Singing, rapping and telling tales of life, love and everything in between, ELHAE is one of those difficult-to-pin-down-but-does-it-matter-anyway kinda artists. With good vibes firmly on the agenda, ELHAE's latest EP, AURA, serves up a succinct, well-delivered cross-pollinated punch of rap and song that's as much about discovery and the future as it is influence and reflection.
The internet allows us to delve into our favourite artist's favourite artists', with fans now spending more time than ever studying sound, progression and emerging forms of music. As internet-savvy fans blossom into musicians in their own right, it's difficult to pin down their influence to a scene, genre or even a country anymore, which is really cool.
ELHAE is as fresh and exciting as he is humble and measured, something unique but extremely likeable in an artist today. With a receptive and growing fan base, he's been getting a lot of love from the Soulection camp, plus he's worked with Rick Ross and met with Pharrell for advice. AURA could well be ELHAE's So Far Gone - the tipping point where a lot of good stuff comes together at the right time, acting as a springboard for unknown levels of growth.
To go along with my glowing assessment, ELHAE answered a few questions for Overdiluted. Press play at the top of the page and find out what he had to say on his sound, the internet and the influence of his older brothers...
On getting his attention:
"I go by Elhae, pronounced like the city "LA". It's like 50% chance people will say it wrong so I always say that..."
On the sound of ELHAE:
"very melody driven, whether I'm singing it or the beat is giving it to you, I love to be very musical in my sound. chords, lead synths, harmonies... I'm really particular about things like that. I'd also venture to say a lot of my music has a bit of a dark vibe to it. I work with 3 main producers, Ayo the Producer, and Keyz, who together make up a duo called The UC, and my other producer is Rascal, an incredibly talented up and coming producer from Germany I stumbled upon... or should I say he stumbled upon me."
On what AURA feels like:
"I feel relief. AURA was a follow up from the last ep 'Her: Ark's Fall'. That whole EP was about a pretty tough break up I was going through at that time. 'AURA' is picking up where that left off. It's pretty apparent once you hear the intro."
On his musical beginnings:
"Started in the church really, singing in the choir, then went on to singing solos. I had 2 older brothers so they played a big part in my introduction and love to hip hop. Around that time it was Hot Boyz, Master P, Three Six Mafia, and Outkast. A little later it was all about Dipset, Jay-z, and the whole Roc-A-Fella era. It wasn't until I saw Pharrell's 'Frontin' video where I knew I wanted to do this. Didn't know how, but I knew it was what I wanted to do."
On his home state:
"Atlanta is cool. It's a really diverse culture musically here. People think it's all about the so called "turn up" and that is something I think Atlanta has perfected in my opinion, but there's kids here that want more than that here as well. The talent here is really amazing. Overall I have my likes and dislikes, but that's anywhere you go."
"I'm a big fan of that movement, I know a lot of those guys from Twitter and just connecting over the internet. They've shown mad love here recently and I appreciate Joe (Kay, Soulection co-founder) and all of Soulection for that."
On social media and the web:
"It'd be interesting to see what music would be like without the internet in 2015. I love it though, it gives the artist a direct connect to the fans. You have access to the world."