Berlin-based Elijah Hook is a promising new artist in the alternative hip-hop scene. Known for his ability to fuse classic instrumental elements with electronic sounds, embracing authenticity and realness. Following the release of his EP Experience, we caught up with Elijah to find out more about the man behind the music. Check it out below:
COZY MAG: So, Who is Elijah Hook?
Elijah Hook: He's my alter ego, he is more comfortable in standing up and saying what he really thinks. He is strong and willing to make people hear what he thinks is need to be said, but he is also a fun guy, someone to laugh with, someone to experience nice stuff with. He has a lot of the real me but he seems to handle things more easily.
CM: How did you first discover music is what you wanted to pursue?
EH: As a kid I would always stay up late on a Friday night trying to catch my favourite radio station playing urban music which wasn’t that accessible in Germany at that time. During summer break, I shared my room with my step brother who first introduced me to the process of writing, it just began with me watching him write some lines but ended up with me pushing myself to write down some bars as well.
He also brought CD´s with the latest tunes from America which I then recorded on tape before he would leave back to North Carolina. Since then I surrounded myself with music at all times and I began to pursue this way, so yes I see myself working in music for a living.
CM: "Experience" recently premiered on AfroPunk, tell us the story behind the song and video?
EH: Experience is based on actual experiences I made, for example the feeling that probably everyone knows, to fail and all the negativity that comes with it. You blame yourself and feel uncomfortable - its just important that you still stand up every single time and continue walking your way.
The video is basically the vision to the lyrics, it shows how I fall/fail a few times on my way, but still get up every time and that it pays off when the time is right. The end of the video shows how a door - my personal door is opening up and guiding me the right way to go.
CM: How would you describe your music? I feel like calling it just rap would be doing it disservice?
EH: My music is something like myself - a hybrid. A crossover of genres with room for everything that feels organic. Rap is the first tool I discovered to express myself, but lately it feels like rap can't transfer every emotion within me. That’s why I push myself to find new ways and break down the boundaries I "set" for myself in the first place. Calling my music rap isn't really a disservice, soon people will recognise that we are in a new age of Rap and that there is so much more within this genre.
"My music is something like myself - a hybrid. A crossover of genres with room for everything that feels organic."
CM: When did you move to Berlin?
EH: I moved here 2 years ago. Before that I was living in a small city called Mainz , nearby Frankfurt.
CM: How has the change of scenery helped your creative process?
EH: It showed me that it is possible to live a life as an artist and to also meet people from all over the world that are successful by living their dreams. Back home every street artist was a loser in society's eyes, but in Berlin it seems like they are heroes. This helped me to continue and gave me the strength to step up for my own personal dream.
CM: Would you say that your EP is a biography in some aspects?
EH: In some ways it is, yes. I wrote "Videogames" because I feel like I’m still not accepted as a part of the German society. There are people that still don’t understand that the colour of your skin doesn’t make you any different and that it isn’t only connected to a certain culture or origin. This small part of the big word “racism“ reflects the whole picture of discrimination and hate in everyday life on this planet.
As I wrote all of the songs for the Experience EP in general, I wanted the work to have a long term effect. I want to be able to listen to my songs in 20 years and still be proud of the honesty.
CM: How do you want your music to affect people?
EH: The first thing coming to my mind is to make them happy. But at times it just feels like I need to open their eyes to make this world a better place. To be honest at the end of the day my music is self-therapy and thats what I do it for.
CM: What are your plans for the future?
EH: I’m working on new song material for a project already. I'm also being offered to collaborate with a few artists that I really admire and look up to. I’m totally excited for the future!
Interview led by Jesse Bernard (@Marvins_Corridor)
Photography by Sina Lesnik