The State Of Music: Part 5: Maryland - Kendall Elijah
Maryland. They make great cookies don't they? I imagine that is a joke that only works in England, and even then it is not a good joke. If there is anything this process has show you shown far, its my ignorance of many of the US states. The fact it took me some time to find Maryland on the map is my own self admission to my stupidity.
Fear not though, my hunt for Maryland facts on Twitter yielded the right results as well as adding some confusion into the mix. Is Washington DC in Maryland or not? Was it really the state which built the first school in the United States? I know not the answer to any of these - if you want answers, I'm afraid you have come to the wrong place.
What I do know about Maryland though, thanks to a new Choose My Music-ee by the name of @cpcollin on Twitter is this:
1) Billie Holiday grew up in Baltimore 2) REM's 'Don't go back to Rockville' is in reference to the town in Maryland 3) Maryland's state song is to the same tune as O Christmas Tree. - Now this is an ACE fact! Indeed, hear it here - the song also contains the rather very funny line 'She Spurns The Northern Scum'. This song could essentially be London's national anthem too.
Anyway, on with the music.
I already discussed in Part 3 (West Virginia) about my love for great hip hop, and my offering from the Old Line State demonstrates that even further with a free EP by a guy known as Kendall Elijah.
Kendall Elijah reminded me a little of of Busdriver. The beats he uses are innovative and unique while his flow is nicely paced and easily accessible. There is this amazing 'traditional' undertone that I cannot quite put my finger on, but lordy lordy, do I enjoy it.
Even if you are not a fan of hip hop I am sure you would enjoy this and it might even prompt you to delve deeper into a genre which offers so much more than the commercial breaks and beats which hold rap music back.
Put it this way - for free you really cannot go wrong. Download and enjoy folks.
As per usual in this series you'll find a short interview with Kendall below, so why not enjoy the Eli Dynamite EP at the same time.
CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who is Kendall Elijah and where in the world would we find you?
KE: Kendall Elijah is the biscuit & you'd currently find him somewhere in Hyattsville, Maryland for now.
CMM: When did you first start recording music? Were you involved in any music projects before deciding to go it alone?
KE:First started at 16. A few false starts here & there led me to do the majority of my stuff myself.
CMM: How best would you describe your music?
KE: Progressively vintage honesty.
CMM: What is the music scene like in Maryland right now?
KE: Blooming by the second. The scene's packaged together with DC & Virginia so there is a lot of talent brewing. Search Kool Klux Klan, now...please.
CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their location. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?
KE: My music is a manifestation whatever I am feeling at that particular time which means my surroundings become the beat.
CMM: What other influences do you feel you have, musical or otherwise?
KE:The sky. The Beatles, Sinatra, Miles, Monk. Innovation. Hunter S. Thompson. Love.
CMM: Your Eli Dynamite EP was release on New York label Grunge Cake. How did that relationship come about?
KE: I found (GrungeCake owner) Yams, on Myspace & become infatuated with everything involved. Three years later, I signed to GrungeCake Records.
CMM: Do you often get out to play live much - where are your favourite places to play?
KE: More & more shows are appearing as the days pass but the Blast-O-Mat in Denver was the illest venue so far.
CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you musically?
KE: A proper super duper shiny re-release of Eli Dynamite, physically & digitally first. this will be followed by more ill jams.
CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?
KE: Grab the ep at http://kendallelijah.bandcamp.com before the shiny duper re-release. Say hello & be mellow with me here: @eliDYNAMITE or here: http://americanbiscuit.tumblr.com or here: http://www.facebook.com/kendallelijah.