble, etc.). As far as software for his production, Esz’Khae Legacy uses a software called FruityLoops. He started with a program called HipHop EJ. “Hip Hop EJwas a whole bunch of loops and I was just putting loops together. I was so happy that I was making something at the time. I got tired of it because I couldn’t use it to make what I wanted to make. These days I use FruityLoops and I use Adobe Audition when it comes to recording.”
Esz’Khae has plans to use his skills to inspire the youth. He plans to start a foundation sometime in the future. “I gotta get to a point where I can affect change on a mass level. I want to start a foundation for the youth. Teach the youth that they can be whatever they want to be.” Esz’Khae Legacy is not your average Atlanta musician. He has definitely put in work to be all that he can be and he exceeds his own expectations, so he is a firm believer that after hard work comes success. Although he has not reached his ultimate goals yet, he knows that if he persists he will not only be able to make a great living doing what he loves, but he will also be able to influence many others and inspire change when following his footprints. “No matter what you want to do, if you’re willing to put the time and effort into doing it, then you can do it.”
“The mic has to be gold because…. I’m gold!”
Esz’Khae Legacy plans to flip Atlanta upside-down. People like him are exactly what the world needs; something different. A brand new approach to things that seem so complex but it really just takes passion and commitment to be able to do something about it. Those are qualities that are rare to find. His current projects are “Autumn” and “New Atlanta” can be found on iTunes at this link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/new-atlanta/id1203354085). He’s also working on a new project called “Clouds”. You can follow Esz’Khae on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.