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The EP is led by first single ‘Closer.’ While other familiar titles like ‘Shake The Earth’ and ‘Black Ivory’ appear on ‘I Am The Elephante’ EP, overall this will be a fresh project. ‘I Am The Elephante’ is new material with plenty of good vibes that Elephante’s fans enjoy.
Elephante is releasing the debut EP next month. The project is aptly titled ‘I Am The Elephante’ and it’s what the Harvard grad and Ann Arbor, Mi native has been working on for the past several months. Following his first performance for Billboard’s Hot 100 Festival, Elephante sits down with Good Music All Day for an interview.
Check out Good Music All Day’s interview with Elephante at Billboard’s Hot 100 festival. Enjoy!
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What’s up? What have you been up to?
I was in San Diego and Utah last weekend. I was in Atlantic City earlier this week for a radio convention. I’ve just been chilling on Long Island [and] hanging out. I got a vacation day, hit the boat, [and] hit the pool.
It’s almost this sort of mini break.
Yeah, I just finished my EP. It’s coming out September 14th. We’ve been working hard on that. We’re starting to hit the road again. It’s nice to get a couple days off before the madness starts with tour and everything.
Did your previous shows have a tour name?
No. We didn’t name it anything.
Do you know how many dates you just did?
In the Spring like 25. It’s hard to keep track. I try not to brand things as a tour yet because it’s a lot of shows, they’re different venues and they’re all cool. But when we have a real proper tour, we’re going to do it right like bring a DJ, and really have it be something special. Right now I’m on tour, doing shows and getting the music out there. I’m not a huge fan of labeling a tour something until you have something special like Porter [Robinson] had the ‘Worlds’ tour. You want it to be a cohesive show. Right now I’m doing a DJ set which is awesome and a lot of fun. When we have a good proper tour, we’ll do the whole name.
Do you think that’s part of the artist’s development now? Maybe you start at a certain level, live. You start out playing clubs sets, doing some colleges and then you start doing massive tours. Is that the new development do you think?
Yeah, definitely. It doesn’t have to go in that order, but for me I want to go on tour. I want to play live. I want to play these shows and all these shows I’ve played have been a lot of fun. For me as an artist when you call something [or] have a name on the tour I want it to be a memorable thing. I want to be a unique experience and cohesive. It’s a thing. It’s not just a DJ set, which nothing against DJ sets. Getting out on tour has been huge for me playing these colleges and club shows. Hopefully as the music comes out it does well with that.
To be able to play at that next level with you releasing the new EP, is there a correlation between packaging music and having a whole release as opposed to one single at a time?
Yeah, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have one big song and go out on tour. But for me it was really important. This is my first big artistic statement. I’ve had all this new music and I want it all out there. I want to sell music that I love. I think it’s very representative of all the kinds of music that I like making and that I like listening to. It’s like me and nine songs. This is what I sound like. It was important for me to get it all out there.
The name is ‘I Am The Elephante.’
What made you stick with that name? Is it Twitter or social media?
It’s been a statement that I thought is a good reference to The Elephant in The Room and The Elephant in The Room is like that all I ever want to do is make music and play music. To me it’s representative of embracing The Elephant in The Room or doing whatever you’re really passionate about. For the EP I think it’s a name like this is me. I Am The Elephante. This is what I sound like. This is all parts of me. I thought it felt great. This is the statement I’m trying to make.
Is the ‘Age of Innocence’ on the EP?
With the new EP is there a consistent theme that ties everything together and connects all the music?
Yeah. The lead singles ‘Closer.’ It’s all very melodic. It’s all very emotional dance music, but it’s pretty eclectic. There’s some progressive house. There’s some future bass. There’s more chiller or like chill-house. It’s all these different songs in different ways that you can dress them up to produce them in a way that I think is representative of all the things that I like. Hopefully you’ll listen to it and you’ll be able to tell that this is an Elephante song. This song sounds great, but it’s also an Elephante song.
I know that ‘Closer’ features Bishøp. How do you go about picking the vocalist for the tracks?
