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article imageInterview with Detroit producer Exhale Special

By Layne Weiss     Sep 13, 2013 in Entertainment
Detroit - I met Detroit music producer Exhale at Oakaloosa, Detroit's first philanthropic music festival, earlier this summer. He told me he was "motivated by the Detroit music scene and the spirit of Detroit," which I think fuels a lot of us.
But Exhale and I talked about something that has really stuck out in my mind. When we think of techno and electronic music, a lot of us think about drugs. He wants to erase the stigma that drugs and this type of music must go hand in hand. The truth is, I didn't listen to his music right away. I knew he was signed to Kevin Saunderson's label. He's like king of the techno world, and I was interested, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I did, however, think so much about his passion, and our talk about why drugs and techno/electronic music must be so synonymous.
One night, I gave Exhale's music a chance and I'm so happy I did. I felt his passion. I felt his hard work, but at the same time, I felt his energy. I felt that he just wanted his fans to take it all in and enjoy life. It was a beautiful thing on many, many levels. I played it for friends and family members to share the love, and hope that they would get the same feeling. He definitely changed my view on this type of music. I'm open to anything. I don't totally write any genre off (expect maybe metal), but Exhale has opened my eyes far wider than they were.
Big things have been happening for Exhale, who is only 22 years old. But recently, I approached him about doing a story; Something fun and lighthearted so the readers could get to know him a little better.
1. Q: What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
A: Growing up, I always liked action cartoons on Saturday mornings. I’d have to say Sonic the Hedgehog was my all-time favorite. Most other kids were watching Dragon Ball Z or Pokemon, which I liked, but nothing could touch (or catch) Sonic.
2. Q What's your favorite cartoon currently on TV (not counting old school)
A: I think Seth McFarlane is genius. I like Family Guy & The Cleveland Show although I typically don’t have very much time to watch television so I usually have to watch episodes online if I want to be caught up to the newest episodes.
3. Q: Favorite cereal?
A: Peanut Butter Cap’N Crunch & Cinnamon Life are my all-time favorites. Breakfast is the best meal of the day hands down and has most of my favorite foods, so I try not to skip out on my first meal.
4. Q: Which superhero are you?
A: Iron Man! But realistically I have much more of a Batman personality so I think I’ll have to settle with Bruce Wayne.
5. Favorite quality in a partner?A: My biggest pet peeve is noise. I hate blaring loud noises like sirens or alarms. Working with music for all of these years has given me a true appreciation for balance & clarity.
6. Q: Any new projects you're working on..
A: Absolutely! I’m working on a metric ton of new material. My live mix series continues with Breathing Room Volume 6 dropping in September, which is a podcast that can be downloaded directly from my Soundcloud. I’ve also recently completed my new album “Escape This Mind” which will be released before the end of the year. My previous EP “Into The Deep” really served as a catalyst for this next project which features a very underground Deep House feel and I’m very excited to finally release it to the masses.
7. Q: Favorite ride at Disneyland/DisneyWorld
A: Unfortunately I’ve never been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld. But soon hopefully!
8. Q: Food you could never get sick of...
A: I would never get sick of eating waffles. I like fresh salads too, I could probably survive essentially on breakfast foods and fresh veggies. I like steak and I’m big on seafood but I’m constantly traveling or recording so my food choices seem strange even to myself, but you just can’t go wrong in my book with those 2 food groups.
9. Q: Favorite childhood book
A: I really enjoy reading so I read lots of books as a child. I spent many, many days & nights in the library. I liked The Little Engine That Could & The Hungry Caterpillar when I was very young. I admired Dr. Seuss’ work as well, even as an adult. As I matured and grew into middle school and high school my interests became more refined but I remained hungry for interesting reads.
10. Q: Favorite adulthood book..
A: Most of my favorite adulthood books I stumbled upon when I was in highschool. I always liked Geoffrey Chaucer and Shakespeare. I like authors who utilize details & backstory to their full potential. I like J.R.R. Tolkein & Ray Bradbury a lot. I enjoy classics.
11. Q: Your biggest inspiration
A: I get asked frequently about my biggest influences or inspirations and it’s always difficult to answer because my sound is a collection of the many different genres, artists and energies I’ve collected and listened to over the years, but I still find myself blown away by the artistic direction & drive exuded by Pharrell Williams and Richie Hawtin. These are two individuals who have been shaping my personal and professional ethos for as far back as I can remember. Their music is clean yet funky and infectious, and professionally they’re great guys on a personal level who are well respected and I’m fortunate enough to have shaken hands with both individuals.
12. Q: If you weren't making music, what would you be doing?
A: I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to music when I was 14 so I’d have to say everything that’s going on currently in my life started then. But if I could imagine myself doing anything else - I’ve always been into luxury horology and I’ve always had a strong appreciation for fine ateliers. I like working with my hands in a way that allows my thoughts to flow with ease and I like being creative so these are professions that crossed my mind when I was younger.
13. Q: Movie you can recite every line to...
A: Any of the 6 Star Wars films or any of the 3 Matrix films.
14. Q: Where do you want to travel that you haven't been to yet?
A: Spain, Japan, Miami, Brazil and Las Vegas are all places I’m looking forward to traveling in no particular order. Something about the vibe in those particular countries and cities really speaks to me.
15. Q: What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?
A: I’d really love to do a world tour. Something like 300 shows in one year. I want to bring the deep Detroit House & Techno sound to all corners of the globe. That would truly change my life in a way I never could have imagined. There are so many individuals out there that feel just as passionately about this sound as I do, and sharing that moment with them is something incredible that I look forward to.
Please stay tuned for Breathing Room Volume 6, which will be available soon on Soundcloud! And his album, "Escape This Mind," which will be out by the end of the year.
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