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Electro-Pop Singer Elohim On Her Mysterious Persona, Empowering Name, and Overcoming Anxiety

Music

“Some people see it as hiding away, but for me it truly allows me to open up.”

Secret identities are nothing new in the music industry, but Elohim, a rising electro-pop artist from Los Angeles, takes anonymity to a new level. Her name, her face, and her personal information are kept hidden from the public eye, and even in a one-on-one phone interview, she still made the effort to mask her voice using text-to-speech software. But unlike other initially faceless musicians like Burial, Cults, and Evian Christ, her ambiguous identity is more than just a clever marketing ploy. We caught up with her to discuss her reasoning behind staying undercover, her controversial choice of moniker, and not tolerating people who just won’t shut up.

You emerged out of nowhere with your debut “Xanax” earlier this year. What was your life like before you dropped that track?
My life was dedicated to making music. I started playing piano at the very tender age of five. My parents bought me this beaten-up piano for $100 or so. I’ve never stopped playing.

You produced your own music and remix for Casey Veggies. How did you transition into production?
I started playing classical piano at a young age. I felt limited by one instrument. I am so inspired by unique, obscure sounds. I love to deconstruct them and build them back up. I started writing a lot and collaborating.

In your album art and live performances you conceal your identity with a mask, and you’re hiding your real voice from me now. Why go to such lengths to preserve your privacy?
I love being able to put my art out for the world to enjoy, and I can focus on my music and my sounds without fearing that my appearance would skew the experience. Some people see it as hiding away, but for me it truly allows me to open up.

Elohim is a sacred Hebrew name for God. What attracted you to integrating it into your artist persona?
As a woman, it is very empowering to call myself something so masculine, so strong. Elohim is an ancient word. It has held various meanings throughout history. To me it is love, acceptance, and confidence. It is strength in my art and in myself. It is beauty and spirituality.

Even though the name conveys strength, “Xanax” is all about anxiety and vulnerability.
I think there is something god-like, in a non-religious way, about helping others and being there for others. I love opening up about these issues because I know that people will be able to relate to it when they feel alone. I have talked to and connected with many beautiful souls. Since releasing “Xanax,” we discussed anxiety and I helped them.

On the other hand, “She Talks Too Much” seems to be about pointing out other people’s shortcomings.
“She Talks Too Much” is about anxiety. It’s not meant to put someone else down. But it is true; some people just talk way too much. I think silence is beautiful. There is a lovely harmony in the spaces between words. I am a bit of an introverted extrovert. Sometimes people can be overwhelming.

You performed live for the first time this fall. Were you able to overcome your anxiety onstage?
They were amazing. It was absolutely incredible to finally show what I had been working so hard on.

You released your last single “Bridge and the Wall” last month. What’s next for Elohim?
The future is looking bright. I hope to always surprise. I am always creating. Art to me is about evolution. I plan on putting out a full body of work soon. I will play more live shows and keep sharing my love and art. I hope to keep taking people on special journeys.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.

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Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.

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