KINGDREWLOVE: First things first, introduce yourself to the streets. Name, age, city you rep?
ELREY: Haha, absolutely. I go by the name ELREY. I’m a 24 year old cat from Detroit, Brightmoor to be exact. Shout out to Detroit one time!
KINGDREWLOVE: I don’t know if you knew this but I’m a “Brightmoor Betta Moor” native myself! I basically grew up on Fenkell, from Fenkell and Evergeen, Fenkell and Meyers, to Fenkell and Wyoming.
Your name ELREY… Where did that come from?
ELREY: Well, it goes back to high school when all the people that used to make music conglomerated afterwards and started spitting. Everyone had their own style and way of expression. Throughout that time I felt like I truly started to understand my purpose in music. I felt as if I was the king of my craft. I still do til this day and I always will. “El’ Rey” is Spanish for the king.. I’m a black king. The title just goes perfect with the style; mysterious yet if you know, straight to the point. Much like my music.
KINGDREWLOVE: We’re all kings; that’s one thing I want every black man in America to know. We don’t come from slave ships; we come from Queens and Kings! I’m glad you know that.
Where, when, how did you begin this musical journey? What sparked that fire for you to pursue a rap career?
ELREY: Music runs through my blood. Every single male cousin of mine is involved heavily in music. All of our fathers have their different aspects’ of the art also. I was brought up on mostly Motown-like soulful music that moved messages of greatness and forthcoming prosperity in every aspect.
KINGDREWLOVE: Motown created powerful music.! Little ol Detroit was all over the world…
What’s been the most challenging part of this journey for you?
ELREY: The hardest thing about trying to push music like mine especially, is just trying to make the people that aren’t fully awake understand what’s actually being said to them. In turn that makes it harder for them to want to continue listening. So to compromise there has to be some sort of balance. Sometimes the scales are just way too off and people start to fade off due to misunderstanding- but later finding out that it was something they’ve experienced on the daily and hadn’t realized it .
KINGDREWLOVE: Finding that balance, and wondering if people will “get it” is something a lot of the greats have spoken about publically; Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill are just a couple that come to my mind.
On March 18th, a special day for you, you dropped your debut music video for The Unknown. I love the visual! Tell us about the concept and what March 18th means to you?
ELREY: 18th is my fathers birthday, I wanted to drop a video on that date specifically to try and give my pops an update on my life for a birthday present, and it came in the form of a music video. There was really no scripted concept of any sort behind this video actually. My girlfriend and I decided to just soot clips one day just to practice.. and it turned into an actual project.
KINGDREWLOVE: Can we expect more visuals from you soon? Or an EP? Tell us what you’re working on right now.
ELREY: Absolutely. I’m gonna continue to further my knowledge of pretty much everything I’m learning to truly hone my craft so I can take the brand to another level yet still have as minimal outsourcing as possible, kinda like Prince haha… As of right now I’m finalizing cLOUDz and all relating priorities. Definitely expect more from ELREY around the board.
KINGDREWLOVE: A lot of Detroit rappers serve us that typical Detroit rap style and sound, but when I listen to you it reminds me of straight classic Hip-Hop! No gimmicks, just rap. How do you keep away from following the trends while still trying to pop in the game?
ELREY: I just stay true to myself man honestly. I was brought up in a very musical home surround by very melodic individuals. I always listen to a blend of the new and the old but I just love how classic vibes make me feel. Reminds me of home.
KINGDREWLOVE: Keep making music that YOU love and you will always be proud of the art.
Chance the Rapper made it big going the indie route. Is that your plan or are you pursing a major deal? What is the vision for your future?
ELREY: My main goal is to make it independent. Due to the fact that I’ve seen too many labels make artist fail due to lack of creative control. I’m a very creative individual. I need to express my ideas the way I see them you know.. but if Shady calls…
KINGDREWLOVE: Shady might be the one to give you the deal with complete creative control!
Speaking of, who’s your biggest inspirations in music?
ELREY: Hmmm I have a lot but I’ll name a few. Gil Scott heron, Lupe, Sade, Tribe, Em, Nas, Az, Petey P.I., just to name a few
KINGDREWLOVE: That’s a little more than a few but we’ll take it! Everyone needs to listen to that new Tribe album by the way!
If you could collaborate with any artist right now from any genre, alive or dead, who would it be and what would the record be about?
ELREY: Damn that’s a good one. I’d definitely want Ab-Soul on something, and Royce Da 59 as well. Just for now at least. I need to have some singers on more tracks honestly, cuz I’m a little rusty haha…
KINGDREWLOVE: I’ve been to your shows. You always exude energy while finding a way to engage the audience and bring them into your performance zone. I think that makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone. People need to see you. What shows are up next for you?
ELREY: There are a few up in the air for April and May. But for sure June 13 I’ll be at the TV Lounge in Detroit Opening for Greggo.
KINGDREWLOVE: 5th & Pratt will be in attendance!
OK before we let you go, what’s one thing you want the world to know about ELREY?
ELREY: I’m here, and I’m ready as
KINGDREWLOVE: Me and you go back like 7-8 years. I’ve watched the glow up into who you stand as today. I say to you congratulations on everything and keep pushing! I believe God gives us our purpose so with that faith, I can say your dreams are already true; it’s just a matter of time! Tell momma I send my love! Thank you again for your time. It is appreciated! Where can the people find you? Give us your social media!
ELREY: My homie. I appreciate the love, and I expect us to be in very amazing places very soon. Check out my website: https://elrey313.wordpress.com Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @El_Rey313