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New Music: Elyar’s ‘The Birds’

June 1, 2017

Music | by Courtney Blackman


Singer-songwriter, Elyar first graced our pages in our Fashion Issue and we’ve been along for the ride ever since.

Picking up a guitar for the first time when he was aged ten, Elyar is, for lack of a better set of words, a natural talent. Not only can he make cohesive noise on a six-string, he can play the piano, write, sing and produce. After a stint touring with his band, Just Me Again, he moved into the digital world as a singular entity: Elyar Fox, and this is where he figuratively ‘got huge’. Doing covers on YouTube garnered him a global fan base that still tracks his every move. His YouTube channel also got him noticed, and not just by those aforementioned fans; record labels, Ryan Seacrest, MTV and a handful of British bands (The Wanted, Union J, McBusted) added Elyar to their speed dial.

After dropping the ‘Fox’ as his surname last year and taking time to refocus and develop his sound, SVFARI, his first EP, is the soulful, blended-genre result and we’re excited to exclusively introduce you to the remix of his song The Birds on Spotify.

Elyar, photographed by Jess Drews

But first, what better way to experience the song and reacquaint ourselves with the former pop sensation and digital phenomenon that is Elyar, than through his fans via a collective Q&A? We asked them to send in questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskElyar. Below is an edit of the submissions from all over the world:

@kinndaari: What made you want a new beginning with the music?

I started to think more about what really brings me the most joy and reconnect with the creativity I had as a child. I felt like I’d lost that over the years.

@saheeena: What made you want to change your sound?

It’s more that I began to search for my sound; in the past I’d create things that felt ‘current’ over what spoke to me. The SVFARI EP felt like uncovering another layer with each song’s production doing things I’d never done before.

@angie_watson98: What inspired the pseudonym/EP name SVFARI?

SAFARI is a near-anagram of my surname and it felt relevant to my life and the reason for starting the project.

@jollytwinkletoe: Can you remember the first time you wrote a song?

Hell yeah. It was called I’m Sorry and I wrote it aged ten. It’s not entirely clear what it was about, but I’m sure it’s something to do with not liking school. The lyrics are still in a drawer in my bedroom.

Elyar, photographed by Jess Drews

@harrysisaking: Who inspired you to become a musician?

Growing up, Eminem and Nirvana inspired me to write lyrics and Good Charlotte inspired me to learn guitar.

@kingmalik93: What’s your favourite song lyric?

I can’t say I have a single all-time favourite song lyric, because there are a lot that have to fit the right moment. In case you feel disappointed by that lazy answer, here’s a beautiful lyric from Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on

And it makes me wonder

@toxiccabello_: Dead or alive who would your dream collaboration for a song be with?

If I were alive in the ‘50s, it would be Chet Baker. I’d also love to spend a day with Eminem just to learn about his writing process.

@ThomasKennyYMB: Do you have any collaborations in the works?

I’ve been working with a couple producers from the US and writing with some very talented friends in London. I’m feeling excited to bring out my first collaborations this year.

@foxmeelyar: If you were stuck on an island what would be that one thing you’d bring?

Optimism.

@jackdaw0359: Would you rather live 1, 1000-year life or 10, 100-year lives?

Either, as long as they were good ones.

@kingmalik93: If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I think some kind of fish with vegetables would make me feel pretty awesome, even if I did begin to resent it. I couldn’t imagine eating lasagne for the rest of my life.

@mellctk: What is your favourite milkshake flavour? Do you like milkshake?

I like milkshake. Let’s go with Oreos.

@gleecia_barry: Pizza topping?

Courgettes, basil, buffalo ricotta and Somerset pecorino. AKA the third one on the left at Franco Manca.

@foxmeelyar: What is your guilty pleasure?

I try not to do things that make me feel guilty. But I do like Masterchef.

@sibilay1401: Who is your role model?

A role model of late is Kendrick Lamar. I respect him more than any other musician right now and feel inspired by the amount of work he puts into his craft. I got into him properly when To Pimp A Butterfly came out. It took me a year to even begin to understand the album, but when I did, whoa.

@DianaJArifqizi: Do you remember what was the name your best friend, when you were a child?

I was best friends with a dude called Alex, but shared him with Ricardo. It was drama. Him and his family actually disappeared off the face of the earth. Witness protection, I think; names changed for legal purposes.

Elyar, photographed by Jess Drews

 @Grimmiefied: So, what’s your favourite music at the moment?

DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar.

@DianaJArifqizi: What do you think about Manchester attack?

I found it very difficult to talk about when it happened, but it was all that was on my mind. My heart really goes out to everyone that’s been affected by it. What’s beautiful is that the people of this country seem stronger as a result. People of all races, religions and ages are coming together and it seems more people are acknowledging that there is no ‘them’ when it comes to race and religion. 

@DanielleAlexiou: If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Chet Baker Sings – Chet Baker

DAMN. ­– Kendrick Lamar

Harvest – Neil Young

@nexttomyidxls: Will you do a tour?

I’m starting to play shows in the next few months. I’ll be posting my live dates on my social media and website soon.

@kingmalik93: How would you describe yourself in three words?

Friendly neighbourhood Spider-man.

Listen to The Birds below on Spotify: