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The Flor-Ala

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Ethan Sak releases new single

Courtesy+of+Ethan+Sak
Courtesy of Ethan Sak

Of the many musicians from the Shoals area, Ethan Sak remains one of the most active. In October, Sak released two new singles — “Monster” and “Everything,” both of which are moody but catchy takes on the entertainment industry’s often morally dubious inner workings. 

Sak is currently based out of Los Angeles, completing his senior year at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He has been studying Music Production, an unexpected choice for an artist accustomed to performing solo.

On choosing his career path at USC, Sak said, “I wanted to be in charge of the way my music sounded. USC, you know, has one of the best music industry-centered programs in the country. Honestly, I have learned so much here, not only about how to produce music, but about how to create a song from the bottom up. I can start with the songwriting, the lyricism, then focus on the mixing and the mastering. Finally, I have the ability to actually get the song to market. Performers, in my mind, fall somewhere on a spectrum. Artists on one end have reached ultimate showmanship, so just seeing them perform is a treat. On the other end are performers who may not have like Beyoncé-level onstage swagger, but they are still the only people who can perform their music to its fullest potential, since they have technically cultivated their own sound.”

Living a short way off campus with two roommates, Sak is constantly surrounded by creative energy. Like him, both of his roommates are musicians. Sak considers himself lucky to be living among other aspiring singers and songwriters.

“Monster” and “Everything” are slated to be on Sak’s upcoming extended play. At present, Sak is still recording the EP, but it should be ready for purchase in March of 2024. 

“Together, ‘Monster’ and ‘Everything’ form one complete story, but both songs will be featured on my upcoming EP,” Sak said. “Between Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, I am always making content. Right now, I am only limited by a busy schedule.”

One needs to simply listen to a few of Sak’s songs to understand that he is especially interested in the concept of character development.

Sak released his first full-length album roughly a year ago, a poetic collection of songs titled “Blue.” Through its 13 songs, “Blue” follows a narrative structure, melodically detailing one character’s struggle with depression and grief.

“I come up with these ideas for stories, you know. I see them in my head. After music, movies are like my second love. There is so much potential in an audio-visual medium.”

Along with his latest songs, Sak recently issued a music video. Encompassing both works and correspondingly labeled “Monster x Everything,” the video is cinematic, produced by editors Cat Johnson and Lau Rodriguez. In it, one sees Sak’s love of movies reflected; it is genuinely theatrical and includes ambitious camerawork.

Shoals locals interested in hearing and seeing Sak need only survey their options. The artist visits Florence as often as possible and does not shy away from mixing pleasure and business. Last year, he performed at Lava Room, a relatively new music venue and innovative bar in downtown Florence. This December, he plans to make another musical appearance in his hometown, as he will be visiting his family for the holiday season.

Besides Sak’s last album, “Blue,” his newest singles, “Monster” and “Everything” are also available on Spotify, Apple Music and other major music platforms.

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Mary-Stella Mangina
Mary-Stella Mangina, Former Arts & Entertainment Editor
   

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