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15 Questions With Elaquent of Mello Music Group

Elijah-Blue Vieau
Written By
Elijah-Blue Vieau
Published On
Dec 13, 2021
Elaquent headshot by Ryan Antooa

When it comes to music production, there is an internet subculture which experienced explosive growth in the early 2000s alongside the advent of consumer-ready digital recording software, social media, and music discovery platforms.

I’m talking about beat making.

Beat making is the term given to the process of creating instrumental electronic music, predominantly using recording software, sequencers, audio samples, live instrumentation, and synthesizers, to be shared and distributed (often independently) online.

In terms of building an audience as a beatmaker, growing followers on social media networks like YouTube, Bandcamp, Instagram, and BeatStars is where most people start out. But the truth is, very few reach success in terms of regular live gigs/touring, getting a record deal, or even better, getting their beats placed with a top 40 artist or licensed for TV, games, and film.

Being part of this community for the last 20-ish years, I’ve witnessed incredible shifts in the way music is consumed and monetized, and I’ve had the pleasure of making music with artists from all over the world. And of all the hyper-talented people I’ve met, there’s always been one that stands out from the rest. 

His name is Elaquent.

Elaquent and I first connected on Myspace back in 2006, swapping beats and recording techniques here and there via direct messaging. And though we’ve only met in person once or twice, we’ve maintained a 15-year-long conversation of messages, links, and emojis across various social platforms.

Elaquent has honed his craft with fierce independence and determination, all while using live performance to build a credible fan base throughout Europe, Asia, the United States, and at home in Canada. Now signed with the infamous Mello Music Group, it seems the industry is finally starting to catch up and take note of his unique offering as an alternative (and reliable) music producer.

I messaged Elaquent to see if he’d be interested in a Q&A style interview, and he very graciously accepted. If you’d like to hear some of Elaquent’s music, I highly recommend listening to The Midnight After and taking it from there.

Do you remember one of the first albums or songs that made you want to make beats?

When I first heard The World is Yours by Nas, that was one of the first times I remember being captivated especially by the beat as opposed to the lyrics. I was like 5, I didn’t understand the scope of the bars like I do now, but I had that piano sample stuck in my head for weeks, so that’s probably where the intrigue began. 

However, when I heard Common’s Like Water for Chocolate and specifically the nag champa joint, that was when I started googling how to make beats.

Looking back over the last decade of music, which digital platform has had the biggest impact on your growth? SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Spotify etc.

Probably Myspace, in that it was the first time I discovered an audience really existed for the type of music I wanted to do. In terms of growth, SoundCloud was pivotal, before they started pulling remixes and pushing ads. Not knocking them for it, but the dynamic changed a bit after that. 

Nowadays, Bandcamp has been my fav platform, as I’m still an old school guy and still buy music as opposed to streaming. 

What is one piece of music gear that you absolutely couldn’t live without?

Simply put, my laptop. I’m getting comfortable making beats on Maschine+ without a computer, but my bread and butter is FL Studio. Take away any midi controller or sampler or whatever, as long as I can run FL Studio, that’s all I need. If we don’t count that, then I’d probably say Novation Nanokeyboard, as it comes in handy when I’m away from home and need pads.

Who would win in a fight: Goku or Gohan?

Goku pretty easily.

If you didn’t produce music, what would you most likely be doing for work?

To be honest, I’m still trying to figure that out. Anything that involves art and the opportunity to help someone achieve their artistic dreams is something I would love to do.

In your experience, where do you feel upcoming artists/musicians miss the mark when it comes to building a fanbase?

I think the biggest mistake artists make is not understanding their audience. Marketing your sound to an audience who doesn’t understand or appreciate exactly what you do is counterproductive and something I had to learn the hard way early on.

Do you Google yourself?

Once in a blue moon. Usually after a release to see how far word of mouth has spread.

As someone who has built a global following through a steady release of high-quality music while travelling and performing live, where do you see the future of live music and touring post-pandemic?

I think things will return to the way things were. People are starved to enjoy shows like before and after a year plus of just live streams, I think there will be a boom in live shows… Provided Covid cases don’t suddenly skyrocket.

Out of all the venues you’ve performed at, do you have a favourite or most memorable?

Playing at Vision in Tokyo was really special, mostly because it checked off a bucket list goal.

Do you remember the last time you cried?

Probably a couple weeks ago in my car lol. Prior to that, it had been a while.

Let’s say you found a wormhole that allowed you to time travel and meet yourself from 10 years ago, what words of wisdom would you pass on?

“Start learning how to play bass, you’ll be a beast”

Over the years, was there ever a time when the “business” aspect of making music overwhelmed or affected your creative process as an artist? Any pivotal moments?

Many times lol. Once every couple of months actually. Monetizing what you do while being honest about the unconventional way you want to do it has kept me up many nights.

Pick a film: Batman Returns (1992) or The Dark Knight (2005)?

Dark Knight, easy. I should rewatch Batman Returns though, it’s been a while.

Do you have any mantras for music or just life in general? “Mind over matter” is a big one for me.

My only mantra is to colour outside the lines and to remember human beings aren’t perfect; therefore, neither is music.

How important is your artistic social circle to your overall creative health?

Social circle is critical. I get more inspired watching my good friends succeed and follow their dreams than seeing some of the big name guys you have no connection to, plus I can trust them to tell me the truth about any beat or idea.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Elijah-Blue Vieau is the Director of Digital Marketing at TIA. Outside of digital, he's an unknown multi-instrumentalist, dedicated hugger, and tree climber.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Elijah-Blue Vieau is the Director of Digital Marketing at TIA. Outside of digital, he's an unknown multi-instrumentalist, dedicated hugger, and tree climber.



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