2020 was a trying year for many people. US artist Elijah Stone sat down with YMX to discuss how he coped during that first year of Covid and the effect it had on his growing music career. The artist recently released his deeply personal single ‘Nothing Left To Say’ which has been seeing some impressive stats. YMX is pleased to introduce you to this unique artist with a very frank and open conversation on his influences, mastering social media and why he will never quit music.
YMX: Hey Elijah Stone, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
Elijah: Hey! and thank you for letting me! The past year has had a LOT of really big ups and downs. COVID came just as I quit my job to focus on performing and making money that way, but my entire state shut down live music so it made it really hard to make an income. I’ve had a lot of huge self reflections and self discoveries over the past year though. That has definitely made life a lot easier and more enjoyable. Especially recently life has been actually really good! Met a lot of very inspirational people in the music scene who have helped me with my music a lot!
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
Elijah: When I was about 2 years old, my dad played guitar and sang for our church and I was always super interested and drawn to music. My mom would tell me that I would crawl into their room and try to figure out the guitar when no one was around. They put me into guitar lessons when I was about 8 years old and something about it all just felt right. Later down the road my family started getting a little shakier and times weren’t the best, I remember in those moments where my family would fight that I would sit in my room or in the car and escape through music. At about 13 years old I realized, THAT is what I want to do. If I can be the escape for someone else in some way, then thats all I want. So in making music I can let people feel less alone with the things I sing about, Just in the same way jack johnson, john mayer, and other artists like them would make me feel. To me that is my real main goal and the reason I will never quit.
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
Elijah: John vincent III; He inspires me so much in his writing, though his songs seem so raw, They pack so much feeling and can instantly fill you with an emotion. Thats a powerful and talented skill. Something I desperately try to study from him. Lewis Del Mar: MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND. Their writing and composition and emotion in their song is something else. The way they can sing about feelings and emotions and situations in such an abstract way all while making you feel like you can do anything, Making you want to dance like an idiot at 3 am in the middle of the street. I love it. I think I’m just mainly inspired by artists when they can easily instill an emotion or a feeling without having to outright say it. Jon Bellion: He’s a little different from what I make, But I’ve followed him for about 5 years now. And I will always completely admire this guy. He has always made whatever the hell he wants first, before ever caring what other people think. Being able to see his transformation over the years throughout his albums has been so insane. I’ve even met a lot of his friends/crew. Some of the most talented and hardworking people, I cant help but be insanely inspired by him and ESPECIALLY being able to see how he made his songs through his “In the making of” series. A phenomenal artist.
YMX: You recently released your new single ‘Nothing Left To Say’. Can you tell us how that project came about?
Elijah: Yeah So I wrote “Nothing Left To Say” about leaving a toxic relationship but at the same time not wanting it to be over. I used to be in a relationship with this girl which ended very badly and became very toxic, but she was my first love. I struggled really hard trying to be over everything and move on. To this day it haunts me a little. Though I’ve very much moved on and am doing so much better – I was at a time in my life where I was struggling with depression, which is something I’ve battled for a very long time. I went to try and write about those feelings. For some odd reason, as I was trying to write about feeling stuck and lonely, she popped into my head, and quite frankly I was really tired of writing about her. So this song is the last thing I’ll ever write about her.
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
Elijah: I was making decent money with my work, doing photography, playing gigs and more. I quit my job to focus on my music for a little and thats when everything happened. It was really tough because for a little while I couldn’t afford to be in the studio at all. So I couldnt record anything new for MONTHS. I eventually started being able to trade photography sessions for studio time so that helped. But for almost all of 2020 I couldn’t work on music at ALL like I wanted to.
YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
Elijah: I would LOVE to. I used to be a twitch streamer actually. I mainly played video games with occasional musics streams but it got very hard to work on music and spend hours playing video games even if I was making money from it. I’ve tried to get into doing music online, whether its tiktok, instagram live, or twitch. But honestly theres not a big market for small artists to play livestream shows.
YMX: Since the pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
Elijah: It’s MAJORLY important. It’s been the only thing I can even do. I still don’t know a LOT. But I have realized that the facebook AD manager is a GREAT tool for artists and musicans who want to get real fans. I highly suggest learning it in great detail for yourself. That and I mean if you can use tiktok or other social medias to gather a following then DONT STOP MAKING CONTENT. With the online world people get distracted very easily. So if you can always be in their face, they will have no choice but eventually to check you out.