What’s up everyone, my name is Elton. I’m a renaissance vocalist and producer. I’m from Montgomery, Illinois, and I’m 23.
How was life growing up?
Life growing up was cool, but I moved around a lot. It’s tough for me to even say where I’m from sometimes. I was born in Chicago, but around six I moved to a small burb outside of Chicago called Hillside, and then moved to the Aurora area. I adjusted with each move and was able to make new friends every time. I grew up with 4 older siblings and 1 younger sibling. My 4 older siblings were much older than me. My goal was to always be a good example for my little brother.
When did you begin to witness you had creative talents?
I was around 8. I went to California to visit my Grandfather with my parents and I saw a biopic on The Temptations. At 8 years old, I noticed they sparked something in me. I ended up performing at every family function after that.
When did you then start making music?
In high school I started to really get into recording and writing. I was singing a lot. I grew up with a religous background, so I wasn’t able to swear. My songs were very clean and young. Around my sophomore year I started to start taking it more seriously. I started realizing my potential. I had a pretty good ear but needed more development. In the heat of all that, my parents told me I was spending too much time on music and not enough on schoolwork and they wanted me to take some time off music. My JR and SR year I really wasn’t making music like that, recording wise; always writing. Once I graduated, it just sparked a huge fire in me to get right back to it and going crazy again.
How did you and Phoelix meet?
The Art of Cool was a band I started once I graduated high school. That was a fusion band consisting of Blake Davis, Phoelix, Leslie Schulke, Zack Kochetta, Ryan Miller, and I. Majority of our band went to high school together. We went to Oswego East. Phoelix was at West Aurora. Blake’s cousin is actually Phoelix. When we were putting the band together, I was telling Blake that we needed a bass player. Blake told me his cousin (Phoelix) knew how to play keys, bass, sings, he can do whatever. I was like call him up. As soon as Phoelix and I met, we just clicked off top. That was the start of nights up til 5am working and vibing.
I think our friendship worked so well because we saw so many similarities in each other. All we did was constantly encourage and be honest with each other. That’s what got us to where we are now. Also, outside of the music, we were friends. We would kick it, even if it had nothing to do with music or creating.
On top of TAOC, you and Phoelix were in MDMC.
Once The Art of Cool started to slow down, MDMC grew out of that. Phoelix and I just were at a different time in our lives with music. With AOC it was a band, but MDMC transitioned into more production and both of us doing vocals. The first project we did was called FirsTrip, which was based off the first experience we did acid. The first song we made while we were tripping. The rest of the songs we wrote out of the memory and feeling of that night. We got a little older and made our second project called Lisa, we made it in a day. Around this time, Phoelix and I weren’t always together, so when we had the chance to come together and create, we would make as much as possible. After Lisa, a bit later we both moved to Little Village and made Loud Dream. We dropped that on 4/20 and it was a smoking tape. John Walt (RIP) laid a verse down on “Taxi Chase” off of Loud Dream.
Throughout this year, you’ve been consistent with dropping singles. Are you looking to drop that debut project anytime soon?
You might get one more single from me, (maybe) but the project is the main focus right now. I’ll give you this exclusive, I’m working on a little something with The Burns Twins and Bedows. I love the shit we’ve been making. It’s sounding great. But, yeah, look out very soon for a collection of songs from me.
Listening to your singles, I see a ton versatility in your sound
I do my best to just listen to a track and ask myself ‘What do i think this needs? Or What would i want to hear on this if i was just a listener.’ When i do that the most naturally approach comes out and usually makes for the best end product. Whether its singing or rapping on a track or both its all about letting it come to you, never forcing it.
When it’s all said and done how would you like to be remembered?
I really want to be remembered as one who inspired people to know that no matter what their background is that they can do whatever it is that they want to do. I have a microphone in my hand. I have the power to influence people in the crowds positively. Like, why wouldn’t I do that, ya know?
Written by: Nico Rud