Ellinor Olovsdotter, better known as Elliphant, is a provocative, lawless Swedish pop-artist with a sound that is a cross between M.I.A. and Diplo. No wonder she is joining M.I.A.’s tour in Canada with performances in Montreal and Toronto, May 3rd and May 4th. She is a definite uprising superstar and the real musicians that listen just know it – including Coachella’s most recent popular, live electronic-act, SKRILLEX, who she is collaborating with and thus pushing her music out further into the masses. This chick knows how to throw it down hard LIVE, with a progressive reggaetonesque, hip-hop, dance-beat that blasts you into a sexual, rhythmic, body pulsation.
Check out Elliphant LIVE at Bardot:
We had pre-drinks in Venice and got warmed up for the show as we were super-charged to catch ELLIPHANT sing her songs that we have been vibing to lately.
Elliphant’s mesmerizing show is filled with her sweaty, sexy dance-moves, as her hair flies around with her fingers pointing out, shaking her booty with confidence while laughing and singing her provocative songs like “BOOTY KILLAH”, “BITCH OUT”, and “MAKE IT JUICE” – progressive beats that palpitate a crowd into a surging wave as her lyrics just flow. It is rare to fine a caucasian in this genre with authentic talent, and even to find one that is a confident, sexy female that shows us how to really move. Her strong use of language falls in line with her music with “DOWN ON LIFE”, an addicting melody with intro lyrics that thump your body into a lampoon of laughter: “we are waking up in a pile of shit, whole bed, is full of it”. She breaks-down the audience into heavy movement as she delivers the catchy chorus: “I could use a break, me need to go, down down down – on life, I need you to to take, all my shadows for a walk tonight”.
WATCH music video “DOWN ON LIFE”:
Her debut album, titled “A Good Idea”, has a heavy, urban sound with heavy beats and breaks that bring energetic changes, and fast, melodic, shocking-sexy lyrics that echo the vibrations of reggaeton and Denmark’s “danskhall”. She proved to me that she is right in line with the authenticity of the roots of a mix of genres, like Jamaican dance-hall and reggaeton – as a heavy sweaty dance-show is what the mecca of real reggae is all about, and Elliphant’s show at Bardot would have moved the toughest crowd down in Kingston or Montego Bay into loving and respecting her because she MAKE YA WANNA MOVE. No wonder she traveled to the island to collaborate with Jamaica’s Ras Fraser Junior. They feel her. Her energetic songs capture me into hopping around on the dance floor when her raw energy draws into you, similar to how Jamaican legend BUJU BANTON would make me feel at a live show.
Her music also echoes progressive pop music and that is probably why she is fusing and collaborating with such acts like SKRILLEX that are now super popular at big festivals like Coachella. I’m not sure what they are drinking in the water up in Stockholm, but this Northern European, Elliphant, has taken hip-hop and Jamaican influence and made it her own in progressive pop. Her Swedish dictation of the English Language and native accent has given her edge into spitting out her English words into hypnotic phrases that roll off her tongue with attitude similar to the way an authentic dredlock-islander with talent would hope to.
Although her sound seems to be more influenced by reggaeton and dance-hall, she probably listens to classic, energetic hip-hop music to gear her up to create this type of Scandanavian pop. African Americans created hip-hop because their genetics lead them there from their rhythmic, African roots, with their unique use of the English language, and distinct African-American culture, giving them a different dictation then a caucasian-American. Maybe it’s her Swedish accent that helps her flow the way she does.
ANDY WARHOL would approve.
I had the pleasure of hanging out with ELLIPHANT on a farm recently where she stormed around the dusty ranch on the dirt road naturally in bare-feet, energetic and always laughing with her Swedish crew and friends from Los Angeles. People that didn’t even know of her music would still feed off her funny, positive vibes and style. Some of her Swedish crew and friends that were at a recent private festival in Ojai, joined together at Bardot to get down with her; backstage they were all pumped up after the show as it was a success.
Check Cowboys and Indians festival in Ojai:
Most Americans that I know don’t understand how hip-hop is taking off in Northern Europe in different native tongues, not English; especially Denmark, where local, legendary, hip-hop artists draw large crowds as hip-hop is most popular now to the uprising youth. It’s the way the Danish and Dutch languages are spoken, allowing words to come out freely, rhythmic and speedy with hip-hop. There are some very talented singers in Northern Europe that us Americans know nothing about because we don’t understand Danish or Dutch, nor will those underground, local singers be promoted in the American corporate music industry because they aren’t singing in English.
Copenhagen has a KILLER outdoor venue, located in an autonomous region of Copenhagen called CHRISTIANA, an ex-military area from the 1970s that was squatted by artists and turned into a ruffian free-zone area where marijuana and hash is traded freely in open kiosks on the street. CHRISTIANA is a lawless area which has become a center for the arts and music and a sort of legal drug-trade area in a country where drug trade is illegal, and this is the place where the hardcore hip-hop acts perform in Copenhagen. An authenticity is always brought to art when it is underground, dirty, raw, and on par with the ruffians and the dregs. Every reggae musician outside Jamaica wants to play in Jamaica, but they will probably just get shot down in Kingston because to Jamaicans their music is their life, and their lives were oppressed, so don’t ruin their life with shitty reggae please. BUT THEY RESPECT ELLIPHANT. Who knows, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to catch ELLIPHANT throw it down at CHRISTIANA in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am thankful she is in America and singing in English and giving us a window into where music is going in Northern Europe.
It is no wonder that her talent is already noticed with love from the islanders. Those people know good music when they hear it, because ITS THE WAY IT MAKES YOU MOVE.
Watch how she dances with the locals down on the island:
ELLIPHANT brings out the dance-protest in you, and pulsates the audience with a violent, anthemic, rebellious vocal in “REVOLUSION”. It makes you want to DANCE-RIOT.
