The global hit sensation ‘Cola’ that took over the dance charts in 2018 earned Elderbrook in collaboration with CamelPhat a Grammy nomination for the Best Dance Recording for the contagious track. In addition to ‘Cola,’ Elderbrook released a new EP ‘Old Friend’ which features ‘Capricorn’ a song about “someone who reads a little too much into astrology.” Noctis brings you a video premiere of an acoustic version of ‘Capricorn’ that shows the electronic producer Elderbrook in a more stripped-back fashion.
Elderbrook began his musical career in 2015 with his first EP, but it was ‘Cola’ who made the British producer one of the most talked about names in dance music. ‘Cola’ is an anthem that circled the whole world from Ibiza to the United States, but the year did not finish there for Elderbrook. He released a new EP ‘Old Friend’ featuring four songs that only confirm the British producer is not a one hit wonder. Elderbrook also shares more behind-the-scenes on his music and future releases featuring artists like Diplo and Hayden James.
Artist names like Elderbrook always make one curious about the birth of the alias. Elderbrook shares his story: “The name came from watching a Reggie Watts show. At the time I had only just started to get into electronic music and needed a new name, an alias to go by in order to release the new music. While watching his show, there was a bit where he’d do an English accent and say a load of English sounding names. He said “ now introducing the lovely and talented lady Elderbrook,” and I thought that if I were called Elderbrook, Then I’d be able to sample that in one of my songs so I adopted the name and it stuck!”, he explains, but the song with a Reggie Watts sample is still pending.
The adoption of his new name only arose when he switched to electronic music. Elderbrook shares more on what led him to where he is today: “I started my musical journey in an indie band while I was at school with a couple of my friends. After doing that for a while, I started making acoustic music by myself. I wanted to learn how to record it and, in doing so, I taught myself a lot about music production, synths and creating drum beats. I kept on playing around with the electronic element until it became a hybrid of acoustic and electric (which is when I started using the name “Elderbrook”)”.
Even though electronic music may not be the go-to genre that evokes the most emotions, Elderbrook aims to bring some with his projects: “When I originally started the project I really wanted to put the emotion and to put the song after into electronic music. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for straight-up party music, but I wanted to combine real songs and emotion of the acoustic music I used to make into the electronic music world”.
It is always captivating to understand how producers function and how they put together songs that speak to masses. Elderbrook says the process of making a record comes in different forms: “It could be anything! I will often get a simple drum beat and some chords together and start singing gibberish until I work out what phonetics I want to use. Then I try and make the gibberish into a cohesive sentence which I then make a song around. I love working like that because I never know what the song is going to be about until I work out that one phrase. Then again, recently I’ve been thinking of lyrics and writing them down to then turn them into a song once I’m back in the studio. So really records can come together in a whole lot of different ways!”.
Speaking of Elderbrook’s creative methods, he depicts the story behind ‘Cola’ and the collaboration with CamelPhat: “This song came about because the DJ I wrote the song with were in London for a few days and we got in the studio together for a couple of hours. They played a bunch of instrumentals until the instrumental for what is now called cola came up. I sat down and tried to piece together a few words. I wanted to use the phrase Coca-Cola because I really loved how percussive the phonetics of the word were. After that, I came up with a story about someone that went on a night out, got a little bit too drunk and was refused entry to a club. Having been disallowed in, the bouncer of the club gives her a soft drink in order to try and help her sober up. The lady drinking it, however, thinks that it’s alcohol and carries on her night which is where the “she can’t tell the difference yet” line comes from.”
No one anticipated the series of events that unfolded following Elderbrook’s and Camelphat’s studio session that gave birth to ‘Cola.’ Unknowingly, the same studio session they coined their first Grammy nomination. One day while Elderbrook was on a stroll in London’s Camden with his manager, he received the call and casually said: “oh, we’ve just been nominated for a Grammy.”
As for everyone, the shock factor was skyrocketing: “I never in 1 million years expected that response to be what it was. For me and Camelphat it was just a cool record but never expected it to get radio play let alone anything else!”.
Before the end of last year, Elderbrook managed to put out his ‘Old Friend’ EP featuring four songs each with a story on its own. Elderbrook explains each song in one sentence: “They’re about a lot of different things. ‘Sleepwalking’ is about mankind, our effect on the world and our neglect for our actions. ‘Capricorn’ is the story of someone who reads a little too much into astrology. ‘Old Friend’ is about the bad habits that come back around when you spend time around certain people, and ‘Birdsong’ is a simple song about speaking up”, he sums up a project that represents Elderbrook to a T, fantastic electronic music with emotion.
Out of the EP, Elderbrook chose to combine his two passions, passion for electronic music and passion for acoustic music with piano and guitar: “I’m always playing instruments just for fun, and I thought I’d see if Old Friend worked. After having played it for a while I thought I’d like to film it, so
Currently doing live shows at SXSW, Elderbrook is also working on a new album with great collaborations in the works with Hayden James, with Diplo and more. As MTV established in 2018, Elderbrook is one to watch, and his take on electronic music with the just the right amount of emotion will tackle all dance charts.
You can still catch Elderbrook on the European leg of his tour, get your tickets here.
Karolina Kramplova |WRITER