Eli Jas may be a newcomer, but she’s quickly earning industry props for her powerhouse voice and unique sound, which includes a mixture of bachata, rock, pop, and techno rhythms. The bicultural singer from New York was studying criminal justice at John Jay, but decided to pursue her dreams to become a singer with full force. Luckily it has paid off.
We chatted with the 21-year-old about what inspires her and keeps her shining.
Your sound is a hybrid of genres including bachata, pop, and R&B. How did that come about?
“I started doing a cover of 'Seduceme' by La India. Then all of a sudden a bell went off and we were like, ‘Wait why don’t we do songs in Spanish?’ We started with my favorite genre bachata, but to me it was also important to have my own sound. It had to be my own and it had to have my own flavor. This is the reason why I put R&B in it, and techno and pop and a little bit of rock in it. All these different types of music influence me.”
What was your inspiration for the track “De Nuevo”?
"I’m super happy that MTV Tr3s gave me the opportunity to write this song. It’s the theme song for their new show ‘Quiero Mi Baby’ and it’s basically about young couples and what they are going through with this new chapter. When I wrote the song I wanted the focus to be unconditional love and the ups and downs you go through in relationships."
When can we expect your debut album Choose to drop?
"I don’t want to just throw everything together and have it all scrambled so we are finalizing the tracks right now. We still have a few songs to finish, but the concept of the album is going to be about relationships, love, and break-ups. It’s based on my own experiences and I’m very proud of it. I know it’s hard for people to show their emotions so if I’m open about it, hopefully it will inspire others to feel understood."
How do you feel being a female and covering a genre that’s predominately male dominated [in regards to bachata music]?
“The fact that bachata music is male dominated makes it that much more fulfilling because I am able to speak up for women. It’s usually the guy getting cheated on by the women, and the male’s perspective on that. I feel very fortunate to be able to tell our side of the story and a lot of young women can relate. They can feel like someone understands them and that’s great because of the fact that my album is based on all of that; the female emotions and what we go through in a relationship. They’re definitely going to be able to relate and that’s what’s most important to me.”
What sort of artists do you look up to?
“I really look up to Romeo Santos because he came out with a totally different sound and he wasn’t afraid of going down a different path. I am also in love with artists that have powerful voices, so that’s definitely where La India comes in. She has a beautiful voice and gives out positive messages. I look up to her so much.”
As a new artist, what have you learned so far about the music business?
"You are going to hear negative things from people, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because you are doing what you love. That’s what gives me strength and not worry about what people say. You attract your fans no matter what, and it makes me happy to have that level of support from them."
Watch her video below and let us know what you think of Eli Jas!