Where did your artist name come from? Because when I google it, it actually says it’s biblical.
I’m Jewish and when I was growing up I was very religious. So my parents gave me a very very religious name. So my full name is Eliezer Apfel.
Who is Eliezer?
I’m Eli, my friends call me Eli (pronounced Elly). I’m an artist. I was born and raised in London, moved here when I was 13. I started writing raps when I was 17 and did it for about 3 years before I even made a song. Then when I was 20 I was working in an accounting firm, listening to music while I was scanning files. Then that involved in to me listening to beats and writing raps in between the scanning. Then it got to the point where I was like I love this so much and I’m doing this while I’m at work and not handing in any assignments. So I dropped out of University, quit my job and yeah.
I was wondering if you still did the 9-5 on top of this?
Nah not with all I do, I can’t. So man is broke but we’re getting by.
So you released your first track in 2018. What have you learned and how have things developed in that time?
I’ve learnt not to try make a hit, just make the music you fell at the time and the hit will come. I’ve gone out of my way to be like I’m going to make this one a club track and everyone’s going to bump it, it will be mainstream. Then the one where I’m pouring out my options and singing softly does better. So it’s like you can’t pick the hit.
Musically, specifically, I don’t rap as much as I used too. I feel like I’m being more artsy now. I’m trying different things with my voice, I’m hopping on different instruments, mixing genres together (that’s fun), making sounds that you can’t make anywhere else, and making something that’s unique to me. So that’s something I’m really proud of.
As a person I feel like when you’re chasing your passion it’ll force you to become the best version of yourself. So I’m hopefully going to continue to grow.
‘Love Me’ just came out. How long have you been working on this album?
I think the first song came into fruition about 5 months ago. I finished it maybe a month ago. So it’s been a long journey. I made like 50 different variation of every song. So yeah about 5 months.
This album builds. I didn’t expect it. I thought okay these few tracks give me an idea of the vibe, then it got to ‘Anarchy’ and I was like oh okay. Did you plan to build the album in that way? As I know some artists make albums to be listened to front to back.
I definitely structured the album to be a full listen-through but I also wanted it to have moments in it where you can just listen to that one song. You don’t need the song before or after to have the message delivered. I wanted it to feel like a trip. A psychedelic Hip-Hop album. So I wanted it to feel like you’re going through a wave of emotions, you’re learning things and figuring things out as you go along. The first song ‘Flying’ is taking the leap of faith and the last song ‘Running’ is wrapping everything together and reflecting on what you just went through.
Just before the album came out you released your video for ‘Running’. It’s a beautifully simple clip. What was it like filming that clip? Are you much of a runner yourself? And the treadmill?
I just came off the back of the football season so I’m sort of in shape but that was tiring. I ran up and down that thing for like an hour straight. It was cool though because at the end of it I was tired and it came through in the shot a lot more. I was tripping myself up intentionally and I feel like it added to the performance. The treadmill at the end. Was to convey the message that even though I got to the end of the path, I’m still running. There’s no end destination, I’m still stuck on this treadmill running, can’t stop running.
He will also be continuing to release a music video every week until there is one for every song on the album.
Do you have a favourite track?
I’ve got like a favourite 5 haha. I’ll go top 3: Running, Complicated and Trippy. All very different vibes.
‘Leave Me Alone’ is a very honest and straight up track which I feel like a lot of people will probably resonate with, especially at the moment.”Tired of trying to be everything for everyone”, that line in particular stood out to me. Because see I found personally with lockdown that I decided I wasn’t going to try be nice to people for the sake of getting something out of it and things like that. So in summary I guess I was going to ask do you feel like you have changed in some ways since either creating these songs or recently?
I feel like this whole year, for everyone, has pushed us to grow, be introspective and start acknowledging things about ourselves. Because we’re stuck in the house either by yourself or with your family so it’s a lot of time to reflect. I was meditating a lot during the time. So I feel like, especially with these songs, I’ll write them and I won’t even know what it’s about until a month later and I’ll be like oh I was feeling that kind of way and I’ll start to understand it. With ”Tired of trying to be everything for everyone” I realised I had this tendency to be a people pleaser, even at the expense of myself and that’s quite exhausting. So after writing this song and spending time reflecting I realised I gotta look after myself before I try look after anyone else. That was a big lesson I learned form making this album and going through this year.
Now we’re in NZ and lucky to be back to normal essentially. Can we expect a live set or show from you soon?
Definitely. We were planning on doing one mid-December but I’m just so exhausted from everything that I really want to take a break. So we’re going to get a few openers and put on a follow-up event around February maybe even late January.
More to come?
I’m going to take a break because I think I’ve released like 30-40 songs this year. So I need to relax. But next year I’m coming back full-force. Starting mid to late January I’ll be dropping an EP every month for the rest of the year and possibly an album at the end of the year.
Okay lets do some random ones:
Let’s go with Snacka Changi BBQ chips.
If you could start a rumour about yourself, what would it be?
I’m Drake’s cousin.
He has just released new merch – Merch store up soon otherwise DM him on IG.
Thank you To Eliezer for the chat!