Thanks for sharing your platform with me, it’s awesome to be here. I’ve been really great recently, staying busy and feeling good about this upcoming year in general.
Can you talk to us more about your new single “make it”?
This track is really fun and nostalgic. It’s pretty much written about the same experience as many of my previous tracks where I’m talking about the heartbreak, the cheating, the betrayal and the darker side of my emotions that were involved in that situation. But now, quite a bit of time has passed and I’m looking at the situation from a more mature place with a hint of playfulness and indifference. This is a light-hearted pop song about the darkest time in my life so far. I certainly don’t like to be one-dimensional in my life or in my music, so it’s nice to make multiple songs with multiple vibes that can encapsulate all of the intense and varying degrees of emotions that we as humans feel about instances in our life after more and more time progresses. In short, however, you could just say the song is about a relationship that didn’t work out. “We didn’t make it!”
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Yeah definitely. As I was saying before, it’s really about a relationship I was in years ago when I was still a teenager. That relationship ended really badly, and when I say that, I’m not sure I really even understand the full extent of JUST how bad it actually could have been. But nonetheless, it was pretty brutal. I wrote previous songs such as “attached” and “girls like u” about this same relationship so it’s certainly a situation that impacted me very heavily and gave me a lot of new perspective as I was still entering young adulthood. We were just kids, so looking back now, it wasn’t as big of a deal as it felt at the time – although it could have gotten much nastier if it didn’t end when it did. This song is me looking back on that situation thinking, “Oh, well we were just kids and it didn’t work out.” I’m simplifying it for the sake of a catchy tune instead of getting all emotional and introspective.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes, no doubt about that. We’re working on it right now. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it myself or if we’re going to collaborate with a director. I really love handling my videos myself, but I finally worked with someone else for the first time this past December and I’m open to working with someone on this song too.
How was the recording and writing process?
The process for this song was very similar to some of my biggest songs like “i’m sad” and “attached.” My biggest songs and the songs I’m most proud of are always my songs that require the least amount of effort. Those songs I just named, and this song, were all made from start to finish in maybe 10 hours or so. From initial idea or concept to the actual master of the song, it’s done in just a few hours and I don’t stop for anything. The whole thing is always a blur, so I don’t remember all of the details, such as what I did first. I’m pretty sure for this song, I had the chords on guitar and then I hummed the vocal melody and immediately got into the zone. When I get into that deep creative state, it’s very effortless and it all just comes out of me. It doesn’t even feel like I’m in control of what is happening, rather I am a vessel for some power beyond myself. That sounds so silly and spiritual, but I really don’t know how else to explain it. As Charles Bukowski once said, “Don’t try.” Not trying is when your best work comes because it’s so authentic. It comes from your soul. Every part of the song from the melody, beat, the rhythm, the lyrics, production, instruments and sounds used, etc. it all just comes together perfectly to feel like magic. Usually I will start most songs with the chords and the melody. I’m of the opinion that my biggest strength as a musician is identifying a solid melody, despite how average I may be at other aspects of production.
What role does West Virginia play in your music?
I’m not sure if being from West Virginia plays a big role in my music. Perhaps it does more than I realize. I mean, it inevitably does to a certain extent because environment is important and certainly impacts psychological development. However, I was never a big country music fan, especially growing up. West Virginia is country music.
I think you can hear some country influence in a couple songs I have out, and you certainly can in my next project. There’s actually banjo in the chorus for “make it,” a REAL banjo. I had just gotten it a week before making this song. At my core though, I’m a singer-songwriter. Before anything, I was just playing guitar and singing. All of my old work which is still present on my YouTube page shows where I came from.
Plus, it’s pretty cool and random to be an artist from WV. Who knows a pop or hip-hop artist from freaking West Virginia? That’s cool and I hope that it inspires other kids there to do what I did. The internet is very powerful. You don’t have to live in LA! I was 19 when I was making a living from music via the internet.
How would you describe your sound?
Oh, geez. That is a question. I have no clue. Every song is often a different sound and that is what makes this question so difficult. I think it’s easiest to just call me alternative. I don’t feel like I fit into any other labels or descriptions. You could say I’m alt R&B, which is true, but I’m also metal. I make pop music like “make it,” but I also play metal riffs and scream on “catharsis.” The next album is going to show how far my genre-hopping can go.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Absolutely. There’s a new project coming that I’m really excited about. I just finished the final song earlier this week, so it’s completely done! Now, I just have to figure out what I’m doing for the cover art.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
The album is called “undefined.” because I feel like you can’t define me. Perhaps that answers the previous question of how I would describe my sound. It’s undefined! I feel like that is the best word for it. The release date is this April.
Any plans to hit the road?
There certainly are plans. I’m getting a band together and everything. I never thought I would want to go on tour but I’m going to give it a shot. Details to come later.
What else is happening next in eli.’s world?
This album is pretty much it. I’m also making an effort to release a lot more YouTube content. I’d like to make a video every day if it’s even possible. We have a few stocked up right now and I’m going to see what happens. I have so many ideas. I don’t want to say it’s definitely going to stick or definitely going to be every day because I’m really not sure. We’re simply going to try!