Sunday Spotlight: Escape To What


1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
My name is James Orez and I have a music project called Escape To What. I live in the North East of England but I did spend 16 years of my life living abroad in Holland and The United Arab Emirates. I returned to England when I was 20 and eventually got a BE Degree in Music Technology. Since then I’ve been throwing sounds into the frequency pool.

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
The music I make is a direct expression of whats going on in my head. I’m a quiet guy but when I start making music and recording vocals all of that changes. I love messing around with synths and samplers & adding drums with distorted as heck guitars together into one piece (eventually), everything just seemed to come together. Once I added my vocals to that collection of noise, the sound I’d been looking for finally came to be. My influences include: Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, 3teeth, Skinny Puppy and Rob Zombie, as well as anything else that inspires me to be honest.

3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
Before starting university in 2006, I had been messing around with a copy of Propellerhead Reason, and that’s where my real appreciation for tweaking synths came from. Even though it was extremely tedious using a mouse to make music, it’s all I had at the time. Also I use the term music very loosely there… When I started uni I had aspirations of recording and producing music. However, as I learned more about DAW’s and digital instruments (and had access to them), so the idea of creating my own music grew and grew. The endless possibilities is what drew me in and I had always written “stuff” (I’m not gonna say poems!) which I felt could fit nicely into a musical composition.

4. Stage or studio?
Studio…and a home studio that is. I changed my bedroom into a music area for creativity and recording, while I smashed my bed to pieces and threw my mattress into the small spare room we have, which also includes my wardrobe and nothing else. Moving in to a live setting would be amazing, I’m not against the idea.

5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
I record everything through my Focusrite Clarett 8pre. Having an amazing audio interface like that was actually a game changer for me. For the music I’ve been releasing since 2017 I’ve been using the Elektron Analog Keys and Octatrack as much as possible, instead of any soft synths. I honestly feel, being able to touch an instrument and have an experience with it can lead to more interesting ideas and happy accidents (which is what I should of called my music project). Both of those pieces of kit really brought out a new sound to what I do and I’ll always be grateful for that. I also use the Native Instruments Maschine Jam along with Ableton 10, as I like the Maschine software and felt like the layout of the Jam is great for Ableton Live. I record vocals using the NT1-A and NT2-A from Rode Microphones. Again, another huge step up in tech from the previous microphone I had been using. Also have a stupid amount of plugins.

6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
The Octatrack, without doubt. That sampler can be anything, a synth, drums, keys, just anything you have access to and sample. Manipulating pieces of audio, for me, leads to the most interesting of sounds which a lot of the time can have a real raw and organic tone to them. It’s a real powerhouse to any set up in my opinion and can solve problems, that’s what I like about it the most. Many times I’ve been struggling with ideas and sounds…even direction. All you gotta do though is grab that sampler, get away from the computer and start tweaking.

7. Where can we check out your tunes?
If you go to you will see every link you need to be able to listen to my music, and there’s some embedded audio on the page too.

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