Elujay Crystalizes Two Years of Trial and Error on 'Circmvnt' [Q&A]
Photo: Khufu Najee
Elujay is a man of obvious talent, a vibration of personality resonating all his efforts, but on his latest album Circmvnt, it is evident that an impressive cohesion has occurred. As a debut album, it collects and coalesces his Trinidadian roots and his pandemic experiences of the past two years into a proper spiritual and soulful romp. With this release, Elujay unveils a sound, a narrative in a fashion that firmly ranks him as an innovator in a genre desperately wanting of that.
Needing to know more about this excellent body of work, we reached out to Elujay to dig into the world of Circmvnt and the artist behind it all.
Ones to Watch: Who is Elujay?
Elujay: Elujay is a black creative from Oakland, CA who just likes to create alternate universes for people to live in, in an auditory/visual sense. Someone that tries to push himself beyond, and discover new sounds and ways to create shit.
What is Circmvnt all about?
Circmvnt is about how the last two years have forced us to find alternative ways to navigate life. How the pandemic shone a brighter light on the ills of society.
The album seems to be a redux of prior themes and underpinnings, but has a new and diverse vibe? Is this your statement album?
No, I wouldn't say that it's my "statement album." It's just me telling my story, who I am, and what I went through the past two years, and a theme for the time. I think I have a lot more to give to the world.
You have excellent features, including HNXS and serpentwithfeet. How do you pick artists for co-writes and features?
Depends on whoever fits the vibe. I don't really have a specific criterion on who I would want on an album. It can be kinda random, because I don't set out to try to have a bunch of people featured, just when it makes sense and fits!
How has your prior work influenced this album, if at all?
I think everything we made for this album, we made it in a big context of trial and error. Everything leading to this point has allowed me to establish a process. Like sonics, how to sing on different rhythms, and how drum patterns are supposed to hit. I learned so much and was able to put it into practice.
Can we expect more of this style in the future, are you exploring more in your sound in general? Or was this a moment in time?
Yeah! There's definitely going to be certain things that will be continued from this project. I'm still going to keep exploring. I've learned that right now, I'm still in the stage of building my sound and establishing what people know me as. I never want to pigeon-hole myself, I just know I'm gonna continue giving people the vibe and building upon it
Besides this excellent album, what else should we be on the lookout for?
A deluxe! A fuckin deluxe. It's just gonna be fire, it's gonna be dope. It's going to be an extension of the album. Also working on an NFT project, I can't say the name quite yet, but definitely keep an eye out.
What's inspiring you right now outside of music?
Visual work right now is really inspiring me. I'm immersing myself in videos, movies and photography. Anything in those mediums.
Who are your Ones to Watch?
I'd say Topaz Jones is doing a good job with what he's doing, he's really good. Always admire Still Woozy, but I'm not sure if he's emerging since he's pretty established at this point. Those are two that are really standing out for me.