In Conversation with French-Algerian Singer/Songwriter Elias

by Julia Duthie

Elias is a French-Algerian singer/songwriter based in Paris. His music transports you to a bright gorgeous day, riding in a boat with your favourite people, feeling the mist of the water and the warmth, not only from the sun, but from your friends' smiling faces. His music career only began a few years ago and is establishing his name in the music scene with his first project. His lyrics are mostly in English but are heavily influenced by his Arab/North African heritage. Life experiences are what motivates Elias to write music, whether it be his or the people around him, they all leave their mark on his creations.

“I truly believe anything can be a good inspiration as long as you find the right way to communicate that idea”, mentioned Elias.

His music is filled with chill beats but some of his lyrics are actually describing deeper issues. This is shown in his latest single, “Daisy Chain” was released on December 2, 2020. This heart-wrenching tale comes off as despairing but actually has a positive message. Elias describes fighting for love even when you feel like you’ve tried everything to make it work. Which can hurt so deeply because the love is so strong but the situation or the person, can make it difficult. The only true thing to make a relationship work is the love and the willingness to start over. Such a young artist already tackling key issues of love. Who hurt him!!

“As long as there’s feelings, there’s always a chance to start over even when you feel like things are going nowhere” Elias clarifies that there is hope in those situations.

North Africa is the beautiful place where Elias grew up and his culture plays a role in his music. Its incredible to hold connections to multiple cultures and have them integrate. He was even able to experiment with his producer on “Daisy Chain” and use samples from Algerian music.

Elias aspires to fight for diversity in the pop music industry. Arab people are barely represented in the western music scene. With Elias’ experience of being an Arab-Muslim man hes dealt with racism and islamophoba his whole life. He was convinced he had to deal with these issues his whole life but with the direction of the current generation is going, there may be some hope. Social media has proven how deeply connected we all are and anyone can make an impact from every part of the world. Elias hopes to make an impact to stop these issues.

“I always knew being an Arab artist in the pop industry would be hard so hopefully my experience can make it a little less harder for the next generation”

Elias began writing songs at 12 years old! Of course he’s not very proud of those songs but he wrote them because he enjoyed it. But just putting the words to paper creates practice and then your progress will grow. Music has also always been around him, his dad was a singer and seeing him perform made Elias realize that’s what he wants to do in life. He is a self-taught artist and has worked very hard to get at the level he’s at now.

“If you don’t want it and don’t fight for it, nobody will do it for you. Keep in mind that it’s your passion but music is also a business so not everything is gonna be beautiful and glittery everyday. Also, even if you need to be in control of your art, I think it’s important to accept criticism and feedback. It really helps you grow as an artist.”

His creative process uses an uncommon technique: moodboards! I have heard of moodboards for styling shoots, creative direction but not yet for writing songs. The visuals create a whole level of inspiration, being able to see the vibe being created.

“To me, making music is way more than just singing. It needs to have meaning”

And with his moodboards the writing process will commence. The lyrics, beats etc. will all come at once with bits and pieces to make the final mosaic. As well as experiencing different cultures has also influenced his music. Every aspect of his life seeps into his creations, each holding a part of himself.

Most people will automatically say that a ‘true artist’ should drop everything and pursue music. But that’s not always the case; Elias is a student and is doing a Masters degree in International Business and Marketing. Meaninging his classes can be in multiple languages such as French, English and Spanish. Elias proves that you can be a successful musician while also focusing on school. Which is a very difficult feat, occasionally he will get discouraged but this shows his multiple talents and continuous drive.

Another challenge Elias faces is finding inspiration. He almost feels at times like he has nothing left to say. But true inspiration sneaks up on you. During his first single release for “Dernière Chance”, it was in French but he got a lot of positive feedback from people in Brazil. Even people so far away from him appreciated his music, and this inspired him to keep going.

In his last trip to LA, he collaborated with an incredible artist, No/Me. They instantly connected and its so amazing to find someone across the world that matches your energy. They have created beautiful work together and go check out her song, “Pass The Knife”.

As soon as it’s safe to travel worldwide, Elias will be sharing his passion for music and being an incredible role model for all Arab pop musicians. He is truly what the pop industry needs at this moment with his ability to mix sounds from different cultures and reinvent it to be popular. This is the face of true evolution and connection for everyone all over the world.

Where to find Elias:

Instagram: @eliazzle

Youtube: ELIAS