EliasKwola Exclusive Interview! Skip to main content

EliasKwola Exclusive Interview!

 




Could you tell us what it's like being from Beaver Pennsylvania

Beaver is a small and quiet town.  I have not lived here my whole life but long enough now to call it home.  I am very blessed to be here.  Beaver is located about half an hour northwest of Pittsburgh.  


Having the city so close is great because there are so many different cultures represented in Pittsburgh.  The Strip District is one of the coolest places in the city.  You can find stores representing cultures from all over the world, great restaurants, wineries and breweries, cafes, fresh fish/meat markets, Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania themed stores, and the Heinz History Center which talks about the history of western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.  


I go there as often as I can not only to get grape leaves imported from Greece at Stamoolis and to visit Salem's Halal Market and Grill to get lamb curry, but also just for the experience.  That part of the city feels alive.  I love being there.  


I am very proud to say I come from Pittsburgh.


Can you tell us about your latest project?


My latest project, Frostbyte, is something I wrote in August 2020 when I got COVID.  This track has an interesting story because I recorded it two separate times.  I wanted to make a beat based off of the level "Ice Cap Zone" from Sonic 3 because I always loved the music that accompanied it.  I finished the beat in a couple hours and then waited until later to start recording it.  


During the first round of recording, I was on a bunch of steroids trying to fight off COVID and wasn't thinking well about the recording process.  It felt rushed, but I still sent it to a few people for their feedback.  One of them was my good friend and artist, Jaløn Tyler.  He said he liked the rap and the beat separately, but not together.  With Jaløn’s input, the new Frostbyte beat was born and it leveled up so much more than I ever imagined.  


At this point, I decided to wait until winter to release this record because of the ice theme in the music, lyrics, and cover art.  Through this project I found that waiting for the right time to release something is so important.  If I were to release Frostbyte in August, it would've seemed out of place and it wouldn't have been the quality I was looking for.  


One of the other reasons the timing and quality was better is I became a part of the producer/artist group founded by Ill Melley, Flood Season.  They have become a huge part of my artistic endeavours.  So a huge shout-out to Melley and Sorrow for helping me with the engineering side of things! I have learned that people who love you and support you have your best interest in mind.  Listen to them if they honestly say something doesn't sound as good as it should or if it doesn't fit together.  It may hurt a little bit at first, but it's for your own good and growth!


If music was not your only thing, what else would you see yourselves doing?


I've thought about this question a lot and honestly I'm not sure what else I would do except make music.  Music makes sense to me.  I understand it.  I've listened to every genre my whole life from rap to classical music and I love every single one.  For the longest time I stuck myself into the classical music bubble.  I majored in bassoon and clarinet at Youngstown State University.  I had an absolutely amazing experience and met so many lifelong friends. 


Overtime, I felt my creativity being sapped only by playing what was on the stand and not writing as much.  I always loved writing music.  During my time at YSU, I only told two people that I wanted to be an artist and they were Dr. Stephen Gage and my very good friend Emma Donkin, both of whom are great musicians and composers.  I didn’t tell any other people because I was embarrassed to mention it to anyone else.  Ultimately, I decided to stay in school and finish my degree. 


I found myself listening to music I enjoyed and only listening to the classical pieces I was playing to better learn it.  One day I decided I could do this myself.  I can create something that I like to listen to and perform as well!  I guess I got sick of playing other people's music.  Especially of people who aren't alive!  I want to be in the present and look to the future creating something special and different.  So the answer is no, I cannot see myself doing anything else other than music.


Can you give us a description of your song, "Frostbite"?


My latest project, Frostbyte, is something I wrote in August 2020 when I got COVID.  This track has an interesting story because I recorded it two separate times.  I wanted to make a beat based off of the level "Ice Cap Zone" from Sonic 3 because I always loved the music that accompanied it.  I finished the beat in a couple hours and then waited until later to start recording it.  


During the first round of recording, I was on a bunch of steroids trying to fight off COVID and wasn't thinking well about the recording process.  It felt rushed, but I still sent it to a few people for their feedback.  One of them was my good friend and artist, Jaløn Tyler.  He said he liked the rap and the beat separately, but not together.  With Jaløn’s input, the new Frostbyte beat was born and it leveled up so much more than I ever imagined.  


