From Harvard University to Internationally Acclaimed Producer
Elephante – Exclusive Interview
By Kristine Kennedy
Tim Wu, better known to his fans as Elephante, is an American DJ and producer currently based in Los Angeles. Music has been a part of his world since he was a young child when he taught himself how to play the guitar and was then trained to play classical piano. Upon graduating from Harvard University, one would assume Wu would remain in the corporate field, but the power of music propelled him to follow his heart and fully dive into the world of music. We recently caught up with him to discuss his passion and get a glimpse of what’s in store for the future.
You’re a Harvard graduate. Talk to us about your decision to leave the corporate world to fully pursue your dream.
I’ve made my music my whole life, and always dreamed of being a musician. When I was working I was spending a lot of time on the side, nights and weekends, making music, and it got to the point where I was spending more time doing that than my actual job. At a certain point, I just couldn’t take it anymore – I knew that I’d always regret it if I didn’t give it a shot, and was basically like eh fuck it let’s see what happens.
Describe your inspiration for your new single that’s being released this week.
I worked with the amazing Deb’s Daughter on the song – I think the lyrics really capture this feeling that a lot of people have right now, where it seems like the world is out to get you. The song is about finding grace and joy in the face of that feeling, and somehow come out feeling okay that everything is going to be okay.
Walk us through the process you took to develop your EP, I Am the Elephante.
It was a collection of songs that I thought really represented me as an artist to that point. I had spent most of my career doing remixes, and it was important to me to sort of draw a line in the sand, and really put myself out there creatively as my own artist. It started with Closer, and I had a bunch of songs that weren’t out yet, and was like let’s build this out into a thing. Spent the next year and a half or so making a ton of songs, a bunch of which ended up getting cut. The last song to get done was Plans with Brandyn Burnette – we were really just making it as an album cut but then it turned into one of the biggest songs on the EP.
Who was most influential to your career development and why?
Probably my moms for making me take all those piano lessons when I was a kid haha. Other than that, John Mayer – he made me want to pick up a guitar in middle school. And Skrillex for inspiring me to make electronic music.
You have 24 hours outside of the music world. What will you be enjoying most?
My own bed, some BBQ, and a Game of Thrones board game marathon with my homies.
Personal preference between a smaller club setting or festival? Do you have a specific venue that you would most like to play at?
They’re both amazing in their own ways. More intimate shows are dope because you get to really connect with individuals in the audience, but then you can’t really replicate the energy from thousands of people at a festival.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully on a yacht in San Tropez. Just kidding – honestly I’m living my dream right now, I genuinely hope in 5 years I’m doing the same thing I am now, making music and touring the world, just on a bigger scale.https://soundcloud.com/iamtheelephante/elephante-troubled-feat-debs-daughter
Stream + DL: smarturl.it/TroubledStreamDL