After posting about reggaecounty.com i visited and found this interview that was done with Elephant Man. At the time of the interview 13 tracks off his upcoming album had not yet been leaked onto the internet. Also, they were not yet advised that the album launch/release had already been pushed back to November...
High energy Elephant Man is shaking things up on his upcoming album entitled "Let's Get Physical". After a couple of false starts trying to reach the “energy god" I was able to amass a tiny peak of information on what to expect from Ele on his upcoming album.
“Suh how u do?” I began, "I'm sure your schedule is just as you like it--hectic and full of comings and goings?” I added, especially as I knew that he had missed his flight to NYC earlier that week.
“Yeah…You know it hectic, but we have to find time for you to deal wit’ it!” Ele responded---I didn’t need to be told twice that time was precious!
Born O'Neil Bryan—from the Seaview Gardens area in Kingston, Elephant Man, 34, aka “Energy god”, came onto the dancehall scene as a member of Scare Dem Crew. After leaving Scare Dem back in 1999 he signed a 3 album deal with Greensleeves from which we got Comin' 4 You --touted as one of the of the most consistent and pure dancehall albums at the time, followed by Log on and Higher Level. But the album most noteworthy to date is Good 2 Go (VP/Atlantic)—that made 2003 a breakthrough year for Ele with dancehall tracks such as Signal De Plane, Jook Gal and Pon de River for which he received a Source Award for Dancehall/Reggae Artist of the Year.
The new album, Let’s Get Physical, in stores August 14, 2007, a collaborative effort between VP and Bad Boy Records is according to Ele, “what the world has been waiting for…this is the many moods of Elephant now—when them hear this, them going to say—WOW--we never look for Elephant to come this way.”
The first single off the album “Five-O”, with Wyclef Jean featuring Diddy, a non energetic style song—but in its way still exuding Elephant’s energy--is a departure from the new-dance vibe that we have come to expect from this authentic dancehall dj. But, his approach was to come with something totally different—unpredictable.
“[Because of] the last album “Good to Go” everybody [is now] coming to expect me to do dancing, or girl- jump-around… [it] deh pon the album but me come different…because—you can’t get up and repeat y’self every minute...” Ele went on to mention that although there are up-tempo dancehall tracks on the album, he didn’t want it to be the first single. The album also features songs such as Jump, in collaboration with Swizz Beatz, Throw your hands up featuring Rihanna and our own Shaggy will be featured on the remix of The way we roll.
With a line-up of collaborations on the album that could almost suggest it’s a hip hop album--Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Yung Joc, Rihanna, Mya, among others I had to express a concern that perhaps the album may have too much of a hip hop feel…
“The riddim we put the hip hop artists on is dance hall—that’s the trick of it.” Ele explained, “Remember seh a dancehall we a represent u nuh—u see me! …[We] went into the studio—we did some exclusives, nuthin’ regular [that] you hear pon no radio … you can hear [the album] an’ know seh Elephant went into the studio an’ do some work!… We have the other artists like Mya and Rihanna them to give [the album] the flavor to carry it to the next level—u understand—yeah!” Nuff said!
Not to be outdone with the latest dances that is synonymous with dance hall riddims, Ele says that you can look to see new dances such as, Cut dem off, Tek weh u self, Three-step and Move. For those who are not into doing the latest dances, Ele also has, in addition to Five-O, a song called, Gangsta Rock that was written for all the original bad man types who only rock to music.
Aside from the energy that we have come to expect from dance hall djs such as Ele who set the tone for how we dance when we’re ready to party, is the unforgettable sense of style that dance hall brings; and for this, Ele has become a stand-out dance hall fashion icon. He prides himself with staying true to what epitomizes dance hall thanks to Shabba Ranks, whom he admires. With this in mind I asked Ele to give us some requirements for women and men to pull off the authentic dance hall look. Below Ele has given us the must-have basics.
Ladies…keep it nice and clean.
Manicure and pedicure
A nice necklace
The ears must have the bling
Men…to impress the ladies the must-haves are:
Nice pinky ring
Nice watch that stands out to represent the bling
Color--show some colors—very important in the dance hall scene…and you’re good to go.
There is no stopping Ele with this album. He promises it’s going to be his best album yet, not only is it a classic, it’s crazy, according to Ele. Look out for Elephant Man on Tour this coming September and for those who will be in Jamaica for Reggae Sumfest this month—when I asked Ele if he was going to be there, his response was, “Yeah Mon!”