At this point, I decided to wait until winter to release this record because of the ice theme in the music, lyrics, and cover art.  Through this project I found that waiting for the right time to release something is so important.  If I were to release Frostbyte in August, it would've seemed out of place and it wouldn't have been the quality I was looking for.  


One of the other reasons the timing and quality was better is I became a part of the producer/artist group founded by Ill Melley, Flood Season.  They have become a huge part of my artistic endeavours.  So a huge shout-out to Melley and Sorrow for helping me with the engineering side of things! I have learned that people who love you and support you have your best interest in mind.  Listen to them if they honestly say something doesn't sound as good as it should or if it doesn't fit together.  It may hurt a little bit at first, but it's for your own good and growth!


Are there any other projects you have in the works?


Yes I have three other projects I'm working on all of which I am really excited about.  Kwola King (I don't play around), Love Is Slow, and Honey Bee.  


I'm working with producer Jboi from Youngstown, Ohio on Kwola King.  This Collab is very special for me because I went to Youngstown State University for both of my degrees.  The city of Youngstown may be small but the people there are great.  I always felt comfortable there and made so many life long friends.  Jboi is a great engineer and producer so I am super pumped about "Kwola King" releasing and that connection with Youngstown Ohio makes it all the better.  Kwola King features one of my alter egos, Kwola King, who is the leader of his kwola tribe.  He is sure of himself and doesn't give into any hate.  He is a boss and doesn't take no for an answer.  You don't mess with him.  The song is a play on words about how Kwola King don't play around... when in reality I play around with the wordplay, flow, and beat.  Also, I'm playing as Kwola King saying I don't play around all the while letting people know I am serious about what I'm doing.  The song is kind of a paradox.  


Love Is Slow is a project that should release in March in collaboration with producer lost.mindd, a producer from Sweden!  She is a super talented musician.  This song is much more vulnerable.  It's about how I go slow with love because I am always unsure how the other person feels.  Does she feel the same way I do?  Am I rushing things? Does she want me to do this or not?  These recurring thoughts always happen to me in every relationship I've had.  Everything I've ever done with music always made sense to me but when it comes to love, I have no idea what I'm doing.  That's what this song is about.  The cover art will have a cartoon drawing of me walking in a dark city in the distance.  I will have the Kwola King logo on the back of my shirt to show that even though I'm exposing myself, I'm still going to be strong and keep moving forward. 


Honey Bee, planned to release in April, is in collaboration with producer VicTheMonster from Florida.  I just met him but I instantly loved his beats.  He likes to experiment with different sounds and vibes.  When I heard this beat, I instantly started writing to it.  So far, I think it's my favorite song I've written.  This song features my alter egos, Tigris and Bee Major, a pair of best friends that stick by each other through everything.  Tigris is a very powerful tiger but was born blind.  Bee Major helps him and leads the way by the loud buzzing.  Tigris, in return, protects Bee Major from getting attacked by anyone.  They have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship.  The song talks about a different kind of love.  A genuine love between two people based on their needs whether it be emotionally, spiritually, physically, or all of the above.


With having multiple voices for personas, are there any of them that is a favorite to you? 


My favorite voice to perform right now is Tigris'.  You will hear it on Honey Bee.  He has a nice lower tone, but unlike Kwola King, he is a lot smoother.  He also likes to talk a little higher sometimes in a more nasal tone which happens to be my favorite sound so far.  I like how it captures the listeners attention.  Whether they hate it or love it, they notice it.  But honestly, my voice changes often because it also depends on what mood I'm in.  If I'm feeling kind of psycho, I'll pull out Rooster Ben just like you heard on Frostbyte!  It just depends on the feeling of the song.


I like hip hop many other genre’s!  If you could make changes to the music industry what would it be and why?



The only change I would make to the music industry is the type of music that "blows up".  It's usually always about the same themes; sex, drugs, partying etc.  While I respect the art and the work behind these songs and a songwriter may choose to write about whatever he or she wants, I wish that other topics were played more often.  


On a rare occasion, I'll hear a song on the radio and think "Oh that was different".  I want every song I hear to be different.  We need to normalize unique music made by independent artists or even signed artists playing on the main stream radio.  Radio stations should branch out and look for more variation in the music played.


CHECK OUT HIS MUSIC AND FOLLOW HIM ON SOCIAL MEDIA



Comments