We had a chat with Rotterdam-based artist Elijah Waters about all things lifestyle and music. We discussed favourite artists, major influences as well as dream goals/projects and collaborations. Read more below:
How did your relationship with music begin?
Music was always around my house growing up. My dad had a big CD collection and I’d go through it for days on end. Nobody ever really played instruments in my family so making music was not really a logical step.
Where did you grow up and how has that influenced your life at all?
I grew up in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The city taught me a lot. Rotterdam is very diverse and there’s a lot of room to do your own thing and come up how you want to come up. You don’t need many favours or to join certain groups to get what you are looking for.
How and where did you start your career?
I met most of my friends at the West-Blaak skatepark in Rotterdam. We started a group called the “Green Cabin”. They taught me a lot about life and music. They gave me the perfect foundation to start producing and recording in my moms attic.
Who were your main influences growing up?
Mark Gonzales is really one of my only idols. The way he approaches art & skateboarding and how he combines the two is very inspiring.
He’s the perfect example of a star for me.
How would you best describe your musical style?
It’s hard to say. I got into music to escape descriptions. I can say it’s pure and from a deep place but formed into something more tangible.
Any other artists you listen to regularly?
I’m listening to a lot of CDs so I don’t feel watched by Spotify Wrapped. Recently I bought Carter 4, Kid A, Baduizm, Channel Orange and What’s Going On?
Also honourable mentions to PartyNextDoor, Prince and Otis Redding.
Please take us through your creative process
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m comfortable, I like big clothes usually. Most of what I like came from whatever skate video I was watching back in the days when I was more mouldable.
How has your year been so far?
It’s been really nice actually. I got an apartment, and musically I’m in a really good place. With everything going on I mostly find peace in the smaller things.
What's the biggest problem you've had to overcome so far?
Apart from events that happened it’s mostly channeling my own thoughts. I’m still learning.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
There’s a lot that’s wrong with how things work nationally and internationally. It mostly comes down to how people move when it’s about money. A lot of people get taken advantage of by people with more money and more power because they want to be something.
It’s hard to change that because it’s so deep rooted. I just wish raw talent was not taken advantage of as much as it is.
What is your dream goal/project?
To be happy and rich at the same time. I want to be able to give back to the people and places that shaped me. I’m not afraid to dream big and I believe everything I put my mind to is possible.
How did you get linked with Patta?
Patta always had a hand in dutch youth culture through different outlets. So it was always there.
I met my friend Max last year through a job we had for Levi’s. He’s been working at the Patta office in Amsterdam for a while.
What's your day-to-day life like?
I try finding routine but it’s always different. Most of the days I’m in the studio. Some days I’m on my skateboard.
I got into cooking as well since I got a new place.
What's your favourite part about being an artist? Least favourite?
My favourite part is being able to be more free than I ever was at school or at a job. The least favourite part is that sometimes you realise that’s not entirely true and there’s a lot of bending and conforming to do.
Do you collaborate with others? What's that process like?
I love to. The work is faster because i get less stuck in abstract idea’s. It’s more action.
Also my biggest inspirations are usually the people close to me.
What was your style like growing up?
I had long hair growing up with a huge hat on it and like a varsity jacket and any pants i could find. Under that some big skate shoes that were torn apart. I was really feeling it.
Do you have any upcoming projects? What’s next for you?
I’m always working on new music. It’s always exploring new sounds and possibilities. I’m releasing a single called Lose Control on the 8th of July. It’s the first single of my next project which is called Arranged Escape.
I feel like with this project I really found more structure and intention. I became a better singer, writer and producer. Which is all i really want for myself, to grow.