[INTERVIEW] Soul Speak #5: Jesse Elvis

We first discovered Jesse Elvis through his track 'All Good' and were blown away by the power and versatility of his soulful vocals. We had the pleasure of chatting with him about his creative process, early influences and Youtube Mash-ups.

SS: First of all, congratulations on the EP release! The soulful sound you’ve captured is something we’re really excited about. How does it feel to have it all finished and released?

JE: Thank you! It feels good to finally let people hear it and get a taste for my sound and what I'm about.

SS: ‘All Good’ is definitely our favourite track. Could you tell us more about the story/production behind this track itself?

JE: Like pretty much all of my songs, "All Good" started as a simple but hypnotic loop on my Boss RC-505 loop station. What I tend to do next is re-record everything into Cubase and start adding sounds and building a structure to write to. The song itself I wanted to be heartfelt and empowering towards women as I feel a lot of music tends to do the opposite these days.

SS: One thing we particularly noticed on the EP was the change in mood across the different songs, from the darker songs like ‘Misunderstanding’ to lighter tracks like ‘All Good’. Is this variation in mood/emotion something you’ve always enjoying experimenting with in songs?

JE: I tend to make quite a lot of moody, darker sounding songs for some reason. I think the darker sounding beats make me write deeper songs, although sometimes, I listen back to stuff and think...shit, I need to lighten up a bit. My mum always says "Jess, can't you make something more happy?"

SS: As a producer as well as a singer, your sounds also vary across the EP. From the bassy synths of ‘With You’ to the R&B-style groove of ‘Craving’. Have you always written and produced music that has crossed a few genres?

JE: "With you" was actually produced by a sick duo called Wide Awake. The rest of the songs I produced with some co-production by Delio Lima on ‘Craving’ & ‘Misunderstanding’. I've always tried to fuse my favourite genres to make what I guess people call my sound. It's usually a combination of soul, r&b, hip hop and grime/garage.

SS: You’re signed to Charlie Sloth’s label, Grimey Limey. How did that come about and how’s it been to work with him?

JE: I’ve known Charlie for quite a long time but he never really knew about my music. I gave a folder of songs to a friend of mine who also works closely with Charlie. He played him the tracks and loved it.

SS: We’ve liked your YouTube mash-ups/covers. What do you look for in the songs you choose to cover?

JE: When I cover songs I usually go for old soul/Motown songs and try to give them a modern twist. A lot of people say not to touch classic songs because you can't better them but I like to consider that a challenge.

SS: You were raised in North London and experimented in producing your own music from a young age. What were some of your early influences?

JE: I've always listened to all types of music from the day I got a radio in my bedroom but I think my main sources of inspiration came from my uncle and auntie who showed me people like Nas, Lauren Hill and pretty much all the greats from the 90's hip hop & R&B era. My mum is also responsible for the more doo wop/rock&roll influences like The Temptations & Little Richard. Outside of that, I was really into jungle and uk garage growing up.

SS: What does the rest of 2017 look like for you?

JE: For the rest of this year I just want to focus on making more good music and doing some shows.

SS:Thanks so much for speaking with us! We hope our readers enjoy as much as we did!

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