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Very few artists are just as good at creating amazingly vivid and passionate scenes with their voices, as they are with their words—Elijah Blake, is one of the few. Standing a part from the manufactured acts produced by today’s entertainment industry, Elijah Blake is a refreshing dose of vocal and dancing ability, hit song writing talent, and personal conviction that icons are made of. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Palm Beach, Florida, Elijah was surrounded by talent. His mother and father were no strangers to music, being avid participants in church and his childhood friends all boasted either singing or dancing abilities beyond their years. “Everybody wanted to make it. Everybody wanted to be somebody special.” In an area riddled with crime, Elijah, with guidance from his mother, struggled to stay out of trouble. Soon, his talent would find him a way out of trouble and onto a stage. Seeing a great opportunity to keep her son on the right track, Elijah’s mother got him involved in church. It was here singing in the choir, that his talent was first discovered. “The choir director would sing something and expect me to sing it back. He took it up the scale to higher notes and I was able to stay with it. I didn’t even know what vocal range was at the time, but that day, I found out I had it.” Elijah continued singing in the choir, often doing solos and helping with arrangements. Singing wasn’t the only talent Elijah excelled at. Dancing became another way for him to not only express himself, but entertain. Elijah formed a group with a few friends from Palm Beach. Heavily focused on dancing, the group honed his choreography skills early on. Eventually, he made his way onto competitive stages across the city, impressing judges and crowds with his vocal, dancing and poetry performances. Elijah’s father noticed the determination he was putting into performing and after realizing he was serious, decided to help his son reach his dreams. An incredible piano player himself, Elijah’s father began practicing with him and producing songs for Elijah to sing. “My dad was like Matthew Knowles or Joe Jackson—he wanted me to be great just as bad as I did. Most kids played games and hung out after school… I practiced. He made sure of it.” All of that hard work paid off. In 2008, after recording several songs with his father and uploading them to Myspace, Elijah amassed an enormous fan following, drawn from across the world to listen to Elijah’s songs. Elijah began preparing his first project for sale independently and sold thousands of units. Later that year and thanks to Myspace, Elijah met Troy Taylor, the person responsible for the career of R&B superstar Trey Songz. Taylor recognized Elijah’s potential and not long after, Elijah was working on his music alongside Troy and Trey Songz, who began guiding and supporting him. “I never saw myself writing songs for other people, but one day Trey asked if I would mind writing a song to fit him. Initially, I was unsure, but once I heard the track I started humming melodies and coming up with words. That’s how ‘Jupiter Love’ came about.” This would prove to be just the beginning of Elijah’s songwriting for others. Before long, Elijah had worked with some of the industry’s biggest stars including Usher, Ciara, Kelly Rowland, Kanye West, Bono, Keyshia Cole Mary J. Blige, Nas and Alicia Keys. Gaining friends who are veterans in music is a perk of being a much sought after songwriter, and whose advice is more ‘veteran’ than Usher? “It’s crazy because he’s one of my influences and the fact that I’ve not only worked with him, but can call him a friend is amazing.” Soon after co-writing the song “Climax,” (which went on to be a #1 hit) Elijah sat down with Usher to talk about how he maintained longevity as an artist. It was during this conversation that Usher inspired to him to begin on his own music again. Elijah went into the studio in October of 2011 and finished a mixtape (still unreleased) that put him in meetings with the industry’s top record labels to discuss signing. With various deals being contemplated, there was only one thing he could do. “I prayed about it... Any major decision can become an easy one with prayer.” That prayer was answered just two months later by music producer and Def Jam VP, No I.D. who signed Elijah to a deal with Def Jam through his Artium imprint. “To know that the label supports me like it does is a blessing. At this stage in my career everything is coming together—I’m ready.” Elijah began working on his debut album in January of 2012, collaborating with hit producers No I.D., Salaam Remi, T-Minus, Diplo, Stargate, Fuego, Q-Tip, Don Cannon, Jerry Wonder, Pop & Oak, and the Fisticuffs. You can also look forward to some very impressive features with new music set to drop in the Summer of 2012. The album will release soon after. Elijah Blake discusses the project with enthusiasm. “Music is therapy. For me, doing a song is about leaving everything you have there in those 3 minutes. I have so much to say that I know people can relate to. We, as men, don’t always have to talk down to women or only speak about love in a prideful way. Guys have emotions too, we may be better at hiding it, but we do. If my music helps to start a conversation, then I’m happy.” With all the buzz surrounding Elijah Blake’s debut album, his music is sure to do more than just start conversation; Elijah Blake is poised to define a musical generation Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.