WATCH music video “REVOLUSION”:
Elliphant is signed with Dr. Luke’s Sony imprint Kemosabe, releasing her new track “MUSIC IS LIFE” which you will hear on the radio now.
Watch music video “MUSIC IS LIFE”:
Im a music-lover, and it is rare for me to find up-and-coming acts in small venues that are throwing it down hard, walking on the edge of super-stardom with addicting energy that gets you slammed with musical excitement – it’s all about luck and timing to witness a killer show in a tiny venue and know that it was a special night that will be lost in time but forever remembered. Years ago, I walked into a small club on Sunset blvd, the Roxy, and witnessed a very young, long-haired Kings of Leon throw it down with raw, exciting energy while heavily smoking and proving themselves to be the shit – the timing of that show made it one of the best shows of my life as they had a buzzing energy, firing off on all cylinders; the next time I saw the Kings of Leon, I knew I would never see them the same after their performance in a much bigger venue, The Hollywood Bowl. I will probably never see them in a venue as small as the Roxy ever again, and now I witnessed Elliphant at Bardot, a small club in Hollywood. I am hoping she doesn’t blow up the charts too fast so I can gain access into a small club and see her throw it down hard again.
Next time I see her rock a crowd, it will most likely be a much larger venue, so catch her now if you can, cause she is an ELLIPHANT IN THE ROOM, and she probably needs more room cause she stomps all over the place in your face. I knew the live band that followed her set, DWNTOWN, had a very tough act to follow as ELLIPHANT took us all to SKOOL at Bardot on School Night.
Mondays at Bardot:
DWNTOWN played to a much emptier room, but ELLIPHANT was a tough act to follow.
DWNTOWN came with a full live-band with a great vibe, beautiful singer, good music, and apparently with a music buzz, but Elliphant’s show was on a whole other level, making it an extremely hard act to follow because her beats are so heavy, melodic, and she spits out on the mic honest and hard while shaking her hips. Any shift to another musical energy could clear out some of the room which happened – the audience already got their heads kicked off for the night – fucking raw, sexual attitude, and honest entertainment.
Elliphant spoke to the crowd on the mic and shared with everyone with her thoughts between some songs, connecting, and then throwing it down to her next hit single. She brought it to the table with dirty, sexual vibes as she sang “BOOTY KILLAH”. She then lead into an anthemic, rebellious “REVOLUSION” that makes you want to dance-riot. Maybe that’s why when she finished her set, the crowd surrounded her with a demanding applause for a proper encore. We all wanted more. I guess we are needing a fresh taste of what raw, female singers should sound like and what hot shows should be like, and HOW YOU MAKE ME WANT TO FEEL LIKE – yep, ELLIPHANT is the BOOTY KILLAH.
My band, PUNAMI http://www.punami.com, echoes the influences of my love for reggae. What I have learned from my elder, reggae mentors is that if you are a musician heavily influenced by that genre, you need to be your own, intelligent, natural-self, and Elliphant is more then just that, she is completely unique and just makes ya WANT TO MOVE.
ELLIPHANT would make reggaeton legend, NANDO BOOM proud. NANDO, a reggaeton and “reggae en Espanol” singer from Panama is known as a super-legend that brought grinding dance moves that changed the way people danced. I grew up in the Republic of Panama, where I started drinking and dancing downtown Panama as a white, 15 year-old teenager in dark, smoky Panamanian clubs where sweaty grinding to reggaeton was just Panamanian culture. I love that SHIT. The only thing we danced to was reggaeton – which moved the entire club into a sexual surge on the dance floor, everyone holding their partners body to body, grinding eachother so close that an American would think we were SCREWING ON THE DANCE FLOOR, but it was just reggaeton DANCING-LOVE.
Reggaeton is very sexual – you can always feel a woman’s sexual language when you move to this style of music as hips connect on the belt and you move with eachother in sexual rhythm. Men and women can feel eachother and know if he or she is a good lover by the way they connect on the reggaeton dance-floor, knowing if it will be good sex or bad in bed is known by how you move and dance and what energy you bring to the floor. I miss living in Panama and dancing in reggaeton clubs where everyone is on a heavy vibe together getting dirty but just good fun times. In the United States i feel disconnected from the crowd and a disconnection with the crowd from the band. It is not like where I am from in Panama, or like Jamaica, where THE AUDIENCE IS JUST AS MUCH A PART OF THE MUSIC AS THE MUSIC IS A PART OF THE BAND.
That is reggae at it’s best – the LIVE SHOW with the AUDIENCE feeling it. The venue is where it all happens with this type of music. I have been missing this energy in the United States, and the people in the club THAT REALLY KNOW HOW TO HAVE A FUCKING GOOD TIME. People can be SO FUCKING BORING on the dance floor. Maybe ELLIPHANT is here to SHOW AMERICANS HOW TO DANCE in sexual style and how to have A GOOD TIME. Yes, I consider myself AMERICAN as well, but that doesn’t mean I dance like one. Probably because I grew up sweating to HOT DANCE-music while going through puberty. I have to thank my love for the dance movement to legendary Panamanians like NANDO BOOM for songs like “FIESTA” and El GENERAL for songs like “MUEVELO”.
Listen to NANDO BOOM song “FIESTA”:
Listen to EL GENERAL song “MUEVELO”:
ELLIPHANT has the energy, the moves, and feel and she will sex you down to beats on the floor with lawless, provocative MUSIk. CHECK HER OUT.
Check out her music video “COULD IT BE”:
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. There is nothing like finishing off a good night in Hollywood by getting some IN and OUT. WHAT DOES THAT SOUND LIKE? It’s burgers bitch, damn right it’s IN-N-OUT.