Casper Sage strips each song to its core to be built back up again with pulsing lyrics. Extending a line of humanity through each of us, he pulls us in to his world through warm melodies echoing youthful enchantment. I have watched with excitement and anticipation for what’s next as the 02WORLDWIDE alumni shows his versatility in his latest self-titled LP, Casper Sage.
6 minute read time
I have had the chance to listen to this album one time, then consumed by it a hundred times more. The first thing I wanted to ask you was, are you okay? You good?
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling great. I'm feeling swagged out.
Almost everything on the album tells me otherwise! haha there are moments on the album that take you deep.
OH YEAH. It's old music though.
When you were working through this project were you having to take yourself there? To those deeper places?
I was already there. Yeah, it was quarantine so...
That'll do it.
Yeah, quarantine plus heartbreak was like a recipe for Casper Sage.
I remember at the end of 'Summers Gone' it talks about Casper the ghost, is that where you got the idea for the name, Casper Sage?
First off, for the record, I will not even try and assign some meaning. I really just thought it sounded cool. I liked it way more than my last name that I'm not even going to say. Sage is also a cool, teaching sort of thing. Which it’s not like I’m a teacher but I feel like I approach music with the idea that there is something to learn from this perspective.
I feel like in your past projects your approach to music had a quicker pace attached to more production. With this album everything feels stripped down, almost like to its bare necessity. There is no fluff. Is there any reason to the change of pace?
I think its just part of getting older and more mature. Like with my first project it was more of a collection of songs. It was slightly world building but it was not intentional. I hadn’t tried to build a world yet, I was just making things and certain songs kind of had their parallels but with Casper Sage it was for sure way more dialed in and intentional.
It feels that way. Every song has a reason for being on the album and has you wanting more. One stand out that had me begging for more was Mama’s Boy. Is that true to heart? Is Casper sage a mama’s boy? (Both laughing)
Oh yeah, been a mama’s boy! The project was going to be called mamas boy.
Yeah, before Casper Sage it was going to be Mama’s Boy but LANY, I think, was going to make a project like right when I was brainstorming for what I was going to do after ‘Winter’ he announced he was going to do a thing called Mamas Boy. But yeah, it’s a full song. I’ll probably do something with it at some point. I’ve been trying to perform it live. So hopefully I’ll have that set up soon.
You’re born and raised in Oklahoma and now you’re going to school in Nashville. Can you tell us more about the growing culture you’re seeing here in Oklahoma versus the already established music history in Nashville?
Oh yeah, its just like Oklahoma, in the least condescending way, is still trying to get up to speed in terms of what’s going on outside of Oklahoma. Just because I think that Oklahoma has not been recognized globally or even nationally. So, whenever you are in places like Nashville, LA, and NY you are going to naturally run a little bit faster. Undoubtably though, Oklahoma has it. Has the artists and culture that has the potential to be at that crazy level and just hasn’t really been discovered yet. I’m trying to be one of the first cracks in the windshield.
The windshield is cracking! Oklahoma has a decent indie scene leaning more on folk and rock music but hasn’t had hardly any representation in the R&B world. I know that may not be exactly how you’d describe your work, but I think you are definitely etching out a scene for it here and also in Nashville where the scene leans predominantly on folk and country music as well. How has it been developing and navigating your sound in these environments?
It's been a unique experience because similar to here in Oklahoma, in Nashville, like in the city, there’s a growing R&B scene. There are plenty of people looking to find R&B faces and amplify them in Nashville which for me has just been divine timing. It’s just been super-duper cool. The people I’ve been able to meet and the people who are in this similar mindset have been trying to bring something new specifically to these places. It has been a very unique and enlightening experience.
When working on this album who were you listening to and what artists were inspiring you through this period?
I have a full playlist on Spotify that’s like the full playlist of what I was listening to.
Oh, that’s so sick! We’re going to have to link that in here for everyone. (Listen Here)
Yeah, it’s already out, it’s just called Casper Sage the recipe! But yeah, it was just lots of, well obviously Frank, Frank was someone who, even when I was making Winter, I was listening to but I didn’t really think that my voice was in that place.
Do you think it’s grown as you’ve gotten older?
When I was younger, I didn’t really know what I wanted. I would make stuff and kind of just throw it on the wall and see what would stick but at the same time it was not nearly as intentional as Casper Sage and the music going forward will be. Everything kind of has its place and every rhyme has its reason.
So, what’s next, what are you working on now?
All sorts of things! I guess the immediate next thing would be doing live shows and I’m going to have some new music for everyone soon. I already have it but it will be out soon. Last time I had the project done and I just felt like I was always waiting for something to finally be able to put it out.
Is this your first project working with managers and all of those outside moving parts?
Yeah, and its still independent and not as many moving parts as plenty of other artists have to deal with. It has allowed for more than just the people who follow me on social media and my close friends to discover the project. It’ll just be cool to see how all the moving parts branch into there own thing. That’s always been part of the plan is to find ways to diversify ‘cause I can do a lot of different things and I’m trying to optimize everything without degrading the quality of each part.
Is there anything else you wanted to talk about or plug in here?
Not really, just stream Casper Sage! Hopefully I’ll have some shows in OKC before I go back to Nashville for the school year but other than that thank you for letting me have the listening party and come for the session and all of that. SWAG.
Photography from Aldo Delara
Interview with Elyjah Monks