A lot of it is about the getting the work done and just connecting with people. There’s no one way. Like for instance there’s this one song with Brandon Burnett. We just talked to each other on Twitter. I was like, “Hey, do you want me to give this to you. I have all this music.” He was like, “Fine” and we got in the studio. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and that’s totally cool. But with Brandon, we got in the studio and immediately vibed. With this really special magical power we came up with a song. All of a sudden we made something really special. We get connected. Sometimes it’s through other people. Sometimes it’s social media. It’s finding a person that you vibe with.
Did you want to make an EP? Is that something you set out to do or is it something that you have to let happen and be like, “Ok. I’m at this point where I’m ready?”
I don’t know. The process with this is that I’ve been working on this song for the last year and a half. Then I finished the song and I didn’t know how to release it, but it’s like, “Ok, we’ll work on another one.” Then it started to see itself through. I had four or five songs that hadn’t come out. I was like, “I think I have something special here. Let’s hear a few more. Let’s see how many we can get and then let’s put it all out.” It’s like this project.
Being new to Billboard festival, what’s that like being able to play your music here?
It’s crazy. This is definitely one of those, “Wow. I can’t believe this is a thing.” Growing up I loved music. Billboard was one of those names that always I turned to. My parents know Billboard. It’s one of those things like, “Wow. I’m actually doing it.” It’s been a really cool experience.
Are you going to hang around and get to check out any other artists while you’re here?
Yeah, I’ll be around for a while. I actually don’t know what the set times are or who’s playing where and when. I’ll definitely be around and checking people out.
For the new EP, did you get to play any of the tracks here?
Yeah. I played some of the new songs. I played a couple songs on the EP that aren’t out yet. It’s always cool to see how people react to those songs before they know it. I played ‘Closer.’ I played ‘Black Ivory’ and some of the songs that are arriving already. I definitely played a bunch of new stuff.
Let’s talk about ‘Closer’ and songs on the EP. ‘Closer’ is the lead single.
What are the second and third singles?
‘Black Ivory.’ ‘Closer’ has been out for a little bit and then ‘Sirens’ did really well. It’s hard to say what the next single is. I don’t know what the next single is. We put out ‘Catching On.’ I don’t know about calling something a single. There’s songs that come out. There are a few other tracks that we’re looking at as the new one, but right now we’re riding out ‘Closer’ and seeing it climbing everywhere. I’m blown away by how it’s been doing, so I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself.
How did ‘Closer’ come about and working with Bishøp?
It’s crazy. She sent me this vocal demo. I loved it. It’s a little bit different then what it came to me as. I worked with it for a little bit. I sort of knew what I wanted it to be, but I didn’t have the melody for it. I was on a plane – I had been battling with it for awhile – then on the plane all of a sudden this melody comes into my head. I’m like, “Wait. I think that works with ‘Closer.’” I had that idea in my head. I had my laptop in my hand and quickly did it. I was like, “Yes.” I did this one thing on the plane and stuff. But I met her and everything fell into place. The final tweaking took awhile. We did it all remotely, which was cool. It was awesome working with her. She’s so talented.
Did you have an overall vision sonically for the EP or was it something that was just personal to you?
Yeah. They’re all different genres. I don’t know if I had a specific vision in mind, but I think it all sounds like me. When I make music if I make something an intent in mind it never comes out that good. To me it’s always about finding what’s exciting about specific songs you’re working on and figuring out what about this song and honoring the song itself – not trying to be like, “Oh this is 128bpm vocals. I have to make progressive house or whatever.” It’s really about finding out how does this make sense and what do I feel the song should be. When I look at it in retrospect it has a flow and there are different songs. I think it is a cohesive EP.
For the EP it’s an independent release?
Does being independent enable you to experiment and go with the vibe that you feel?
Yeah. I think so. I’m pretty psychotic about my music and honestly if a label tried to tell me to change something I’d be like, “Yeah. Nah. I’m good.” But it’s exciting because it’s on us. If it does well that’s us. If it doesn’t that’s great and we have no one to blame but ourselves. Labels can be super valuable but for me right now I had a very strong vision for what I wanted it to be with the artwork, the music and the release plan. I’m really wanting to go down that route and make the statement I wanted to make and not compromise.