BTD Artist Interview with Elihu Morris
Written by Matt Zin on August 21, 2022
BTD Artist Interview with Elihu Morris
So first the official greeting, welcome Elihu to BTD Radio. I like to ask people a very simple question first. Where are you from?
Well i am from Kingston Jamaica.
I was reading in your bio that your name is a biblical name, a man who always tells the truth. Whew! That’s got to be a hard one to live up to. LOL. I would hope that we all try to tell the truth as much as possible but ..you…. have to really live up to the standards. LOL Anyway… what an honor to have a biblical name!
I would like to touch basis with your Jamaican upbringing and music. If you could, share with our BTD listeners how that has made you who you are today.
My upbringing was that i was brought up in a humble Christian home with my Godparents and was very sheltered as a kid. Until i was 12yrs old. Then my folks migrated to the USA in search of a better life, then i was living with a guardian until i was 14yrs old. Then my life changed drastically, where the streets became my home and refuge. Which start a journey of knowledge for survival, while perusing my research and my passion for music. It became a hard task and very struggling because it was in the early 70s and rivalry was on the up rise with youths from all the ghetto communities. So, because of the two political parties JLP and PNP, the communities were divided, and that caused a lot of violence, among youths and gangs and lots of innocent life taken every day. So, i had to learn about survival skills and how to stay alive by just moving around day to day. But i was taught a lot about spirituality, morality, unity, and how God is love. And those lessons guide me through the shadows of Death and guide me through the Desolate places, even as evil confronted me and it build my faith stronger. Then i start hanging around older guys than i was, and they were musicians, singing groups, and many were perusing solo careers, and another place to hang out, which is the recording studios, and a lot of these guys were my idols. i would hear them on the radios, and see them performing on the television. So now all these people became my mentors, as time goes on, they become my umbrella that would keep me from getting in trouble, and as i was learning from them, And observe the contributions that they were making through their music and meaningful lyrics, that touches peoples lives worldwide. I capitalize on this experience in a very serious way because i know i had to make a significant impact with this style and through my songs, that would and is gonna make a difference in people’s life.
I love your Jamaican style. I have always had a thing for Jamaican music. The beats always sound happy. Your beats add a few twists to the Jamaican style. I like that, thinking outside the box. How did that come about that you were going to change the beat up a bit and make it your own?
Well, that whole idea came about due to the Journey and the evolution of the Brand. So here we are at a point where it was the time for changes for me and the team, to upgrade the brand name and the product, for a new direction, and to elevate the listenership. So, while we were in the studio working, we were trying to create a new sound, that would identify the brand as world reggae music. And so, thanks to Andrew Bassie Campbell the producer, who help to bring this vision to reality.
I like to throw weird questions into my interviews. So here goes. This girl is walking down the sidewalk and she is listening to some heavy metal rock. You have been put to the task of going up to her and telling her about your music. Your goal is to get her to want to rock your music. What would you say to her?
The first thing i would do is introduce myself, then start a conversation about the music she is listening to, then say” i would like to introduce you to Elihu Roots Rock Reggae and lovers Rock music, with hardcore drum and bass, fuse with rock and pop. Its music that speaks to your emotions mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s music to make you lay back and relax, inspirational, and motivational, it’s still music and at the same time, you can’t stay still. finger snapping, feet tapping, head bobbing, its music that can be easily relatable to people throughout the world, and the universe.
How did you get the nickname Prince of Lover’s Rock?
i got the nickname prince of lovers rock because i would always sing for my fans, and well-wishers love ballads, and that’s how i got the name.
I am digging your song “On Your Side of Town.” I read about this song in your bio but I will let you tell the story about this song in your own words.
i started writing this song around 88/89 but at that time i was looking for songs that could be singles, and so at the time, the song came over like a song, that could be an album song, instead of a single. So, it was not until 2017 or 2018 that we did a demo. The new Album and the producer choose it to be a single from the Demo, and it was completed, recorded mixed, and mastered in 2020 to be released as a single.
