Chicago native Elijah Runako sounds entirely proud of being borderline obsessed with music, and why shouldn’t he? Though he was born to create music, and it has accompanied him throughout his life, to be in the prime position that he’s in today was an uphill battle, one that maybe’s gotten easier in some ways but it’s not quite over yet. Life had a way to test his mettle, to put his dreams to fire, but after being released from a youth correctional center in 2013, the pursuit of musical artistry finally became the cornerstone of his identity, his focus, and his joy. This passion for songwriting and beat making are the tools that Elijah uses to express his feelings and inspire other people to be the best they can.
His time in Chicago was a major influence on his musical growth, connecting him with like-minded musicians who encouraged him and helped his learning process. The fellowship he found in the Chicago scene also seems like a major factor driving him toward that goal of inspiring people to pursue their dreams and find their way.
“Because when everything else is gone from your life, your dreams remain.”
Elijah’s newest song is called “Lost In Tokyo” and it further reveals the very empathic and generous personality that blooms from the Sleek fashionista. in this track, Elijah woos someone who has been hurt, putting up a barrier around her heart out of fear. In his impassionate plea of a song towards this other character, I couldn’t help but resonate with the goodness of intention that Elijah talks about, how he is both understanding and respectful even in the vulnerable position that this need for human connection instills in him.
Elijah’s fresh and colorful appearance is an outward manifestation of what brews internally for him as a musician. He is a self-described “Fashion Thug” who is skewing genres, conventions, and traditions in favor of active experimentation and a more fertile sound where he can plant that seed of inspiration in all of us listening. He does tend to gestate all of his tracks in the general vicinity of R&B, Pop, and Hip-Hop, so it’s not all this nebulous wildcard every time you pull one of his tracks up.
I think “Lost in Tokyo” is something beyond just a good song, it’s also a manifestation of what seems to be a wholesomeness of character and a genuine lyrical dexterity that certainly bodes well for this rising artist.
Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Courtesy of the artist
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