Interview: Elliot Bless
Elliot Bless is a talented rap artist out of Queens who recently released his album "Today", a suitable title for the project as we are in the midst of summer, and there's no better time than now to listen to some dope music with the windows down in the car. Tracks like "Sweet Lady", "Not Today Satan" and "Vacation" would definitely fit on the official soundtrack of the summer if there was one to be created!
We connected with Elliot for an exclusive interview to discuss the "Today" album, find out what he enjoys and hates the most about being a rap artist in 2018 and much more. After reading our Q&A with Elliot, be sure to stream/download "Today" on Spotify, follow him on social media, and check out his website. You can also read our offical review of the album at Dopecausewesaid HERE.
Congratulations on the release of your album "Today". You picked the perfect time to drop it because the whole album is fit for the summer season. What motivated you create the songs that would lead to this album?
Thank You! I created "Today" with the intention of providing a soundtrack for someone's day, that you could listen to everyday to match whatever mood you're in or trying to get in.
Additionally, I really wanted to put together a melting pot of sounds to pay homage to my mixed background, I'm Black and Puerto Rican. So, before we even started recording, I put together a creative brief & sat down with my producer [Lee] so that we could shape how we might be able to seamlessly mesh elements of different genres throughout the project.
Do you have a favorite song on the album? If so, what is it, and why?
Ahhhh that's tough, haha, since this is my first true body of music as "Elliot Bless" all of the records are special to me in different ways, but if I had to choose standout favorites it would probably have to be "Sweet Chick" and "Not Today Satan".
Sweet Chick is a narrative inspired by my girlfriend, who definitely put the battery in my back to focus on music again, and that beat is just ridiculous, Lee snapped on that joint! And "Not Today Satan" because the 3rd verse on there is my favorite verse on the project.
What do you enjoy most about being a rap artist in 2018? And on the other end of the spectrum, what is the most frustrating aspect of being a rap artist in 2018?
I enjoy the freedom that artists have in 2018, There are a lot more opportunities to release content direct to consumer and really build a brand out, and all of those entrepreneurial avenues are really exciting to me. I'm enjoying strategizing different moves.
At the same time, one of the most frustrating aspects of being a rap artist in 2018 is because there's so much freedom to create and release, the market is heavily oversaturated, but that's just a consequence of the internet haha, every market is saturated today, so I definitely can't complain.
When someone listens to a song like "Not Today Satan", for example, what do you want them to take away from the experience?
Firstly, I want them to leave the experience saying, "shit, he can rap" haha, and then I want listeners to leave the experience with a motivational anthem of sorts. The song has a triumphant feel from the chords and how the guitar drives, that really makes you feel like it doesn't matter what you encounter today, nothing can f**k with you.
That's the mission right there though, to provide listeners with something intangible they can carry with them every single day. Whether you're walking onto the court for a basketball game, or into a board meeting, "Not Today Satan" is Today's theme music.
If you had to choose three words to describe your music, which ones would you select?
Punchlines, Worldly, and Feel-Good
Were there songs that you recorded that didn't make the cut for the album? If so, will we ever get to hear them?
There was one song that we recorded that didn't make the cut. I really loved the concept, I just wasn't in love with my execution. It's likely that you'll get to hear something similar to it down the line.