How did you come by your stage name?
I can’t take credit for my name. My mother came up with the name EL-JAY. Which I loved and stuck with me. El is my nickname since I was a child. My first name Is Elliot.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I discovered my love for the craft after my first performance. The crowd really gravitated towards me and I haven’t looked back since. I use to record as a kid when I was eight with my pops Rome. He’s a double platinum R&B artist Rome – I belong To you.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I credit my sense of style to my pops, Michael Jackson, infused with Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
The concept of The Journey really just came about with everything that has happened to me in my life. I have been in the music industry for 13 years. It’s the most difficult industry there is and to make it. But I don’t regret anything. It has shaped and molded me into who I am today. With this project, I have grown and you can hear it in the music. Six-song Ep. EL-JAY just released his deluxe version of The Journey with some hot tracks!! It’s a must-listen to. Already over 50k streams for the project on Spotify. And has already hit #1 on iTunes. Producer Tru. P @truotp CEO of H1trecords has worked with the likes of Chris Brown, Onyx, Tee Flii, and Kurupt. This project The Journey Deluxe is very promising.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
My worth ethic I looked up to Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, and my pops Rome. Their hunger to get better was on another world. They weren’t in competition with anybody but themselves. They changed the world. I’m always working 24 hours a day, especially behind closed doors. My greatest challenge is not giving up. I have my dark days and when you feel you’re doing everything by yourself it gets discouraging, but God has always been by my side every step of the way.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
I believe I’m the best at what I do. Especially in the indie world. I have won 2 awards. Best Hip-hop/rap song of the year 2018 Hollywood Music Media award. I got my first billboard plaque earlier this year for my single Love Sick while I was on tour recording my EP The Journey. No indie artist is on my level and I say that with confidence not be cocky. It’s only me and my label Starz Music Group @starzmusicgrp that I own and created to help me and other struggling artists trying to find their way.
What are your plans for the near future?
I’m putting together a tour as we speak. The first tour date will be September 24th to kick off The Journey tour. Getting booked on commercials, Tv, and film. Working on my album with major collabs and taking my record label to the next level.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shoutouts?
I like to thank my manager Big C Style for holding me down and believing in me and seeing the big vision. Same to KingCali my road manager for jumping on the spaceship and not looking back. All my fans and supporters I appreciate you guys for supporting me and getting my EP The Journey number 1 on iTunes 3X the first week over Drake. And shoutout to my team Starz Music Group @starzmusicgrp , King Kali my road manager that beat cancer and is living his best life, and my manager Big C Style creator of Dog Pound DPG
How can fans find you?
You guys can find me on Instagram @therealeljay 4.1m.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Build a team, build a budget, and stay consistent that’s the key. Don’t look for handouts it doesn’t work that way in the music industry. Work hard and it will pay off.