TFword in Conversation With Cache Life’s Founder Eric Essebag

Prior to Caché Life’s forthcoming ‘A Boutique Festival Of The Arts’ in Miami, founder Eric Essebag details his experience managing the acclaimed creative agency, growing up as a musician, and more!

Creative agency Caché Life’s Eric Essebag has been a musician since he was a kid. His ear and attention to detail make for an exceptional selection of what he brings to the table. He desired to make Caché Life about select local hidden gems in New York, believing that this would complement the brand’s identity rather than building a brand for another already established artist community.

Eric chose and developed a very specific niche by only producing events at Downtown New York’s chicest hotel venues, incorporating a Brooklyn hip flavor with house music, and being the first to do so on a weekly basis since 2014. He established the titular label, CLR (Caché Life Records), as an extension of Caché in collaboration with DJ Max August and saxophonist/producer FKAjazz. CLR provides a recap of Caché Life sessions to give fans a personal touch with the local artists they book.

We got the opportunity to have an extensive conversation with the founder and production director of Caché Life, Eric Essebag. Throughout this exchange, Eric opens up about Caché Life events, recounts his early years in Budapest, and talks about always delivering his 100% as a musician.

TFword: How did your time spent in Hungary play a role in shaping your musical exploits?
Eric Essebag: I was born in NYC and moved to Budapest, Hungary, when I was 7 years old and was raised by a single mother. My father was a record collector, so I was exposed to them ever since I was born. I used to play his guitar when I was 4 years old. By the time I was 14, I got hit by rock music and begged my mother to get my first cheap electric guitar. When I was 17 years old, I started to be influenced more by my roots, which were jazz, RnB, and soulful music. So I leaned back into jazz again and wanted to keep studying music professionally.

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TF: Please tell us more about your collaboration with the Budapest Art Orchestra, and what inspired you to blend their sound with house music?
Eric: Growing up in Hungary, classical music was a huge element of Hungarian culture and I was inspired by it ever since I was in elementary school. My jazz conservatory Bela Bartok, within the Frantz Liszt music department, was named after famous composers whom I followed. By attending music school, I got to build connections with the best classical, jazz, and also film producers in Hungary.

I moved back to NYC in 2012, and by 2015, Caché had already made a name for itself. I was approached by The HAVASI SYMPHONIC, which the Budapest Art Orchestra was a part of, and its executive producer Miklos Lukacs asked me if I wanted to help co-produce the event at Carnegie Hall.

I helped them hire the entire choir section from Manhattan new school [the event was around a million dollars]. We flew out 100+ musicians from Hungary and bought out Carnegie Hall. It was insane… After that, I had a connection to Hungarian radio and also access to work with the Budapest art orchestra. I feel that anytime I make music, it needs to be exceptional, outstanding and unique. I wanted to do that, so it just crossed my mind to arrange classical elements over my house music, and the dream simply became reality.

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TF: What drove you to make music and work in a more business or event-based setting at the same time?
Eric: I was always a very business-mindset person. I feel I always had better guts for it than most of the musicians I went to school with. Even my teachers told me, “Eric, you need to do something on the side, you have too much of a big personality.”

I also didn’t want to become a musician that chases a jazz guitar gig for $100 a night. When I was 23 and moved freshly to NYC, I was gigging so much from church bands to hired bands, RnB, hip hop, and rock bands, you name it. I did it all and didn’t feel inspired to play anyone else’s music anymore but rather my own. It was killing my soul, and my love for music was the reason I started it.

I also had so many original bands I created and just couldn’t handle other lousy people’s attitudes, while I was always the one to put in my full 100% and commitment. So, I wanted to form a collective that is more logical and relying on my input versus working with a band. All respect to all the bands in the world who found their beloved, respected, hardworking partners.

Slowly as I got into the house music scene, I got inspired to add a different touch to it, which Caché does today. Every time I throw an event, I feel like I performed with my band. Every time I see a packed room, I feel like a band packs out the room. It all connects and has the same artistic touch to me, being the producer.

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TF: How does Caché Life choose artists and performers for events?
Eric: As the creative director and founder, I select the artist. I’ve spent all my life on music, growing up on classical, jazz, and flamenco. By age 21, I graduated from the jazz conservatory in Budapest, which honed my ear to pick the talented kids and put them in the right direction, based on what works for Caché.

TF: What would you like attendees to take away from a Caché Life event?
Eric: An unforgettable experience that makes them want to come back for more happiness. People get to meet other cool people at our events and build connections. It’s another experience…

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TF: What does 2023 have in store for you as a musician and as the founder of Caché Life?
Eric: Lots of releases, collaborating with more established artists, collaborating with more established musicians, collaborating with other record labels as well as putting out not only house music records but also rock/hip-hop-infused records.

TF: What lies ahead for Caché Life?
Eric: Caché is one of the most demanding downtown Manhattan hotel parties in NYC and is known for its sophisticated crowd. It is evolving now to throw seasonal boutique festivals nationally and internationally, including in Miami, USA, and Budapest, Europe.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

Get your tickets for Caché Lifes A BOUTIQUE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS on the Ticket Fairy HERE

Discover Eric Essebag on Spotify | Instagram
Caché Life on Soundcloud | Instagram

Click HERE to visit Caché Life’s official website

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