Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Elijah Rock, who discusses his new single, All I Need is The Girl, as well as his goals for 2021.
About Elijah Rock:
The finer points of romance are a too often overlooked art…but with triple threat singer/dancer/actor Elijah Rock around, they are ever in bloom and on the rebound. Returning to the scene with his eagerly anticipated sophomore album, Matters of The Heart (due August 13), Rock slides back into the spotlight ever so smoothly with his tastefully swingin’ rendition of “All I Need is the Girl” – a gentleman’s classic from the 1959 Broadway show “Gypsy” (Words by Jule Styne, Music by Stephen Sondheim). It’s the perfect song to spring into summer as America opens back up from 15 months of uncertainty into a reviviscence of hope eternal…and a flinty rekindling for mingling.
Attentively produced by Suzi Reynolds and the music arranged by stalwart pianist Uli Geissendoerfer, “All I Need is The Girl” additionally features Las Vegas A- listers Steve Flora on bass and Ryan Rose on drums – all in crisp service of Rock. The singer embodies the ardent protagonist of the song as if he were custom tailored for love’s blissful success. The sound mix by Bran Chirlo and the warm final mastering by Alan Silverman render the listener to feel as if they are 5th row center smack dab in the cabaret!
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Elijah Rock: I started singing in an Urban Mennonite Church when I was around 7 years old. I also attended an all boys school in Cleveland, OH where the teachers noticed I had a natural voice and encouraged me to sing.
Review Fix: How did this album come to be?
Rock: While in Thailand filming a music video, I was going through a breakup and wrote the title song of my album, “Matters of The Heart.” That led to selecting songs for the album that speak to love, loss and the hope of love again.
Review Fix: What’s your guilty pleasure track on it? One someone might skip but you love?
Rock: The Good Life.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Rock: When I am writing an original song, the melody usually comes to me and I sing it into my cellphone so I don’t lose it. Then I’ll tweak it until I feel comfortable singing it to my arranger whom I will collaborate with to add chords for an arrangement. If all goes well, I will play the arrangement with the band and in a LIVE performance to see how it goes over with the audience. When it comes to singing the Standards, I usually learn the melody from the original sheet music. Then I listen to as many different versions of the song I can find. Out of that, my own sound and interpretation will emerge.
Review Fix: Did it change for this album?
Rock: On this album I learned how to swing even more, meaning I was more free to sing between the notes and focus on storytelling. Suzi Reynolds my producer said profoundly, “You have an incredible vocal instrument and you don’t have to worry about how good you sound like the way one does in classical singing. Focus on storytelling and singing from the heart, even if that means moments of fragility and imperfection.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Rock: I am inspired by creativity and discovery. I am a perpetual learner with intense curiosity.
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Rock: Music is Life to me.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Rock: I am a hybrid of an Arthur Prysock meets Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. with some Joe Williams on top. Essentially, a classic crooner with some hot sauce added to the mix.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Rock: I consider myself to be an entertainer cut from the guild of the entertainers from the American Songbook era of the 1920’s-1950’s. I put on a show when performing live. In studio, I like to dim the lights so that I can become intimate with the microphone and pour my heart out.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Rock: “All I Need is The Girl” was inspired by being single and dating. I love a great boy meets girl storyline.
Review Fix: You worked with some amazing people on this album. What was that like?
Rock: Yes, indeed. First of all, Suzi Reynolds is an amazing producer and understood where I needed to grow as an Artist. So many great Artists played on this album from pianist- Uli Geissendoerfer, pianist- Kevin Toney, Bassist- John B. Williams to Percusionist- Pepe Jimenez just to name a few. I was so humbled to have such great musicians around me.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2021?
Rock: My goal for 2021 is be be nominated for a Grammy and take a seat at the table of African American Pop Traditional Artists carrying the torch of our rich musical legacy. We are currently underrepresented in this genre in particular.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Rock: Next is touring the world! It’s been a tough year with the pandemic lockdown and people are ready to experience LIVE music again.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Rock: Life is delicious and I’m also excited to share my book and audiobook “The Fine Art of Romance” to those needing some encouragement in the current climate of dating. My experience singing Love songs for a living offers a unique insight into this subject matter.