Does songwriting come naturally to you or do you have to think about it for a little while and then get into the flow of writing? What song of yours has been the easiest to write and why?
That’s a good question and it depends on the inspiration and how its conceived, because a song will come to me in many ways, sometimes inspiration will come through personal experience, it could be a topic, maybe just a melody, real-life events. And through all those experiences it can take a couple of hours, it can take a day, months, or years. but at the end of the day, art is what command any song to be written. and usually, I wait until, the inspiration keeps nagging at my brain, keeps coming to me until I can feel it, in my soul. if it’s not effective with that kind of vibe and energy i don’t pen it.(the easiest of my song to write and why) Those songs that i find easiest to write, i would say songs like(loving you girl, All To My Self, Work Hard, God Of Israel, Yahweh, Any Little Man) and the reason why it can be the vibes that you get from the studio or a track you have to write a song for, and the track tell you what to sing. or the inspiration for the lyrics just flow for the song naturally, it’s just art.
When did you start to write your own songs and when did you discover you had a voice to sing them?
i started writing my own songs at an early age of 12 while in school and practiced to train my voice at the same time, it was not easy but my passion for music kept me going, and i would eat sleep drink, and practice every day and night. Then every year i would analyze my progress until it became better. So, there was a friend of mine, who was already a recording artist, he used to visit me, and we would write together and rehearse together, he recorded one of my songs. Then years after he took me to a record producer, and i did my first recording at 16 yrs. old. and even though it never releases, it motivated me to try harder and work harder.
Ok, another strange question… what one thing can you tell our BTD Radio listeners about your music that you have never told in any other interview? You know….kind of like exclusive. Only here.
i wanna say to BTD listeners that my music is coming from a more sense of purpose, ever since the Evolution of my Journey. That makes me more passionate about my music, considering i got a second chance at life. When my bigger brother, friend, and producer York Woolcock/ from choice production label, may he Rest in Peace. Who made it his duty to fly from Miami to Boston to find me and patiently work with me to overcome my struggle with drug addiction, so i could get back in the studio and start writing and performing again. This happened in 1992 and since then, i have not looked back. Now every one of my songs is special to me.
Who were your musical influences and why?
Growing up i had so many musical influences, so it was the early 70s and it was the beginning of a new era, the reggae era, so we never had reggae playing on the radio yet, it was soul R&B that flooded the airwave. In the clubs on the Sound systems. So during that time, i was influenced by people like Jerry Butler, Billy Paul, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Candy Stacy, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, Chilites, Stylistics, Temptations, Lionel Richie, and the commodores. Then reggae starts to make its way and began to get popular and the influences in Jamaica for me were Bob Marley, Toots and Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Sir John Holt, Delroy Wilson, Nicky Thomas, Abasinians, The Heptones, Ken Booth, Alton Ellis, Third World Band, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaac, Marcia Griffits, Bob Andy, Leroy Smart and many more.
I see you have several other albums out there. Can you rattle off a few of them and the songs that are your favorite and why?
ok just to name a few albums, there is the compilation album Rocking Rock Riddim i like the Road To Recovery and it’s my favorite because that’s a song i felt a special connection to when i was writing it. and Forward Ever Dub Station album, my favorite song is Save The Day/ The Evolution Of Courtney Elihu Morris, and my favorite track is Never Be Ungrateful, i have a special connection to those creativity, because of how the inspiration came to me and the history behind the inspiration.
What do you see for the future for Elihu Morris? What are your goals and ambitions?
What I see for the future, is more life and good Health and Strength, to continue to make good music, and help the youths, who need my help.
And my goal and ambition are to be a humanitarian, through my Elihu Foundation, for people who are in need.
We are coming to a close and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with you and your musical journey. Where can our BTD Radio listeners find your music?
My music can be found on all leading available digital stores, like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, N1M .com, Deezer, Sound Cloud
just to name a few.