As soon as she starts talking, you don't ever want her to stop. Even while just chatting her voice is so unique, yet soulful; extremely soothing, yet raspy and a combination of all-amazing sounds of rock, pop and urban. Elon's voice is often described as a "mix between Macy Gray, Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige". she just released her fi rst six-track EP, Only Elon, back in October 2012, and has defi nitely proven that she's here to stay. Where Y'at sat down with Elon to fi nd out about her music, inspirations, goals, career obstacles, future and life in general. Here's what she had to say:
WYAT: How were you introduced to music? How did it all start?
Elon: Well, i remember…everyone starts off in the church, of course; go to church and there's choiring, you know. But also i started off when i was in fi fth grade, playing trumpet on bands. so i had the musician background and i also sang in the choir experience with my aunt. so that kind of just molded me into a lover of music and i wanted to keep doing it. Even through junior high and high school, music was my priority. i eventually went after every band music scholarship or music opportunity to do competitions; that was my thing. in college i went on and got a music scholarship and graduated with a music degree, so it's been in me all my life.
WYAT: Do you recall the first time you ever sang?
Elon: The fi rst time i sang was my fi rst solo at church. i was nervous and i think i sang "moving mountain like a mustard seed"... i forgot the name of the song. i was really terrifi ed, and also, i mean, i'm not gonna compare it to playing an instrument; a solo for band is a little different than singing, which i do now.
By accepting a scholarship to Agnes scott college in Decatur, Ga. after high school, Elon continued her musical journey. Although she began learning in-depth musical theories and participating in a program that would take her down the path of becoming a professional horn player or symphony conductor, her attention was directed towards music production.
"Other than that fi rst time i sang, after i got to college i kinda shot away from singing; i was more focused on producing music, i just really wanted to be behind the scenes and just watch how a project is built and kind of create something great of my own that way," Elon said regarding her past experience as a producer.
Elon worked as a producer in Atlanta after college, but her experience would soon inspire her to become front and center of her creative process.
"i worked with a local rapper named Katherine Jenkins, aka Xxxclusive, and she was like: 'i need some music and i heard you make some good beats.' And then she proceeded to say: 'i need a hook for this,' and i said, 'How about this?' - and then she said: 'Oh my God, why don't you just sing the whole thing?' so i started singing her hooks, and doing live shows with her, and she goes: 'Girl, you need to do this by yourself.'"
WYAT: When was your first big show?
Elon: Big show? Big in terms of the number of people i reached — and the excitement behind it — was my EP release, just because i heard about it from other people. i would be on the street and people were like, "Hey i saw you," and, "i can't wait for next your party." On Facebook, people were saying: "Where can we get the tickets?" or "When can we come in?" it was just crazy to hear that much buzz generated around it, cause like i said i am from Houma, La....i am new to New Orleans so i didn't know word traveled around that quickly. in Atlanta, though, i played a lot in big spots, such as the smith's Olde Bar, and we had a pretty big crowd. it was one of the nicest ones that i've played recently, but i was singing with a rapper there, so it was a duet kind of situation. i also love playing atThe saint Hotel (in New Orleans). This is the fi rst project i am doing on my own, you know, singing and producing and writing.
WYAT: So Only Elon was all your idea?
Elon: Production-wise i created the tracks and the music, but then i took it to Tom and let him add a spin on it. so it's co-produced by Tom Drummond, who helped shape it in to what it was going to be. He had the guidance and the experience that i needed — and still need. With the help of Tom and a few key musicians in New Orleans, my EP was released as a polished piece of insight to my life.
WYAT: What inspires you?
Elon: The inspiration for this journey came from the struggles i've been through and the loves that i've lost. Just past experiences… hurt, pain…some joy…some redemption, like coming back home. When the songs get off of me i really wanted to showcase, "you know i am back and i really appreciate this city and wanna do something for the city," also for the saints as my team, "they were getting kind of Bs so i was kinda like…i wrote a little aggressive song about it, about being from here and how we do things." i may not have grown up here, but i visited a lot growing up. i have family members here, i know the essence of New Orleans people and the culture around here. so it's ingrained in me too. Another inspiration was also just trying to do this for so long. i knew i wanted to do this, i wanted to be an artist, a musician since i left high school. That's the reason why i left, i went to school out of state, but i could have gone to Lsu or anywhere here, but i wanted to go in Atlanta, so i could see how the music industry was there, and how could i get into it…but who would have known that i had to come home to try and break in the doors.
WYAT: Define your music.
Elon: i always say pop, rock and urban. And it could also be classic/pop/rock without the urban, cause some songs are classic, some songs are not R&B at all, some songs are more rock, some songs are more alternative. i have had people compare some of my stuff to Alanis Morissette. i mean, i don't really care to really label it, i'll throw some fun words in a song to make the song move along and that's cool, but overall maybe i can just create my own genre. Eventually genres are gonna disappear anyway cause people are melting in those lines, people are crossing borders. i hope to be one of those artists who keep the music as music. i am just gonna make timeless music, so then maybe that's my job.
WYAT: What do you feel about the public response so far?
Elon: it's good. i think they are asking the right questions, and they are interested in the music. They are interested in getting to know me better. i've never had that done, i've never been embraced like that anywhere, and it's weird. At the same time it's a lot of fun, and i am just grateful for the opportunity. People come out to the show and they are really supportive. i'm just hoping they will continue to support me and receive me well.
WYAT: Who played with you at the EP release party?
Elon: There were some key players up there. i've been told i'm lucky to have all those people there on stage with me, amazing people such as: Tom Drummond, bass; "Big" sam Williams, trombone; Andrew "Da Phessah" Baham; John "Papa" Gros, organ; chris Arceneaux, drums and shane Theriot, guitar. When i fi rst met them i was like i don't know everybody here. But i've been brought up to speed and witnessing what they do and how they do…i feel really blessed to have that experience, to have that opportunity to have them on stage with me. You know legends in New Orleans. it's just a blessing. so i can only hope to keep meeting people like that. i met Kermit Ruffi ns, i am loving to be around all these great musicians around here.
WYAT: Have you ever thought about giving up?
Elon: Oh yeah. i've quit twice in my life before. i was going through some emotional things. We all battle that. i questioned it because i was tired…being in Atlanta, it's a hard city to make it, the industry is hard, and there's a lot of people out there that don't respect your hustle, they just want a piece of the pie — they use you. i've been used and that kind of made me want to quit. But i woke up one day and snapped out of it. i needed to get back and be happy again. When i started making music again, that's when i started being happy and i realized, "girl you can't quit again! it's just not going to happen cause if you do, you have nothing left."
if that's one thing i am gonna do, it's to make music for the rest of my life.