Rapper/singer ELHAE is bringing the rhythm and blues back to Atlanta. The North Dakota-born artist (and eventual Georgia transplant) -- whose moniker serves as an acronym of "Every Life Has An Ending," a phrase he wrote as part of a free verse in high school -- weaves church-bred soul with unfiltered bars while pouring his heart on wax.
Raised in a spiritual household, the singer joined his mother's choir while his military dad put him on to The Isley Brothers and The Police as well as gospel notable Kirk Franklin. He eventually gravitated to the sounds of Roc-A-Fella era Jay Z and other New York-based acts like Talib Kweli and Mos Def before getting into the South a la T.I. The 22-year-old blended his diverse influences into projects like 2014's Her: Arks Fal and 2015's Aura (inspired by a breakup with his then-girlfriend of two years that finds him channeling a mix of Drake and Usher). Both offerings illustrate his Rap&B duality -- channeling Usher on "Situations" and Michael Jackson with groovy sixteens on "Halfway."
ELHAE (born Jamaal Jones) recalls how it wasn't always trendy in his school to pursue singing. "People looked at singers as church boys and no one wanted to be called a church boy back then so I geared towards rapping," the 22-year-old said. His best friend in high school also introduced him to the art of recording music at a time when YouTube fame wasn't a livelihood. He recalls, "Just hearing my voice through speakers was a golden moment for me."