ONEEDM had the pleasure of sitting down with Tim, better known as Elephante. We chatted about his tour, his music, and his life.
ONE EDM (Kallie): Do you have a preference because you play with colleges a lot. How do things vary between the crowds and everything in general?
Elephante: They’re all sort of their own sort of animal (no pun intended). With festivals, the energy is always crazy, and there’s nothing like seeing 10,000 people jump at the same time, but at festivals, a lot of times its people who don’t know your music as well. So, on one hand, you want to have your own flavor, but you’re also playing to a broader crowd. At clubs, they tend to come just for you, so they know a lot more of your stuff and it’s a lot more intimate and you can interact with the fans more. Colleges are generally just a shit show. It’s the best time though because everyone has a ton of energy and they’re a lot of fun. We’re doing a ton of schools in the south.
K: That’s awesome. I go to the University of South Carolina, but I know you’re supposed to go to some other SEC schools.
E: Honestly, this is terrible but they all kind of blend together; you lose track.
K: Yeah, I see that it can all be a mess.
E: Yeah, they all have their own certain character, but at a certain point it’s like I’m getting on a plane on Friday and I’m coming back on Monday and a lot of times it’s like okay, so, where are we going this weekend.
K: Yeah I bet it’s hard to keep up with. With tour dates, there’s usually so many all in a row and sometimes you’re just going day after day after day. Earlier, I spoke with another artist and he said the biggest issue is the lack of sleep. Like, it’s naps, not sleep.
E: Yeah, sleep is not a real thing. I’m lucky because my greatest talent is sleeping on planes.
K: That’s a gift for someone in the music industry; falling asleep wherever, whenever.
E: It’s actually just on planes. I’m terrible at sleeping in hotels. When I’m on a plane I’m out but after a show, I get back to the hotel and I’m lying in bed and can’t sleep, but I get on the plane and immediately fall asleep. It’s weird. Especially after a show, your blood is rushing with adrenaline and it takes a while to cool down you’re so jacked up. My manager, unfortunately, is terrible at sleeping on planes so I’ll wake up and be like oh that wasn’t bad at all and he’ll be like “dude that was five hours”.
K: You went to school for business and minored in music. I go to school for Entertainment Management. When you were looking at schools did you ever consider going into entertainment management or artist management?
E: Honestly, not really. I love making music. I was classically trained in piano and I grew up writing songs and playing guitar and being in bands, so it’s always been about the music for me and that’s the only thing I really love doing.
K: Yeah, like actually creating and performing your own music.
E: Yeah, that’s what I love doing and I’m lucky I get to work with people that deal with everything else because that stuff just stresses me out. Dude, like I don’t want to know just tell me what I need to do, I’ll be in the studio, I’ll send you music when it’s done.
K: Is there anything you get ready for a show?
E: I just try to get in the zone, do some jumping jacks. It’s funny, when I first started touring, I was so out of shape and I’d go on and it’s so hot and sweaty up there, I’d legitimately cramp and I’d have to hop and try and play it off. But yeah, pretty much I just try to relax and loosen up.
K: Oh my god, I shouldn’t be laughing but I can’t help it. But okay, so you pretty much just try and relax.
E: I mean, I’m mostly just praying nothing goes wrong when I start.
K: Do you get nervous?
E: Yeah I definitely still get nervous. Five minutes before every [show], I’m terrified… Like, please don’t mess this up, please let everything is working. I literally, I played 16 hours ago and everything was fine but I still hope everything is okay. Once I’m up there and the sound comes on and the show is going, then I’m good to go. But it’s good [the nerves] because it shows you still care.
K: You got your start emailing music blogs right?
K: That’s honestly so amazing because we’re a music blog and it’s cool that something like that can happen.
E: Yeah, that’s really where it started. I would make a remix or some kind of music and I had googled like every EDM blog and made a spreadsheet, and every time I would try and email every single person. It was kind of a cool time, it was like the wild west, where you could kind of just do bootlegs and do something and the internet finds it, and suddenly millions of people are listening. It was a crazy time and I was very lucky. It’s a bummer now that it’s really hard to do bootleg remixes because they’ll get taken down.
K: That’s rough because that’s how a lot of people originally got their start.
E: Yeah I mean that’s how I got my start. It’s sort of how our entire generation of producers got started but at the same time, it’s still technically illegal.
K: Yeah I mean you’re also promoting the artist though too.
E: Yeah, I did a remix for someone and it was an older song, and my friend who works at a label did some research on it and was like this was selling 50 copies a month and after you put your remix out its selling thousands of copies a week now. And I was like “That’s cool,” but a lot of labels are like “You have to take that down – it’s ours”.
K: You’ve made some great remixes, but is there anyone you’d want to collaborate with?
E: It’s about finding someone that I can work with nature. I’m kind of a psycho and I don’t play well with others… I have very strong feeling about how something should be done.
K: I get that, not psycho, you just know what you like and how you like things done.
E: I’m just a control freak when it comes to my music, it’s very hard for me to let go but I’m working with some great singers but we’ll see. I’d probably like to work with Frank Ocean, that’s probably my dream.
We thanked Tim for taking the time to sit down and chat with us before he left for his set. He told us he is excited about the tour and is working on a new EP.