First Listen: The Artist ElJay shows his "Need"

(August 1, 2021) Earlier this month, actress and producer Issa Rae posted a tweet that, judging by the number of 'likes' and shares,' struck a chord (literally and figuratively) with thousands of R&B fans: "Listening to Mint Condition's "Breaking my Heart" (sic) and realizing that a lot of music (expletives) aren't dramatic and desperate enough for me." Anyone who's heard the band knows that their catalog is much more than vulnerable ballads and love jams, so what was Issa's point? 

Too many performers care more about sounding sexual than sweet, or amp up the testosterone instead of the tenderness. That's why The Artist ElJay is catching ears and making waves with the single "I Need You." 

(August 1, 2021) Earlier this month, actress and producer Issa Rae posted a tweet that, judging by the number of 'likes' and shares,' struck a chord (literally and figuratively) with thousands of R&B fans: "Listening to Mint Condition's "Breaking my Heart" (sic) and realizing that a lot of music (expletives) aren't dramatic and desperate enough for me." Anyone who's heard the band knows that their catalog is much more than vulnerable ballads and love jams, so what was Issa's point? 

Too many performers care more about sounding sexual than sweet, or amp up the testosterone instead of the tenderness. That's why The Artist ElJay is catching ears and making waves with the single "I Need You." 

A Kansas City, MO. native, ElJay Williams Jr. set his sights on becoming a star as a child, cultivating his vocals and showman ship in church choirs, stage plays and even with the acclaimed Kansas Marching Cobras Drill Team, where he added poise and polish to his vocal skills. With his latest release and the featured production of Grammy-nominated Joseph “Jo Blaq” Macklin, ElJay uses both spoken words and a buttery trill to describe a friendship caught afire and a yearning to capture her heart that eclipses his need to shine or move the crowd: "When I'm alone in my bed I got you all in my head/why'd I leave you on 'read' just tryin' to stack up my bread.....I'd rather see you smile, than make a million dollars, rather hear your voice than make the crowd holler."

Determined and ambitious, ElJay's latest EP is the culmination of years of intermittent struggles (thwarted production deals and auditions) and progress (a college degree, choreography, self-produced stage productions, independent films, a 2013 EP, credits as an extra in The Originals, Vampire Diaries, The Hunger Games) and focus on what's always heartened and sustained him: entertaining. If anyone is capable of pouring lifelong passion and creativity into worthy music, it's The Artist ElJay. 

By Melody Charles

The Artist ElJay - "I Need You"

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