"I wanted to be the one the DJ was spinning, the one the people rocked to."
He’s definitely been on his grind! As a friend of Elion’s, I’m proud of the progress he’s made. I am a witness to the growth in his talent! The surname he has chosen is definitely one that he must be prepared and avid about the challenges he must live up to. Believing he will accomplish all of his goals by showing and proving to listeners, I know Elion will be nothing less than Great.
ComplexSimplicity garnered a little insight into the world of Elion the Great. He took some time away from his daily grind of writing and rapping to chat with us about his music, influences, and his plans for the future. We decided on a 50 Cent Q&A session, so here are 21 questions with Elion the Great:
Complex Simplicity: What artist got you hooked to music?
Elion The Great: I would definitely say Jay-Z; he’s my favorite rapper. Common made me really want to pursue music.
CS: When was it that you knew you wanted to pursue music?
Elion: Around the age of 15. I was a DJ and would see the reaction of the crowd when a certain artist or song would come on. I wanted to be the one the DJ was spinning, the one the people rocked to.
CS: Do you feel more comfortable in the studio or on stage performing?
Elion: Honestly, I would say the stage. The booth is like a drawing board or blueprint of how you want the song to sound. On stage, you’ve already mastered the song and it is truly yours at that point.
CS: What artist, in the future, would you want to collaborate with?
Elion: First off, Little Brother. Common, Mos Def, J. Cole and ultimately, Jay-Z.
CS: Who are you compared to musically?
Elion: I’ve been told my voice is similar to Nas. A lot of people have said that and have actually mistaken my voice for Nas on some (of my) songs. That’s a huge compliment in every sense of the word!
CS: Who are your musical mentors?
Elion: Pretty much anyone that has inspired me: friends, family, fans. I started out as a youngster so the views and opinions of my earlier works helped me to see what people are expecting out of me.
CS: What details of The Front Lobby do you especially love?
Elion: The concept. I was working on the "The Elion Show II” and was pretty much taking my time trying to make a classic. So, I was flipping through different tracks that I had recorded (but hadn't used) and decided to take those to make a mix tape. The concept of The Front Lobby is that the people have to wait (in the lobby) until the show is ready to be presented. Kind of like a waiting room while the show is still under production.
CS: What is your goal musically for this age?
Elion: To give people an alternative musically. I want to show people that you can be dope, without actually selling dope. I am NOT A GANGSTA, and that’s what I want my music to reflect. I want to bring fun and lyricism back to hip hop.
CS: Do you do any writing for other artists? If so, do you ever have any moments when you've thought, "I should have kept that for myself?"
Elion: I have written/co-written before. You always have that thought in the back of your mind like " damn, I wish I had have kept that or that’s gonna be a hit". But ultimately, if you are good at what you do, I feel like writing another artist a hit is nothing. That (song) may not have been a hit with you on it. Sometimes it takes someone else's set of skills to bring it out more. For example, could you imagine anyone else but Diddy doing the songs that he is making? It wouldn't fit right to me. The person writing it is talented but that may not be the right person to deliver the song, dig what I'm saying?
CS: I can dig it…but let’s stick with me asking the questions!
CS: Do you think you will ever want to make the rapper to actor transition like so many music artist do nowadays?
Elion: Hell yeah! (laughing) Honestly, I never thought about it. One mountain at a time I guess. I'm concentrating so hard on making this music. It would definitely be an option hopefully in the future though.
CS: What advice would you give to someone who feels that they want to pursue a career in music?
Elion: Can you put this in bold for me? IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE DRIVE OR MOTIVATION FOR WHAT YOU WANT, DON'T EVEN BOTHER. I stress that because you have to grind and it is not as easy as people make it seem. You have to grind hard, and you can't be anything but tough, and open minded. The people that you are broadcasting to are not all artist. So they will critique your craft at times really raw. You have to be able to accept criticism and use it to build your art off of it.
CS: I know you can sing, so can we look forward to an R&B album from you also?
Elion: I’m honestly trying to incorporate more singing into the music, without being totally R&B. I’ve been asked on a few occasions when will I start singing, but that all depends on the people who are listening. If that’s what they want, I will definitely work on giving it to them.
CS: Well, you know if Kanye and Drake and can make “Rap and B” successful, you can too.
And a few random questions, fans may want to know:
CS: What motivates you?
Elion: The possibility of what if. You just never know when that moment will become the one and only moment.
CS: two snaps, Ell… that was deep. (laughing) but so true.
CS: What are your favorite hobbies (other than music) and why?
Elion: I love to write poetry, helping out the community when I can through volunteering. Relaxing, hitting up bars. Are they hobbies?????? (laughing)
CS: There you go with those questions again, but hey, if you want them to be then, yes.
CS: What are your strengths, things you're good at? (ie cooking, sports, video games)
Elion: I can actually cook, I’m ill on video games, and I'm a big people person, I have to be.
CS: What are your weaknesses?
Elion: Knowing when something is as good as it’s going to get. I’m a big perfectionist. ESPECIALLY DEALING WITH MUSIC!
CS: What traits in people do you absolutely dislike?
Elion: FAKENESS, BITCHASSSNEEESSSSS! (laughing) Stank attitudes, especially acting like you are better than someone else.
CS: What's your favorite quote and why?
Elion: I actually have two. The first, "Men lie, Women lie, Numbers don't" - Jay-z. That’s just the realest quote to me! Secondly "In the famous words of Colonel Sanders I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights. No idea why, except its hilarious!
CS: What's your favorite holiday?
Elion: Christmas, I'm very family oriented.
CS: What's your favorite television series and why?
Elion: Family Guy. It addresses a lot of things on a comical side. It’s funny. Enough said.
CS: Goober. (smh)
CS: And of course, for the ladies, is there a special lady in your life right now?
Elion: Of course, my mother. I lovveee my momma!
Bonus Question: So, is there anything else you'd like your fans to know?
Elion: First, big shout outs to ComplexSimplicity for showing me love! I’m feeling the site. And second, I appreciate alllllll of you, my fans and alllll of your support. I am going to keep pumping out music as long as you all want to hear it! Elion The Great is now leaving the building!!!!!!!!!
For more information on Elion the Great please visit his site at reverbnation.com/elionthegreat or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org