Experience An Awakening While Listening To The Sounds Of Ëkoli

Introduce yourself

My name is Elijah B. but one of my artist names is Ëkoli. 

When did you first start getting into playing guitar?

I started getting into guitar playing about 5-6 years ago. I started like “every” guitarist, learning rock songs and/or solos, and learning them by ear or by tab. Next, I learned how to read music and began classical training. 4 years of classical training made me realize that the classical world wasn’t for me so I pursued jazz instead. Since that switch, I have been moving forward as a musician, performer, and artist nonstop. 

You’re very vocal about making your music strictly from your guitar; can we ever expect any more instruments incorporated into your music?

Well, the rest of the music I have on my Soundcloud is not produced solely with the guitar. I mainly use a range of instruments and self-created samples in my “normal” music. The only thing that is completely produced by guitar is my most recent project. So yes, you can expect more instruments incorporated into my music, but you can also expect more conceptual projects as the one I just released. 

In your recent project description, you said, “These creations are personal and intimate. I want you to experience something by listening to them.” What are you hoping people experience while listening to your music?

I want the people listening to my music to experience SOMETHING. Mainly emotions that they might keep trapped because of the way we have shaped society. I want my listeners to be able to realize that I love them in every shape/form and that everyone has a very particular journey. I want them to experience an awakening, a different/wider perspective. I want them to be inspired to create. I want them to realize that they can make a difference in this world and they aren’t bound by anything. I want my listeners to become great human beings. 

My favorite song from the project is ‘A Journey For Your Individual Soul”. Talk about what inspired this track.

Each track in “Eliyahu Hanavi,” has a description of how the track came to be made. This is copied and pasted from that description. “This song came to me when I thought the EP completed and I finished it in one sitting. Something came over me and gave me a wonderful experience. I think we have missed the important concept of experience. Experiencing gives us the ability to learn and if we fail/misunderstand, try again. Rather that be experiencing truth, new knowledge, conflicting opinion, etc. We have lost patience in today’s era. People want to bypass the experience, bypass the journey when your journey is YOURS. We lack individuality and creativity, spirituality and productivity. We have become incomplete. I want you to feel something from this, even if you don’t know what it is yet, feel it.”

Talk us through your creative process of creating these beautiful sounds.

The process I went through to get the sounds on the EP was quite difficult. I have a bunch of different pedals that I used to give me the specific guitar/bass sounds that I wanted. As for the drums, I put a mic up to my guitar and hit it from all different angles with different force and parts of my hand with and without my rings on. Then, I put them into my music making software and EQ’d them to fit the specific song. So, with every new song, I had to repeat the process over and over again. There was a lot of trial and error and a handful of songs that will not see the light of day. The EP being all guitar means that there would be at least 20-30 audio tracks giving guitar feedback in one song. After I got all the sounds that I wanted, I had to find a way to mix them well with each other without having the song sound like complete garbage. 

How do you go about staying productive?

Staying productive is probably one of the hardest things we face as humans in today’s society. We go so many distractions left and right of where we look and it can be hard to actually tap out of it. What has helped me was realizing that I have no choice. I want to be completely involved in my art and I don’t have time to be procrastinating. It’s either this or imma be on the street, and if you not wholeheartedly putting in all of your effort/time into your work then you shouldn’t be doing it. Another thing that helps me stay productive is being inspired. Find artist/people who make you want to constantly better yourself and have an image in your head of how you want to be at the end of all of this.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

My inspirations come from very particular things that I see and take part of. The one thing that really helps is seeing someone send a meaningful message with the resources that they have. It does not matter the art form, what matters is what that person is trying to say with their piece. Now, other art forms are not only where I draw my inspiration from; I get inspired in my daily life. Whether it be watching cars driving by, playing the game, analyzing the ignorance of white people, or waking up in the morning, I feel something from each of these situations. With inspirations comes emotions and learning how to redirect your emotions and thoughts into your art is very important. You can’t just pop out works that don’t mean anything because you just gonna look like and be like everyone else. Make something that means something to you and will send a message to a plethora of people. 

If you could describe your music in three words, what would they be?