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As one of the most exciting new names in the EDM scene, Elephante is an innovative producer and songwriter, fusing electronic music with pop, blues, rock, and many other genres. Son of Taiwanese immigrants, the Ann Arbor, Michigan native has garnered hundreds of millions of streams across his two EPs. This includes his chart topping EP Glass Mansion, which hit #1 on Apple Music’s “U.S. Dance Chart.”

His versatile soundscapes help him to stand out among the masses, but he wasn’t always in the limelight. While not always being the star he is today, Elephante always excelled. Graduating from Harvard in 2011 he landed himself a cozy desk job at a top consulting firm in Los Angeles. Grateful for where he was but knowing there was something more, the day-to-day began to wear on his soul.

“I knew deep down it wasn’t for me, I was calling in sick, leaving early, installed Ableton on my work computer.”

“Taking That Last Shot That You Know You Probably Shouldn’t”

Knowing he never gave music a real shot, he finally embraced “the elephant in the room” and Elephante was born. One of the biggest steps for Elephante in starting his musical journey was telling his parents. They had pushed a bit in the past for him to pursue being a doctor so leaving a good job that already went against those wishes could have been a bit nerve-racking. But, like all great parents, they supported their son and are excited to see him doing so well today.

My parents were more flexible than most but still, culturally being a musician is not a thing and that kind of filters down to you as a child of emigrants. It took 20 years of my life to be like ‘this is what I want to do‘ and at first I only told my mom.

After a couple of years, Elephante finally told his dad, having him come out to a “pretty big show.” The surprise was a great turning point in the relationship with his dad where he saw people singing to his son’s songs and was “getting a good kick out of it.”

Elephante

Finding His Elephante Identity

Of course, life isn’t always perfect and even with all of this success, and the secrets being out between him and his dad, Elephante still had his demons. Not growing up seeing a lot of other Asian-Americans doing what he wanted to do, Elephante felt like a bit of an imposter in his own skin. During the COVID19 pandemic he attended therapy where he began to tackle this imposter syndrome, and opened his mind more to the idea of reflecting his Asian identity in his work.

“I think it was a kind of broader acceptance of myself and a sort of understanding of why I was so uncomfortable even thinking about it. Growing up no one looked like me that did what I wanted to do. This turned into me not wanting to talk about it as a defense mechanism. But, I slowly learned that by cutting it out I’m losing a lot of the influence and inspiration. I don’t like to think of myself as a role model but at the end of the day it’s a personal journey of self-discovery”

Elephante on incorporating his Asian identity into his work
“Dopamine” cover art

A Release Of “Dopamine”

Recently, Elephante released euphoric and hypnotizing new single “Dopamine,” a return to his energetic house roots. His two previous releases beforehand, “Holy Ghost” and “High Water,” share themes of self-reflection and despair. He details his personal experiences of physical and mental struggles with opioid addiction in his past, as well as what he felt during the pandemic. “Dopamine” is a brighter, more adventurous track that can be seen as a transition in his mindset and mental health as he looks forward to a brighter future.

“To me, it’s the other side of the same coin and “Holy Ghost” and “High Water” are a look at the downside and “Dopamine” is the top of the wave. You need that drive of being at the bottom and knowing you can do more. “Dopamine” is about getting through those hard times and being like ‘I’m a rockstar I can do all of this.'”

Elephante will also be releasing his sophomore album on October 22nd, Heavy Glow, which represents his first full-length studio album. Largely a solo effort, Elephante pushes the boundaries of dance music so if you like “Dopamine,” get ready for lots more. He also has upcoming performances at EDC Las Vegas and 88rising’s Head In The Clouds Festival.

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