A CHAT WITH TALENTED MUSICIAN ELI

I got through to one young talented independent musician from Accra who goes by name Eli and had the opportunity of interrogating him about his music, performance life, interests and influences. Eli has written and sung about loss, love and longing. He’s collaborated with a lot of other rappers before, but in his most recent track Gold Coast that features FOKN BOIS’ Wanlov, he delves into a socio-political issue; about people who ease themselves at the Ghanaian golden coasts or beaches. It’s very relevant that musicians of today look to be some sort of literal pain in the *** for public ‘defecators’. Read further to know more about this artist who is luxuriated in a voice that gets better with each new track:

KW: When and why did you start playing?

EM: It started with the Ghana Police Church Junior Choir. Parents needed us someplace they could please the church, themselves, and have us learn instead of watch Cartoon Network

KW: Which instruments? And what was the first tune(s) you learned?

EM: I can’t say I play any instrument by the level of my skill on the guitar, but when I write I play it all in my mind.

KW: Which famous musicians do you admire and why? And which of them have you learned from? Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

EM: Ok so this is the weird part. I’ve listened to a lot. I’ve loved a lot but I cant say who it was or what CD it was, and it’s because I never kept titles or names in my mind. It was just the sound and I’m on to the next one. Growing up, my dad had a huge collection of music from between the 60’s
to the 70’s. I cant recollect the time but it was certainly better than today’s sound so that’s where my influence comes from; Old vinyls my dad brought from yankee!

KW: Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?

EM: Errm can’t say I’ve had teachers. I had a choir master and a music teacher but no they dont count. They helped but no they don’t count.

KW: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town? And what inspired you to write the song Gold Coast?

EM: As far as my memory goes the same old people everybody loved I loved too. Micheal Jackson, Rex Omar, Eminem, Obrafour, Bob Marley and all the names you can think of growing up in Ghana. About Gold Coast it’s simple, I lived on the 3rd floor of a building by the La Road with a clear view of the La beach and its citizens with my guitarist for more than a year, so I saw how people would wake up early and go free themselves on a beach I take walks on and is a few minutes away from the famous La beach which by the way is the worst beach resort or whatever ever. All this and the fact that people build houses or my country allows people to build houses without toilets so they simply free thier “narsh” wherever they please is why.
KW: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?

EM: I love Bob, Fela and Osibisa. Distant relatives is the best cd/albulm/tape I know.

KW: Have you been in competitions? Any prizes?

EM: I’ve tried reality shows but failed all, and I’ve been rewarded heavily by that!

KW: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

EM: I’m the most nervous before any performance. I want to make it great so bad sometimes it gets the better of me. The moment you loose the nerves you’ve lost the urge.

KW: Do you teach music?

EM: I wish I did. Someday I’m sure I will, but now no. I’m still a student of the art.

KW: How do you balance your music with other obligations – family life, friends, hobbies, school, job, etc?

EM: I have no other obligations. I will if I choose to. I had a job but I quit because it killed the feeling. All I do is music. All I want to do is music. Family and all other obligations can wait
For every smile I take away I’ll put more on many more faces

KW: Thanks for talking Eli

EM: Thank you for the time.

(ELI, photo via Eli)

Listen to his new track here

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Author: Kwame 'Write' Aidoo

Kwame Aidoo, also known as Write is a fond reader, writer and lover of music and the arts, with a degree in Biochemistry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Tech., Kumasi and a certificate in Cultural Organizations in Transition from University of Lüneburg. He founded the creative activism movement: Inkfluent which curates Slam Ghana, The Write Experience, Vocal Portraits poetry albums, Slam Lab and the biggest literary festival in Ghana; Nkabom Literary Festival. Aside Ghana, where he is based, he has shown work in Brazil, Togo, Austria, France, Benin, Germany and Burkina Faso and most recently Norway with Aurora Ekvatorialis; a light sculpture and texts collaboration with Norwegian artist Toril Johannessen, exhibiting at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, 16.9.2016 – 15.1.2017.

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