There are songs that make you feel good and songs that make you feel sad. And there are some that work the seam between the two polar opposites. And that’s the spot where 21-year-old singer-songwriter eli. resides.
Today AltPress is proud to premiere “make it,” the new single from the West Virginia-based multi-instrumentalist. Written, played, recorded and mixed in his bedroom, the song is a sonic calling card for his melding of acoustic and electronic elements to convey maximum emotion.
“It’s catchy, it’s bouncy, it has an energy I haven’t been able to capture in previous songs,” eli. says about “make it.” “It’s the same story about the same girl as all of my previous work, but I’m ready to look at the situation with a more lighthearted and mature perspective. I’m nostalgic every time I listen.”
Unlike a lot of next-gen, bedroom pop artists, eli. has a bit more to offer. He’s self-contained, making him a true DIY commando for all things. Despite the electronic flourishes, the DNA he’s synthesized feels more man than machine. Imagine ripping the face plate on a robot and discovering there’s a flesh-and-blood human in there.
“I would definitely say that my vision is a reaction to a few things,” eli. begins. “For starters, I hate when a new album comes out by an artist I love, and every song sounds the same. I never wanted that to be me. I also don’t want to leave any room for someone to call me a one-trick pony. I think the landscape for music is changing and consumers are more open to seeing artists experiment with different genres. It really just comes down to me wanting to do what I want without allowing the consumer to dictate the boundaries in which I am allowed to exist.”
So far, eli. has had no trouble connecting with audiences. Previous tracks have garnered millions of streams: His 2017 single, the aching “i’m sad,” is on its way to the 16 million mark. He chalks up his successes to keeping things real, while remaining focused on the positive.
“What motivates me primarily is my love for music,” he begins. “I’ve been doing this since fourth grade. I think something that inevitably motivates me now is the possibility of impacting someone’s life in a positive way. I never thought about that when I was a bit younger and establishing my fanbase a couple years ago. But after getting so many comments and private messages from people my age and younger about what my music means to them, I’ve begun to consider that and it inevitably becomes a driving force for creating.
“I would like to use music to speak to someone and help them feel less alone,” he continues. “I still have a younger perspective so what I’m saying speaks to them because I was in their position three, four years ago! I’m still figuring my own things out though, so I have no idea how to be someone that other people might be able to look up to. I often feel like it may be the opposite and actually is a voluntary invasion of privacy into very personal things that have happened to me in order to try to help someone else and tell them, ‘Hey, we’re all suffering. We’re all experiencing what you are, or we did at some point. It’s normal and everything will be OK.’”
And since you asked, we figured we’d ask: What’s the commentary with the period after his name?
“I’m really not quite sure,” he says in earnest. “I used to go by Eli Lucas back in the day, then I released a small project and some covers as luma in 2016. I didn’t like that name after a while and wanted my real name to be involved somehow but ‘Eli Lucas’ was boring. Just ‘Eli’ was too general and there are so many of those on Spotify and Apple. So, I guess I thought the period would make me less general. It’s disarming in a way, with the lowercase letters and the period. It’s softer and more welcoming. I don’t know; I think that’s it!”
We think he might be on to something. Check out “make it” below.