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There’s no ecstasy without agony, and there would be no EKKSTACY
without misery. The young songwriter/performer had already dealt with
a lifetime of depression, insecurity, and social isolation before a severe
depressive episode at age 17 led him to drug-induced psychosis and a
suicide attempt. As he bounced back from the episode, EKKSTACY
immersed himself in music. “I really needed something like an outlet,”
he says, “because I didn’t have anybody. So I started writing. And it kind
of just clicked.” Already a fan of the emotionally fraught melodic hip-hop
that had blown up on SoundCloud in his early teens, he now threw
himself into moody indie rock with the same intensity, binging on acts
like Beach Fossils, Current Joys, and The Drums in his downtime
between shifts at an Amazon warehouse.