elijahblake

There aren’t many names left in the industry that Elijah Blake hasn’t worked with! Being featured as a songwriter or collaborating artist with the likes of RihannaJustin BieberUsherThe GameCommon, and countless others, Elijah Blake is next up on the screen, having just released his new EP, titled “Drift”! Suprisingly, the project has only one feature, nabbed by J. Cole, on the “Venture” single. The 5-track EP, available on iTunes here, contains fan favorites like “Wicked” and my personal favorite, “Strange Fruit.” After streaming the album, and talking with Elijah, this is one of the most creative projects I’ve heard this year, because of its out of the box concepts! “Strange Fruit” is a popular song, not only for its usage of the famous poem of the same name, but for the incredibly dope Outkast “Elevators” sample!

Hailing from Florida, Elijah Blake is an artist is every sense of the word, bringing his vision of love, pain, and music to the world through carefully planned and articulated projects. In an exclusive phone interview that I did for my folks over at H97 last week, he talked to me about his ultra-meticulous process when songwriting for himself and others, his painful childhood growing up with an abusive father as told in the single “6″ featured on the album, why he’s not into industry chicks and just wants a regular girl, and the right way to act around a celebrity. Get into it below!

His first big check:

I bought a Porsche. It was when the Panamera first came out, I was 19. My lawyer and business manager and everybody was like ‘Are you crazy?!’ My lawyer was like ‘I represent Keri Hilson, and I don’t even drive a Porsche!’ Haha, I was just like ‘You don’t know my life!’ I was sleeping on the floor trying to get a place! This car was what I was excited about, and what kept me going when I wanted to give up, so [I was like] I’m gonna get this Porsche. And my lawyer was like ‘But you have enough money right here to live well for the next 5 or 6 years, you should put it aside.’ And I was like ‘If you think this is the only lucrative funds that I’m going to get over the next 5 years, then you don’t believe in me and you should look for another client to represent.’

His 7 tips on how NOT to act around a celebrity:

1. Never over hype yourself!
I think a lot of times, people get around artists and feel they’re not worthy of being in the same room as them, so they big themselves up. But the thing is, if all that was going on, you wouldn’t have to tell me. Then the name dropping, but it’s like if you have to name-drop, then you’re really not doing it like that.

2. Don’t be so impulsive. 
That scares 90% of us artists. It’s okay to be excited. I had to learn that myself when I first started working with Mary J. Blige. There were a couple times I wanted to scream and be like “You’re Mary J. Blige!” but I’m pretty sure that would’ve creeped her out, so I just kept it really professional. It sets a level a respect, because I’m respecting her.

3. Always keep business business and keep personal, personal. 
I was 15 when I first started, and a lot of times you think people are your friend, because you get so close to these artists and icons you grew up listening to. You don’t follow certain precautions that you’re supposed to because you get excited. There are things managers are supposed to do, and certain discussions and conversations lawyers are supposed to have, and it only comes back to bite you. It causes tension and friction between you and that person you looked up to. Whatever pertains to business, keep it that way.

4. Never participate in the gossip! 
I’ve seen it go down so horribly. There’s industry beef and industry things going on. Kind of like as a child, when your parents would talk about their friends…they don’t know that kids are like a sponge. Me being a youngin’ in the game, I just would hear certain things. If you thought you were getting gossip from MediaTakeOut, if you could only hear the things I would be a fly on the wall for at 16/17!

5. Don’t be so desperate that you’ll do something you can’t take back. 
I remember at Big Sean’s [“Hall of Fame”] listening party, we went into this room and there were so many people after he did the concert for the party. I was going to congratulate him, because while I was working on my album, he was working on his next door at No I.D.’s spot. There was this guy who managed to get past security and get into the room. He did it so casual; we just assumed he knew Sean. He got in there, and he was like ‘Sean, I just came from North Carolina to freestyle for you, and blah blah blah’ and it was so awkward! I would have given him a jump drive with my music, and said ‘Holla at me later’ ya know. He was in the middle of the room, just this loud outburst, and even if he was the best rapper in the world, you’ve already set the tone that it’s not going down by making it awkward for everybody!

6. Mean what you say, say what you mean, and stand your ground. 
People always say ‘hit me up, let’s work’ as the common thing…but it’s better to be like ‘hey, this is what I do, this is my sound. If I can get your email, I’ll shoot you some tracks,’ instead of saying let’s work without building that foundation for us to even work.

7. Value relationships over money. 
A lot of people burn really important bridges [over money]. If there’s a deal for $60,000 and you’re like ‘I need that extra $10,000,’ just for the sake of it and you burn the bridge with someone who could have brought you $300,000…I just call that bad business. Since[the money] is so inconsistent, people feel that have to beat each other over the head when it’s check time. Always get what you’re worth, but don’t do bad business, because those people won’t come back and do business with you whether it’s an endorsement, advertisements, a promotional show, or whatever.

Read the full interview at LifeIsTremendez.