Elhae (pronounced LA) might not be a name you recognize yet, but it will be very soon. The young artist, by the way of Macon, Georgia, has been on everyone’s radar lately and with good reasons. After recently dropping All Have Fallen in March, the talented artist has been getting plenty of well-deserved recognition. Currently on his own tour, we were able to kick it with him at his latest show on March 30 at SOBs in New York.
Interview by Holly Lewis
Ok so just to start off, who is Elhae? How would you describe yourself?
Uhmmm I’m just a kid with a dream that decided to follow his heart and listen to his intuition and that loves music unconditionally…ummm and people, that’s pretty much me (laughs)
And where did the EVERY LIFE HAS AN ENDING come from because I read that it was planned cause you’re a big fan of Pharrell…
Yeah, are you saying the acronym thing, the N.E.R.D. thing?
Its funny, I get that from time to time but I never thought about that when I was doing that until later on I was like holy crap that’s so dope, NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES and EVERY LIFE HAS AN ENDING. I guess that’s kinda like a homage but not really because I didn’t even plan for that, but I love Pharrell…Pharrell is the reason why I kind of like do music…it started from school, just being in school writing rhymes…I wrote the word EVERY LIFE HAS AN ENDING down, and that came first, the acronym came first and then the name, the first letter of each word and then combine it together to make ELHAE.
Nice…& where do you get your inspiration from? You were born in North Dakota and you were raised in Georgia, so do you think your inspiration comes from everyday life or your upbringing?
Yeah most definitely. I think all my music stems from past experiences or present experiences…and then sometimes occasionally I do some like speaking stuff into existence, like just once, like future references I would love to see happen, but for sure I’m a very in the moment type of person so like if I’m writing, I want to be talking about what I’m going through at that present moment, and its kind of hard for me to make stuff up…I’m not that type of artist I guess.
What makes you standout, like what makes you different, because I’ve heard people comparing you to Bryson Tiller, I don’t know why…
I think you guys are two different people…
Well I think it’s easy to draw the comparison because we’re coming up around the same time and literally we’ve been using the same producer for the last four years, both of us.
Yeah, I got this dude @AYOtheproducer and @ITSKEYZBABY, who’s with me right now…I’ve been working with them since 2011, and surprisingly Bryson was working with them in 2011 as well, and I guess we never stopped, both of us, working with the same people and we each, I sing, I rap, kind of sing/raps, he sing/raps a little bit, but its kind of easy to draw the comparison but uhm yeah, I forgot the question, what was the question? (laughs)
Oh, what makes you standout?
I think at this point, I really just feel like the story behind what I’ve been through, my personal experiences, is really what sets me apart from every artist out right now, because I feel like with my music, and this isn’t even me talking, this is experience of people telling me this, that I have a way of connecting with people with the words that I say in my music, in a way that its relatable, in a way that it connects so much to a point that it grabs the peoples attention and it creates a moment for people…so I just think what I talk about, my content, and my overall story, it sets me apart…because musically its kind of hard to do things different now a days, cause everything has been done under the sun. I love to sing I love to rap, I love to produce every now and again, I’ve been doing this since 2009, like I’ve been singing and rapping since like 7 years now, so I’m not going to stop just because people say I sound like somebody, I’m not gunna do that.
You signed to Atlantic Records…
Thank you, I appreciate it.
Are you hyped?
Yeah, I’m excited about this new journey; it’s been a roller coaster, so yeah.
I know you’ve worked with Sango, you’ve worked with JMSN, you’ve worked with Kehlani, who do you want to work with next?
Oh man, I would uh, honestly love to work with Childish Gambino…that guy…(laughs)…I love Gambino too like he’s just so cool to me like, from everything…I’ve studied his patterns, from his acting to his comedy…
And you’ve never crossed paths?
Never…We have mutual friends, but like no I’ve never been in the same room with him, but I would love to. He’s from Atlanta too, I would to get up with him, create something, that would be so sick.
So is he one of…I was going to say who do you look up to musically? You said Pharrell?
Pharrell of course, yeah I owe him a lot. I’ve had the chance to sit down with him actually and actually tell him that and just kind of the overall vibe I got from him was just the vibe I exude now because he’s such a iconic figure in our generation, so its like being able to get in a room with him, I would expect him to have this like legendary, stand offish vibe…
But he’s humble?
He’s so humble. He’s super humble and just…he stopped his session…to talk to me…talked to me for like thirty minutes, and in that time span he gave me so much knowledge about what to do in this industry, what to look out for, blah blah blah, and he’s just an amazing guy, and that’s why I like to carry myself the same way, treat people how you want to be treated…
And you give hugs (Elhae does in fact give hugs instead of handshakes which was refreshing)
and I give hugs (laughs)
When do you feel like you can say okay I made it? What do you want to achieve overall?
I think uhm, as people, I hate to get deep, but I think that’s a path you kind of you’ll forever be obtaining, because we’re always looking for that next thing. So no matter how far I get in this, I’m probably gunna want to figure what’s next? Like how do I get to that next point? But I guess musically, I would love to, you know, sell like platinum albums and tour globally, sold out; I think that’s any artists type of goals is to do those things.
& I always ask people a weird fact about themselves that you wouldn’t be able to just look up?
Uhm what do I do weird Dread? (videographer, roommate, and artist)
(@shotbydread) I don’t know…he’s super introverted…SUPER…
I always find it interesting when people that are in the public eye are introverted…
Yeah I’m outgoing in person, but I love just to be alone…regeneration (laughs)…And I like to play Mario Kart a lot.
That’s not weird, I do too…I mean I might be weird, but that’s pretty cool.
Do you like Aura EP more than All Have Fallen, and what are your favorite songs on those?
I think Aura holds a dear place in my heart just of the time frame and the mindset I was in when I was creating it, but All Have Fallen is like a new baby, a newborn, that’s like that was a moment too…I just got signed, I just kind of like been doing like these great shows, and doing all these different great things, so it’s a progression…All Have Fallen shows a great mark of progression so it will always definitely hold another place in my heart just as Aura did. But favorites off the new project probably “Hartley Bridge”, “Needs”, and “The Outro”, just because its like another thing that’s kind of close to me…if I wanna say Aura then I’ll probably go with “Drive Me Crazy”, “Sam”, “Situations”, “Halfway Love”…yeah probably those four.
You can follow Elhae on twitter and IG @ELHAE and check out his latest projects All Have Fallen and Aura EP down below.