The R’n’Drill singer is telling us it’s okay to get a little freaky.
Encouraging us to embrace our inner “Freak” is East London’s Eltee with his sophomore R’n’Drill single. Following on the heels of his break-out tune “Who Do You Love”, which landed him as the one to watch amongst industry MVP’s like Charlie Sloth, Rimzee and Steel Banglez, this latest offering continues to flex the artist’s impressive vocal prowess and unique textured tones.
Set to a heavy 808 bassline, Eltee’s smooth R&B vocals glide effortlessly over a gritty Chris Rich production. A catchy melodic hook takes hold, backed by playful lyricism and soulful delivery: “Baby you look so amazing, you’re such a freak, freak, freak / I know that you’re not an angel, ‘cause girl you can switch, switch, switch.” If R’n’Drill is the new wave, Eltee’s riding it confidently.
An anthem for the streets of London, the track’s accompanying visuals capture the edge and excitement of the city from rooftop vantage points and G-Wagon rides. Just like Eltee’s genre-mashing vocals, the video oozes silken finesse and gritty vibrancy all at the same time.
We caught up with the rising talent below, talking experimenting with genre, bringing out the “Freak” in you and what he’s got in store for us next.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Eltee – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
I’ve been good, trying to use this time wisely to reflect and improve on myself and my craft, I feel like this lockdown has been great for my creativity because I can focus on my writing and being the best I can be and gives me more time to focus on building my brand and planning ahead for the future.
How did growing up in east London influence you sonically? Who were your musical heroes?
I was born in Hackney, which played heavily on my music taste, then I moved to Manor House, which is in the North East, I now live in Essex. I can remember my dad who is a musician himself playing his piano and saxophone around me all the time and playing tons of Soul & Hip Hop music. I always used to watch him rehearse so I feel that made a huge impact on me as a musician and performer. My musical heroes would have to be my dad for one, as he put me on to music from an early age and just a lot of singers and rappers like Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Akon, Krept and Konan, BBK, Biggie, Dr Dre and 50 Cent etc. Hip Hop played a very big part of my childhood, I listen to so much of it, which I would say has helped to sculpt the artist I am today.
How would you describe your genre?
I can’t really describe my genre as I feel like I have a lot of different influences in my music but if I had to say I would probably go with RnDrill as it’s the most accurate genre for what I’m doing right now. It’s a blend of R&B and Drill beats with melody, but as I roll out more tracks, I will show my diversity across the genre and showcase more of my vocals.
Congratulations on your sophomore track – “Freak” – what was it inspired by?
Thank you, I’d have to say my main goal for this track was for girls to just have fun with it, I think everyone has a freak side to them, so the song just encourages females to bring it out more and be confident in themselves. So yeah, when the song was made the intention was to make a light-hearted song that would resonate with women of all ages.
And the music video feels like a love letter to London – what did you want to convey with it?
With the video, we wanted to capture London’s amazing views in the daytime and the night-time, we wanted it to be gritty yet clean and entertaining. We hoped people would watch it and feel the vibe we had on set as it felt like a party for us instead of working. I always wanna bring that London feel to my music and videos as it’s a big part of me and my life. I hope that after people watch the video, they get that same energy.
Your debut single “Who Do You Love” received rave reviews – did you expect such a reception?
I truly believed the track would do well as it has such a unique sound to it and my boys HIRTZ brought the fire for me on their verses. I felt like it was something a bit different when we were making it, but I never expected as many pages and platforms to pick it up and compliment the track out of the gates! The outcome was amazing for me and all the support made me want to go even harder on the next track, I feel blessed.
How does it feel releasing new music when most of the world is in lockdown/everything feels so uncertain – what do you hope your music will bring?
It’s definitely a different experience to what I’m used to because normally you’d go perform your music at gigs and you’d be going to other events to network but I do feel like this lockdown has been really beneficial for artists like myself as we get to showcase what we’re doing through social media and other platforms as everyone’s on them now more than ever. I really hope my music will bring people energy, good vibes and enjoy what I’m putting out. Also, I hope people will see how unique my sound is and that they can relate to it. I look forward to gaining more of a fan base and doing shows when they open up again.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I think what’s next for me is to just release a few more singles and to stay consistent as I feel that is very important for a new artist like me. Keep working on getting my name out there and bring my first project like an EP or Mixtape. I have so many tracks which I’m shaping up at the moment which no one has heard yet and I’m excited to release them. I’m looking forward to receiving reactions, improving my craft and putting out good quality music. I’m also really excited to get back on stage and give some strong performances and love back to the fans who have supported my journey so far.