Unarguably one of the best hip hop artistes in Ghana, Elom Adablah, a.k.a EL, is an award winning talented rapper and one of best sound engineers and record producers, with his signature tune ”This is crazy Charlie!” heard on most of the hit tracks.
A graduate of Economics and Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon, El, who was rumoured to be in a romantic relationship with star actress Yvonne Nelson, spoke with Encomium Weekly on what he knows how to do best, which is music and his relationship with the star actress, who also premiered her movie, If tomorrow never comes, recently in Nigeria.
Can you share your childhood experience and how you ended up doing music?
I grew up in Dansoman, it’s an estate in Accra. I lived with my parents and went to school in the same area. I was in the choir and later went to piano school and learnt how to play the piano and keyboard. I found myself just associating with my friends who are rappers, and down the line I was able to open my own studio, because after I graduated from the university I joined a rap group.
Was music your childhood ambition?
Oh no! I really didn’t have a solid ambition as a child. Sometime I wanted to be a lawyer or a pilot and stuff like that. When you are a child you dream a lot.
How has doing music affected your everyday life?
It’s a journey and I haven’t finished. It’s ongoing and has its own ups and downs. Sometimes, it’s very hard, because right here in Ghana, the music industry is very hard to crack. A lot of things are not in place, so sometimes it’s very hard, but you learn to adapt and come out successfully, make it a career and carve a niche for yourself. So, I and my team have been able to carve a niche for ourselves and we are doing pretty well.
Any international award yet?
No international award yet. I have won a lot of awards locally and I have been nominated for a few awards internationally.
Have you had any collaboration with any Nigerian artiste?
Yeah, I’ve been able to collaborate with some Nigerian artistes like Ice Prince, Banky.W and Phyno.
Have you been to Nigeria?
Yes, I have been to Nigeria for concerts, shows and all that. The reception was awesome. I am always happy when I go to Nigeria. Nigerians know my music and I think I have a large fan base also. But the reception has been encouraging.
Where do get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from many sources. As an artiste you have to be able to tap inspiration from different places. Whether from your friends or families or your experiences. You have to be able to know at what point you get inspired, but I tap from different sources.
Who are your role models?
I used to have lots of role models. Reggie Rockstone definitely, growing up he used to come by the house a lot, and I used to look up to him. Kendrick Lama is someone I would love to work with. Eminem too. I listen to a lot of his music as well as Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z.
What other things are you involved with aside music?
Running a record label, promoting the music as well. We also have an advertising agency where we promote and record radio jingles. I haven’t scored movie in a while, but for now it’s about recording music. I also produce music, I do mixing and mastering, and everything that has to do with music and studio. I have found a way to get myself involved in everything.
You are a graduate of Economics and Political Science. Do you have plans of going into politics?
No. I don’t think I would ever want to go into politics. I mean, the music industry is already political as it is. If am using the right term, it’s a very political environment, so in that term I would use a little knowledge I have in politics.
There was a gist about you and Yvonne Nelson being romantically involved. How true is that?
Oh! Yvonne and I are friends. We went to the same school, Martin De Porres together. I think she was my junior; she was my younger sister’s friend. I think she was within my younger sister’s age group. We were friends and used to walk home from school together with my younger sister. That was some years ago.
I can imagine you guys in your uniforms then?
Oh! You don’t want to imagine (laughs). I didn’t even know I was going to be a rapper and be in the spot light. We were just going to school as normal kids did. And we didn’t speak much after that, because I moved from Dansoman to Spintex, changed schools and we lost touch. Until we started seeing each other on TV. But we are good friends.
But there is a possibility of you guys getting together in future.
Hahahaha…you never can tell (laughs).
Why are you not playing basketball since you were tall?
I was playing basketball, got injured and I stopped. But think about it, I’m not going to be playing in the NBA. I mean, I didn’t go to school in America. I’m not going to move from Ghana to America to play in the NBA(laughs). Let’s be realistic here, there was no way I was going to make it a career, I was just having fun. I’m not the tallest person in America. When I walk the street of New-York I’m just a regular height guy, not even close to the tallest person. I’m taller than most people, but my height is very normal.
What are the things you miss from your everyday life now that are you in the spot light?
Privacy. It’s just privacy, everything else is cool.
What is your take on Ghanaian dancehall artiste, Stonebowy who won Best African International Act and didn’t seem to go down well with some Nigerian artistes?
Everybody has an opinion. They are allowed to share their opinion and if they think they deserve it, I can’t fault them for thinking that way. But congratulations to Stonebowy, he won it. Whether he deserves it or not, that’s not for anybody to say. He has the award, he won it.
Do you have any advice for up and coming artistes?
Work hard. Carve your own path. Don’t listen to any negativity, it only brings down your vibes. Do what is best for you, keep doing it and just work hard.
Are you in a relationship?
Nope. I don’t want to go into that now, no particular reason. It just hasn’t happened yet.
So, who is your ideal woman? Someone you feel you can take home to mama?
Exactly, somebody who can be taken home. Definitely, I am not going to take a rude person home, so it’s just the general stuff.
– ADEBUKOLA ADENEYE- EDAH