#SELFIE (Elephante Remix)
I got to sit down with our wonderful resident artist Elephante and pick his brain a bit about his musical background, all these crazy remixes he produces, and how his music dream only really became a reality a little over a year ago.
TMN: This month we have the pleasure of having Elephante as our resident artist. Tim, thank you so much for joining the ninja family this month!
E: Thank you for having me! It’s an honor
TMN: Let’s start at the beginning when you were just a young kid from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tell us when you began taking music lessons and how that progressed from your early age all the way through college?
E: Well I started taking piano lessons when I was 8, but according to my mom, I was super into Fantasia when I was a baby, and would sit 3 feet in front of the TV and watch it on repeat, so I guess Mickey Mouse and that broom thing were sorta my first teachers. Took some guitar lessons in high school, but was mostly self-taught, pretty much through learning all of “Room for Squares” by John Mayer. Seriously that album is amazing. Anyway, I dabbled with hip-hop and messed around with Fruity Loops, but got mostly into writing my own stuff and singing. Loved like Jimi Hendrix and [Eric] Clapton, so it was like blues influenced pop stuff.
TMN: Was there a time you wanted to quit playing music? You know kids, they go through phases and also get busier the older they get, some activities have to give usually. Was music ever part of that or was that an activity you wouldn’t let go of?
E: There was a little bit in high school, but it was more from wanting to be one of the “cool kids” and not from falling out of love with music. Luckily I never committed fully to being a Mean Girl, and didn’t have to give it up. Plus, I figured John Mayer was getting tons of girls, so playing music was probably okay.
TMN: You said that in high school you performed blues influenced acoustic pop songs. Talk to us about where you would perform and how it was being a music kid in high school. Were you involved in your school music programs or were you more a solo music kid who did his own thing?
E: I never really did the school programs like band or orchestra, partly because I was more interested in making my own music and partly because I was terrified of other people thinking I sucked. I did play a few coffeehouse and bar shows, and got the courage to beg my friends to come see, which I am eternally grateful for, because honestly I probably wasn’t that good.
TMN: And you graduated from Harvard a few years back, did you go there for anything musically related? If not, what did you study at school?
E: I did, which I find harder and harder to believe as time goes on. Like, I really went to class and took tests and stuff? I’d get OWNED if I had to do that now. I did do as much music stuff as possible, minored in Music, ran the campus studio, was in a band, interned at a recording studio in Boston, etc.