Thursday, April 4, 2013

CMW 2013 | Interview with Eli T.
During Canadian Music Week, I got to meet Eli T. at The Marriot hotel in downtown Toronto, where we chatted about his world travels, his musical inspiration and who he's love to work with someday. Eli was born in Singapore, but he attended York University here in TO and he now lives in New York.

His debut album, Revolt, came out last March and since then he's been touring and spreading his electro-pop sound with the world.

Check out some of our interview:

How would you describe your music?

It’s electronic with a lot of pop sensibilities. The vocals and melodies are really R&B inspired but the production is fully electronic. It’s almost like Monarchy gossip meets Usher.

Has electronic music always been your main focus?

Yes, but I also wanted to go darker and deeper into the soundscapes. There’s a lot of depth into what you can do with different sounds. If you pick different samples, you can layer it and texture it, so I’m trying to do a lot more stuff that is darker and deeper.

When did you get started in music?

I’ve always been into music. My mom used to work in a church recording studio so when she was pregnant she used to put the headphones up to her tummy and stuff. And for as long as I can remember, she tried to make me play piano and I was in band. So it’s been forever.
 You’ve moved around a lot, where do you call home?

Toronto for sure. Always Toronto. It’s been a while since I’ve been back but we had the luxury of coming back for Indie Week in October and were back again in November for a fall tour. We played Lee’s Palace. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my friends and stuff.

You’re here for CMW, what are you most looking forward to?

Playing the show. I want to meet other artists and talk to them and see what drives them. Sometimes it inspires you when you talk to other artists and you get a bit of their story. It drives you a little harder and pushes you a little harder.

Have you noticed any differences in the music scenes of all the places you’ve traveled?

Just Asia and North America alone has a huge divide, with what they’re looking for, what they like, and the fans are completely different. Like in Asia, the fans would wait for me by the hotel if I tweet. It’s weird, I’m not quite used to it yet because the album just came out last year. They wait and figure out where I am. They’d have presents. We went to Bangkok and they know I like mango sticky rice so they traveled and bought mango sticky rice for me. But out here in North America, they treat me like a friend, which is great too. Either way, that’s fine, because I serve them music. But as far as that divide, and that difference, that’s that.
Some cities are a little different. LA is really weird, I can’t really get used to it and I can’t quite put a finger on it. It feels like a movie set. 

Where do you get your songwriting inspiration?

I think I’m one of those weird people who has too much drama in my life. I’m never without inspiration but it comes at a huge cost. Also I think there’s inspiration all around. Everyone has a story to tell so sometimes I tap into that.

Any songs that you have a stronger connection to?

"Imaginary." For a while, even before I went into production, a lot of people with a lot of power were trying to convince me to do Chinese music because that market would be a lot more viable for an Asian artist. I guess you don’t really see a lot of Asian artists in North America. I tried it because it makes business sense but after working on some of the demos and stuff, it just wasn’t me and I couldn’t connect. I’m not inspired by it and it just doesn’t influence me in any sort of way.

What pushes you to keep making music?

The fans. Some of them tweet me on a daily basis just to remind me to eat. I look to them for help more than the other way around. They encourage me to keep fighting. I make music for them and if they are encouraging me to fight harder, it’s a big blessing.

Best words of advice you’ve been given?

It’s okay to be you. Your best chance at succeeding in life is doing what you’re good at. That’s just who you are.  You have to be proud of what you’re doing.

Top 3 people you’d love to work with someday?

Monarchy. Kimbra. Robin Thicke, that man is a genius.

 Keep an eye out for the article on!

For more Eli T. check out

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

No comments:

Post a Comment