Interview: Elderbrook On "Cola," Album, Struggles of Being a Live Act - Magnetic Magazine
From making indie and hip-hop, to becoming a Grammy-nominated electronic artist, get to know Elderbrook

Last year Elderbrook struck gold when he released the smash hit "Cola" in collaboration with CamelPhat. The song went number one on the Dance Club Songs in the US, the Indie Chart in the UK, and even garnered the producer his first Grammy nomination in 2018 for Best Dance song. Hot off the heels of such success, Elderbrook has bolstered his touring schedule with a live set that happened to be one of this writers favorites all year. 

With an upcoming performance at CRSSD Festival in Southern California, Elderbrook took some time to talk with Magnetic about what's to come next for the artist.

You came from a background in indie and even hip hop music. How does your musical experience in other genres influence how you write songs for the Elderbrook project?

My background in other genres helps me to approach electronic music from different angles. Initially it allowed me to work in more obscure tempos. A lot of my early releases were a bit slower - definitely influenced by a more hip-hop influenced style of production.

The indie aspect of the music I make is something that has definitely remained an important aspect of my sound. I think this comes through in my vocals. The lyrical and melodic direction of my voice definitely keeps it all more on the indie side.

Who are your biggest influences musically?

I love people like MGMT, Jamie xx and TEED and definitely am influenced by them on a production level. Although in terms of songwriting and lyrics I’m more influenced by bands like The National or The Strokes.

Throughout your career so far, what have been the biggest moments of success and what are some milestones or things you are aiming to achieve in the future?

Having a song of mine nominated for a Grammy was an amazing experience and definitely a milestone for me. In the future, though, I think the most important thing I’m working towards is writing and finishing an album that I love and am proud of. It’s taken a lot of work but I think I can finally see an album coming together after a long time working on it.

How did the collaboration with CamelPhat for "Cola" come about and were you surprised by its massive success? Did your life change in any ways after it’s release?

The CamelPhat guys were in London for a couple of days working with different people. I came and met them and had a couple of hours in the studio with them. I think in that time we actually wrote three ideas but the one that stood out was "Cola." After a couple of months they told me Defected records wanted to sign it and then it began its journey!

The song has definitely changed my career - it’s allowed me to work and collaborate with some great musicians, it’s meant that my new music has reached more people and it’s definitely inspired me to work harder on delivering the best I can.

What made you want to be a "live" artist, and what struggles have you faced as solo musician playing your songs out live?

I’ve always wanted to be a live artist probably because of my indie background. I started with all guitars and live drums and it would seem foreign to me to completely abandon that part of music. I think the initial struggles with being a live solo act is that there is so much of the music that can be played. In my show I play keys, drums, an MPD and I pretty much sing all the time. It’s been a gradual process and will keep on changing and growing.

If you want to see Elderbrook you can check his touring dates.

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