Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Elsy Wameyo is a soul singer, who was born in Kenya, but who has spent most of her life in Adelaide, SA. Elsy has a background in church singing, but has recently released songs in collaboration with local Hip Hop and EDM artists. You may have seen her live on Tonightly with Tom Ballard alongside Playback 808 Kingdom crew mate, Dyspora, or performing her own sets alongside other artists that mix soul and Hip Hop music in Adelaide. Her public presence has seen a relatively quick rise, although the development of the artist Elsy Wameyo has been brewing for a while. So how has worship formed her as an artist, where does church and EDM converge, and what is the power of soul-Hip Hop music? Elsy Wameyo chats to BEAT CONTEXT.
Singing to Inspire the Living
'...I must ensure that people don’t just hear but feel the power and the energy of the sounds in the music...'
I grew up in a Christian home so church has always and will always be a fundamental part of my life. Putting all my trust in God is a decision that I personally made. I truly believe it’s what has gotten me to where I am today. I always pray that God carries me through everything that I do, not only in music but my personal life. Being a worship leader from such a young age has influenced me tremendously as a singer. I was put in such an important position that made me step up and work harder as a singer. This is because in church I am not performing, I’m leading the whole congregation to the word and to the spirit of God. My Pastor always reminds me how Praise and Worship is the most important time during a service and how it’s our job as a worship team to ensure that people get connected with God through music, through our voices. I must ensure that people don’t just hear but feel the power and energy of the sounds in the music, so truly, I have to deliver every single time.
'...it’s the only place where you’ll really hear me sing because it’s no longer me, God’s in control...'
I began to train harder, worship harder and always ask God to carry me in everything that I do because at the end of the day it’s not me it’s him. I have always carried that mentality in my career of music but singing in church will always be my favourite place to sing. It’s the only place where you’ll really hear me sing because it’s no longer me, God’s in control. Being a worship leader has also taught me how to take control and lead people. I’m not just producing sounds that are appealing to people’s ears, I’m singing with a purpose, a purpose to inspire, to influence, to move a soul. That’s where my motto came from: “Singing to Inspire the Living”.
Church x EDM
'...music in general, as much you make it for yourself, you're creating to share to the world and you must cater to some needs...'
EDM gets people moving physically. I love to move people spiritually and mentally but I feel as though EDM takes it to that level and really gives people a reason to jump around, dance and just have fun. That’s how DAILY came along. In the same way, in church we’re always so specific about our praise songs, we try to select songs that people can have fun with and dance to. So, in a way EDM is like church.
Music in general, as much you make it for yourself, you're creating music to share to the world and you must cater to some needs. We all love soul music but, sometimes we just want to jump around and let our hair down. I also got to work with Mario Spate on the track DAILY, he is an amazing producer who already understood that world of Pop and EDM so it was a special and fun experience writing and recording DAILY. The Power of soul-Hip Hop
The Power of soul-Hip Hop
'...in this current society, especially with what’s going on in the African community, I wanted to make music that people could relate to by listening to the lyrics and hopefully learning something from it...'
Working with the Playback 808 Kingdom along with the production of DAILY helped me to tap in a little closer to the Hip-Hop genre. It challenged me to write in a different style. Now I have tracks written under Hip-Hop/Soul which has helped me to say what I need to say in a powerful manner. I’ve learnt that as a singer the audience usually doesn’t care about the lyrics that you’re singing. People just get lost in “that nice voice”. In this current society, especially with what’s going on in the African community, I wanted to make music that people could relate to by listening to the lyrics and hopefully learning something from it. That’s how I started creating Hip-Hop/Soul music. It became an avenue for me to still incorporate soul into my music but at the same time say what needs to be said.
'...it holds so much power for our society,
it’s a tool to reach out to people to tell stories,
to educate, to inspire, to unite people all around the world...'
Music itself is my motivation. Music lives in my blood. it’s something that I cannot survive without. It has always been such a big part of my life and every day I continue to fall more and more in love with it. Music is timeless, regardless of whatever happens it can never change. It holds so much power for our society, it’s really a tool to reach out to people to tell stories, to educate, to inspire and unite people all around the world. Knowing that I can sing a song and make someone smile, cry or jump is my motivation.
Fun Fact: Six Fingers
I was born with six fingers.
You can catch Elsy Wameyo supporting Adrian Eagle on April 6 at the Crown and Anchor, Adelaide. She has also officially been added to Adelaide’s Groovin’ the Moo line up on April 26th at Wayville, Adelaide. Keep up to date with all things Elsy HERE.